Noted jurist VR Krishna Iyer passes away in Kochi; PM Modi, legal luminaries mourn his demise

Kochi: Former Supreme Court judge and renowned legal luminary VR Krishna Iyer passed away at a private hospital here on Thursday afternoon, He was 100.

Noted jurist VR Krishna Iyer passes away in Kochi; PM Modi, legal luminaries mourn his demise

Kochi: Eminent jurist V R Krishna Iyer, a left-leaning intellectual who had stood for the rights of the downtrodden and reinterpreted bail jurisprudence as a Supreme Court judge, died on Thursday.

Justice Iyer, who turned 100 on November 13, breathed his last at a private hospital here following multiple organ failure.

He was admitted to the private Medical Trust hospital on November 24. He died at 3.30 pm, Hospital Managing Director PV Antony and Cardiologist Dr Manu R Varma, who treated him, told reporters.

"The death was due to cerebral vascular accident or stroke, worsening cardiac and renal failure and pneumonia," Dr Manu Varma said.

Justice Iyer, born in a conservative Tamil Brahmin family in Palakad in Kerala, was attracted to communism and had served as a minister in the first democratically-elected Communist government of the world under the late EMS Namboodiripad in the state.

During his tenure as law minister, land reforms were introduced in the 1950s. As a Supreme Court Judge for seven years in the 1970s, he provided easy access to the ordinary people by relaxing the rule of locus standi.

He defined bail jurisprudence in favour of undertrials when he laid down that "bail, not jail is the rule" and was averse to preventive detentions as a general rule.

In 1975, he had put a conditional stay on the Allahabad High Court judgement that unseated Indira Gandhi as MP from Rae Bareli but it was another story that the High Court judgement led to events that culminated in the imposition of Emergency.

Eyebrows were raised when he praised Narendra Modi after he was named the Prime Ministerial candidate by BJP last year. Earlier, he was critical of him on 2002 riots.
Justice Iyer was hospitalised due to over exertion with decreased appetite, respiratory tract infection and cardiac problem. On December 2, he suffered stroke and his left side was paralysed and there was steady downhill in his condition, culminating in his death, Dr Varma said.

He is survived by two sons. His wife had predeceased him. At the time of his death, his son Parameshwaran and daughter -in-law were by his side.

Dr Varma said until yesterday, Iyer was responding to verbal commands and from this morning, he lost consciousness. Justice Iyer's body will be taken to his residence 'Satgamaya' from the hospital later this evening.

The body will be shifted to the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor stadium at Kadavanthara tomorrow to enable the public to pay their homage. Funeral will be held at 6 pm.

Also Read: Justice Iyer was a phenomenal human being, says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several top politicians and legal luminaries offered condolence on justice Iyer's demise.

Recalling his past meetings with justice Iyer, the PM tweeted that he had a special bonding with the jurist.

Indian National Congress also condoled the passing away of justice Iyer.

Congress politician from Kerala Shashi Tharoor ‏also mourned the death of justice Iyer and hailed his contribution to the society as judge, minister, social reformer, human rights activist and as a great human being.