Former Union law minister Shanti Bhushan passes away

Guwahati: Former Union law minister and lawyer Shanti Bhushan breathed his last at the age of 97 on Tuesday.

Bhushan was the minister of law in the Janata Party administration led by Morarji Desai, which took office after the Emergency from 1977 to 1979.

Bhushan was one of the Aam Aadmi Party’s first members when it was founded in 2012. Additionally, he had actively taken part in the Anna Hazare-led agitation.

He broke with AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal within two years of the party’s founding. Bhushan criticised Kejriwal in 2014 by casting doubt on his organisational abilities. His son Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer as well, served on the national executive of the AAP before being ousted.

He filed a petition with the Supreme Court in 2018 protesting the chief justice of India’s practise of assigning matters to the highest court according to a roster. The master of the roster “cannot be an unguided and unrestrained discretionary power that arbitrarily allocates cases to chosen judges,” Bhushan had said in his plea.

The Supreme Court eventually declared that the Chief Justice is the “master of the roster” and has the power to assign cases to other highest court benches.

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