AMN / NEW DELHI
Well know legal luminary, human righ activist and former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Rajinder Sachar passed away at a private hospital here today. He was 94. He was admitted to the hospital earlier this week.
Son of veteran freedom fighter and former Chief Minister of Punjab Bhim Sen Sachar, he served as the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court from August to December, 1985. After retirement, Mr Sachar was associated with rights group, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties PUCL.
He was also the chairperson of a committee, set up during the UPA government to look into the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in India.
Beginning his career as an advocate in April 1952, Sachar began practicing in the Supreme Court from in 1960. A decade later, he was appointed an additional judge of the Delhi high court. After being confirmed as a permanent judge in July 1972, Sachar was appointed chief justice in August 1985.
After retiring from service, Sachar was closely associated with the well-known human rights organisation People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which highlights a range of human right violations.
Sachar headed a crucial committee to examine the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India. The Sachar Committee, as the panel came to be known, submitted an exhaustive 403-page report in parliament in November 2006. The findings of the committee, which showed the extent of backwardness among Muslims, triggered a public discourse around Muslim inequality.
According to the Sachar Committee, there was far more backwardness among Muslims than among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. Apart from lagging in education, the representation of Muslims in administrative services and in the police force – especially in decision-making positions – was abysmally low. Emphasising the depth and urgency of the problem, the committee recommended the institution of an Equal Opportunity Commission to introduce a legal mechanism to address complaints of discrimination in all spheres of life.