CHENNAI: Former judge of the Supreme Court Justice AR Lakshmanan passed away on Thursday at a private hospital in Tiruchy. He was 78. Doctors who were treating him for age-related ailments said that a sudden cardiac arrest on Thursday morning caused his death. It was only on August 24 that his wife Meenakshi Aachi died in Tiruchy and the family was still grieving.
Justice Lakshmanan is survived by two sons ARL Arunachalam and ARL Sundaresan and two daughters Umayal and Saravanavalli. ARL Sundaresan is a senior advocate practising at the Madras High Court.
The funeral rites were performed in his native village of Devakottai in Sivagangai district, said family members.
Justice Lakshman Arunachalam was born on March 22, 1942, and graduated from the Madras Law College. He had served as a government pleader for the Tamil Nadu government and also represented several banks prior to his elevation as permanent Judge of the Madras High Court on June 14, 1990.
Justice Lakshmanan served at the Supreme Court from December 20, 2002 to March 21, 2007. Before his elevation, he was a judge at the Madras High Court and the Kerala High Court. He also served as Chief Justice of the Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan High Courts.
Post-retirement, he was appointed Chairman of the Eighteenth Law Commission of India.
Remembering the Supreme Court judge, Senior Advocate P Wilson said Lakshmanan was part of a committee appointed by the Supreme Court in the inter-state Mullaiperiyar dam issue.
He was also part of the bench which gave relief to 2.5 lakh government employees who were dismissed by J Jayalalithaa invoking the Tamil Nadu Essential Services Maintenance Act in 2003.
Wilson also recollected that Lakshmanan while serving as the chairman of the Union Law Commission recommended the establishment of Regional Benches of the Supreme Court in four zones of the country including one at Chennai.
"His fondness towards Tamil literature and culture is immense. It is a great loss to the legal fraternity and the people of the state," he further emphasized.
Tamil Nadu Advocates Association president and senior advocate S Prabakaran who worked closely with the Supreme Court judge recalls that the judge was very friendly and maintained a cordial relationship with the bar.
He further said that ARL, as he is fondly called, was also the first to push for effective laws to ban public smoking in the country during his stint at the Supreme Court.
During a women's day function at the advocates association, his speech was impressive as he had all the facts and figures pertaining to women in each state in detail, reminisced Prabhakaran.