Former Bombay High Court judge Hosbet Suresh died on Thursday, reported The Times of India. He was 91.
Born in Karnataka, Justice Suresh initially practised in the Bombay City Civil Court even as he worked as a part-time professor at the Government Law College. Later, he resigned from the civil court and started practising in the Bombay High Court. He retired in 1991.
Justice Suresh was known to be a champion of human rights. Some of the famous cases he took up, after retiring as a judge, related to the 2002 Gujarat riots, the right to food campaign, and human rights abuses in Kashmir. Suresh was part of the fact-finding team looking into the Gujarat riots. Former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya had informed the team on record that the police had been asked not to restrain rioters. Pandya was killed in 2003.
Justice Suresh was also a vocal critic of the judicial system in India. “There is no justice in the case of the 2002 genocide,” he had said at an event in 2015. He had expressed similar views about the “1984 genocide” against the Sikh community and said they were also still awaiting justice. “This is the problem in this country. Justice usually gets delayed in communal riots cases.”
The judge had also said that former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was wrongly acquitted in a disproportionate assets case.
The Lawyers Collective mourned his death and offered condolences to his family. “He was a dear friend, comrade and guide,” the group said. “He will always be remembered as a strong advocate and defender of human rights and guide to all of us. We shall miss him greatly.”