Former SC judge P B Sawant dies in Pune

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(Eds: Adding background) Pune, Feb 15 (PTI) Former Supreme Court judge P B Sawant died due to cardiac arrest at his residence here in Maharashtra on Monday morning, family sources said.

He was 90.

Justice Sawant was one of the co-conveners of the Elgar Parishad conclave held on December 31, 2017 in Pune.

He was also part of a panel that conducted an investigation into the 2002 Gujarat riots.

Justice Sawant had also served as chairman of the Press Council of India.

He died at his residence here around 9.30 am on Monday following cardiac arrest, his daughter Sujata Mane said.

His last rites will be performed on Tuesday.

Justice Sawant is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

Born on June 30, 1930, Justice Sawant enrolled as an advocate in 1957.

In 1973, he was appointed as an additional judge of the Bombay High Court.

In 1989, Justice Sawant was appointed judge of the Supreme Court. He retired in 1995, but remained active in public life.

As a judge of the Supreme Court, Sawant had conducted an inquiry into the Air India plane crash at the Bombay airport in 1982.

Justice Sawant (retd) was one of the members of the Indian People's Tribunal, a fact-finding team headed by Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, to investigate the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

In 2003, he headed a commission to investigate the graft charges levelled by Anna Hazare against four ministers - Suresh Jain, Nawab Malik, Vijaykumar Gavit and Padamsinh Patil- of the then Maharashtra government.

Justice Sawant's report had indicted Malik, Patil and Jain, following which they resigned from the state cabinet.