Justice Sachar fought to preserve India's secular fabric: Soli Sarbjee in late judge's autobiography

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New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) Late Justice Rajindar Sachar, most remembered for the Sachar Committee report of 2006 which documented the social and economic condition of Muslims in India, fought to preserve the secular fabric of the country till his demise, jurist Soli Sorabjee notes in the former's autobiography.

Sorabjee makes the remark is the Foreward to Sachar's “In Pursuit of Justice: An Autobiography”, which was launched posthumously on Tuesday by Sachar's family in association with The Indian Society of International Law and The Indian Law Institute in a virtual event, marking his birth anniversary.

The launch followed a discussion on “Personal Freedom and Judiciary” with panelists including Justice (retired) Madan B Lokur, senior lawyers Mukul Rohatgi and Kapil Sibal and social activist Medha Patkar.

“After retirement, Sachar headed the People's Union for Civil Liberties for many years. The reason Justice Rajindar Sachar is most remembered is the Sachar Committee report (2006) which documented the social and economic condition of Muslims in India,” Sorabjee notes in the book.

“The Report evoked both praise and criticism, with some irrational elements advocating that he be sent to Pakistan. However, his fight to preserve the secular fabric of India continued till the day he passed away. It is heartening that Sachar's autobiography comes at a crucial time when India's democracy is under strain from within,” he states.

According to his family, Sachar had started writing his autobiography many years ago and at the time he passed away in 2018, the book comprised handwritten notes and some recorded interviews.

“The interviews were then transcribed by Justice Sachar's personal secretary Niranjan Kaushik with utmost sincerity and dedication. Thereafter, the family then entrusted the task of editing the manuscript to independent journalist and writer Chitra Padmanabhan and she then spent many months in giving the manuscript its current form and shape. We're grateful to both of them,” the family says in the book.

The book has been published by Rupa Publications.

Born in 1923 in an influential family in Lahore, Sachar witnessed the pain of Partition in 1947 and eventually went on become a judge in the Delhi High Court in 1970.

“After retirement, he championed the cause of human rights and civil liberties. He appeared and successfully argued several important cases for PUCL, like the mandatory declaration of assets/criminal antecedents of MPs and MLAs, 'None of the Above' (NOTA) option for voters in elections, domicile requirement in Rajya Sabha, and telephone tapping, among others,” according to the publisher. PTI KIS RDM RDM