A retired judge of the Supreme Court Justice S. Ratnavel Pandian died here on Wednesday. He was 89.
He died due age-related problems, a family member said. His last rites are to be held on Friday here.
Pandian’s son R. Subbiah is a sitting judge of the Madras High Court.
Born on February 13, 1929, at Thiruppudaimarudhur village in Tirunelveli district, Pandian graduated from St. Xavier’s College in Palayamkottai.
He passed his law exams from Madras Law College in 1954 and was appointed as the Public Prosecutor in the Madras High Court 1972. He was elevated as a judge in 1974.
He acted as the Chief Justice of Madras High Court for a brief period in 1988.
Later that year he became a judge of the Supreme Court. He demitted office in 1994. Subsequently, he headed the Fifth Pay Commission for central government employees and was appointed the Chairman of the National Commission for Backward Classes in 2006.
Before being elevated to the High Court Bench, Pandian was General secretary of the DMK of the undivided Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu.
DMK leader M.K.Stalin in a statement said as member of the Constitution Bench, Pandian gave the historic judgement upholding the central government’s decision to provide 27 per cent reservation in jobs for backward communities.
Stalin said Pandian was instrumental in getting the National Commission for Backward Classes the status of a Constitutional body.
PMK leader S. Ramadoss in his condolence message said Pandian rose to become a judge of the apex court from being a lawyer and a office bearer in the DMK party.
Ramadoss said many a judgement delivered by Justice Pandian as a judge of Supreme Court were very important.
The PMK leader said as the head of the Fifth Pay Commission Justice Pandian sorted out the differences in the central government’s pay scales.
MDMK leader Vaiko also condoled the death of Justice Pandian.