TRIBUTE TO P .N. BHAGWATI

Retired Chief Justice of India & Ex. President, Somaiya Vidyavihar
P.N. BHAGWATI Retired Chief Justice of India

Awards & Achievements


He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his service to society.

He was awarded the Bharat Gaurav award.

He was also awarded Vijaya Ratna and The National Citizen Award.

TRIBUTE TO

P .N. BHAGWATI

Life & Work

Shri P. N. Bhagwati, [Retired Chief Justice of India], Ex. President of Somaiya Vidyavihar was associated with Somaiya Vidyavihar for more than 25 years. Under his able leadership Somaiya Vidyavihar has grown and blossomed. In the year 2013 due to his old age he tendered his resignation and requested Somaiya Vidyavihar to relieve him from all the obligations as a President, Somaiya Vidyavihar.

Career Highlights of Late Shri P. N. Bhagwati

Honourable Justice Padma Vibhushan Sri Prafulla Chandra Natwarlal Bhagwati was born on December 21, 1921. Secured 2 nd position in Matriculation in Bombay, graduated in Maths (Hons.) in 1 st class from Elphinstone College, Bombay in 1941, appointed a fellow of the same college doing M.A. in Maths. Justice Bhagwati had graduated in law from Government Law College, Bombay and started his practice in Bombay High Court. He had participated in the Freedom movement and courted arrest in 1942 and had gone underground for four months.

He was enrolled as an Advocate of the High Court at Bombay on February 24, 1948 and practiced commercial company and constitutional cases while at the Bar before the High Courts and the Supreme Court of India from 1948 to 1960.

He became a judge of the Gujarat High Court on 21 st July 1960 and served as the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court from 16 th September 1967 to 16 th July 1973, later became the Judge of Supreme Court of India in 1973 and elevated as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India in 1985. After serving as Chief Justice with his creative intellectual writings, especially on constitutional law, he was retired on 31 st December 1986. As Chief Justice of India, his landmark contribution was the introduction of the concept of “Public Interest Litigation” which has now become an integral part of judicial administration.

Human Rights Work

He has been a much invited keynote speaker at conferences around the world on Human Rights like, International Appellate Judges Conference held in Malaysia in 1987, the African Chief Justices Conference held in the 1986 and also 1988: the Australian Legal Convention in Perth in 1987: The Commonwealth Secretariat have also drawn on him to organize Judicial Colloquia on the Domestic Application of International Human Rights Norms, which have drawn considerable attention and led to significant follow through from Judges around the world.

His contributions to Human Rights, Legal Aid and Law for the poor have also been recognized through his election as President of the World Congress on Human (1989). He spent a one-week at the Columbia University as the Samuel Reuben Fellow at the Columbia Law School and delivered Samuel Reuben Lecture on Judicial Activism and Public Interest Litigation. He has helped the Columbia Law School place a number of Human Rights Fellows in India in the past few years. Besides, he prepared and submitted to the Government of India a Draft Refugees and Asylum Seekers Protection Act, 2000.

Services Around The World

His services have been utilised by several countries, including Mongolia, Cambodia, Nepal, Ethiopia, and South Africa in framing their constitutions particularly the chapters on human rights. He was a member of the Goldstone Commission of inquiry in South Africa. He was also involved in finalising the draft manual for training the Judges in human rights prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human rights.

His appointment as member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, Hague was a feather in his cap. He was the first Indian to be appointed member of Human Rights committee of the U.N. in Sep. 1994 for four years. The first meeting of the Committee held in New York in March 1995; he was elected Vice-Chairman. He has been heading the International Group of Eminent Person for observing peace process in Sri Lanka as its Chairman.

OUR guiding
Light
Dr. S. K. Somaiya

Our guiding light that shone the brightest in all the areas he had tread from the fields of commercial science to the sphere of divine spirituality

Work & Contribution

Dr. Somaiya did much in the field of sugarcane research, sugar manufacture and ethanol, and ethanol based chemistry. His contribution to the company was the identification of the site for sugar production in Karnataka, at Sameerwadi, in the late 1960s. At the time, there was very little cane grown there. He founded the K. J. Somaiya Institute of Applied Agriculture Research (KIAAR), and taught the farmers of the area how to grow cane. Today, North Karnataka, is among the best cane growing areas of India.

He also visualized that Sameerwadi should be capable of crushing 10,000 tons per day, in a time when average mill sizes were 1,500. Even today, India has only a handful of Mills (Sameerwadi one of them), that have capacities exceeding 10,000 tons per day.

Dr. Somaiya was awarded a honorary Ph. D. by The University of Agriculture Science at Dharwad, for his outstanding Contribution to the growth of prosperity in the area.

Dr. Somaiya also pioneered the production of ethanol from molasses in the 1950s, in a time when molasses was a waste disposal problem. In the early 1960s, he pioneered the use of ethanol as a feedstock for industrial chemicals. It is only now, in the face of rising energy and petrochemical costs, that the world is revisiting the use of renewable chemistry.

He was also a believer in the power of the sugar industry,
To bring about social as well as financial prosperity

He continuously tried to create new social programs to benefit the rural population. His last program, ‘Ankur’, was to try and eradicate blindness caused by the deficiency of Vitamin A in the diet. This he tried to do by establishing a partnership between the National Association for the Blind (NAB), and various sugar mills.

He led the Somaiya Trust and was the Vice President of Somaiya Vidyavihar. He presided over very rapid asset creation at Vidyavihar, and also conceptualized the Sanskritivihar. These institutions would teach courses on Indian philosophy, religion, and bring values into the curriculum.

He conceptualized the Sanskritivihar, which comprises of
  • The K. J. Somaiya Bharatiya Sanskriti Peetham
  • K. J. Somaiya Institute of Buddhist Studies
  • K. J. Somaiya Jain Centre
Through these institutions,
He brought people of diverse backgrounds together.

He organized programs on inter religious dialogue with the Vatican, and was invited by the President of Kazakhstan for discussions on the Islamic religion.

Dr. Somaiya passed away on the 1st of January, in Melbourne Australia, where he had gone to deliver a speech at the Parliament of Religions.

He was a worthy successor to the tradition set by our founder, and also set a new and expanded course, for both, Godavari, and the Somaiya Trust.

He has left behind a wonderful vision of an integrated development, whether in business, education religion, or philosophy. One that engages, rather than divides, and encompasses all, reflecting the true spirit of our heritage and tradition.

An all-round education must integrate Indian culture, values and morality into the curriculum.

Padma bhushan K. J. Somaiya

Founder of The Somaiya Trust

Awards & Achievements




  • Awarded a honorary Ph. D. by the University of Agriculture Science at Dharwad, for his outstanding contribution to the growth of prosperity in the area.
  • He soon came to be known as the Sugar King of India.
  • He was the President of the Deccan Sugar Factories Association, the President of the Deccan Sugar Technologists Association.
  • Karamshibhai laid the foundation for Somaiya Vidhyavihar in 1959.
  • He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his service to society in 2000.

An all-round education must integrate Indian culture, values and morality into the curriculum.

Smt. Sarkarben K. Somaiya

Founder of The Somaiya Trust

Awards & Achievements


In the 1939 Shri K.J. Somaiya launched 2 sugar factories – in Sakarwadi and in Lakshmiwadi to mark the launch of his own sugar business.

He soon came to be known as the Sugar King of India.

He was the President of the Deccan Sugar Factories Association, the President of the Deccan Sugar Technologists Association.

Karamshibhai laid the foundation for Somaiya Vidhyavihar in 1959.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his service to society in 2000.

About Our
Founder
Smt. Sakarben K. Somaiya

Whatever you do in word or in deed, do all the Name of Lord, Giving Thanks to Him

Early Life & Education

It's no small achievement to distinguish oneself in such diverse fields as commerce, education, and philanthropy. Pujya Shriman Karamshibhai Jethabhai Somaiya, born on May 16 1902 in the remote village of Malunjar in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra, India, was however, a blessed person by dint of hard work and singular devotion to service.

Born to humble beginnings he rose to become one of the doyens of the industry in Western India. The young Karamshi, after completing school at the New High School in Mumbai (now the Bharda School) went back to his hometown in Ahmednagar embarking on a career of tireless work marked by singular devotion to whatever he did.

Karamshi’s young, fresh mind was moulded by Gandhiji's ideas of
'Swadeshi' and 'Satyagraha'
Business Career

Young Karamshibhai Somaiya began his career by engaging in his father's small grocery business and then went on to become a partner in a leading sugar trading firm in the area while continuing to nurture his dream of contributing to the creation of a resurgent India – a vision painted by Mahatma Gandhi and Swami Vivekananda.

In the 1939 Shri K.J. Somaiya launched 2 sugar factories – in Sakarwadi and in Lakshmiwadi to mark the launch of his own sugar business. He soon came to be known as the Sugar King of India.

At the age of 60 he relinquished the leadership of his economic enterprise to his son Dr. Shantilal Somaiya, and fully immersed himself in social service. No sketch of Shri K.J. Somaiya can be complete without mentioning his philanthropy. You can read more about it under the Outreach section of this website.

He was committed to the ideal
"what you receive from society give back multifold"
Morals & Beliefs
न मानुषात् परो धर्म:।
There is no religion greater than Man

Shri K.J. Somaiya was warm and endearing. Stately in appearance, immaculately dressed, generally in spotless white hand spun khadi, he exuded a picture of resourcefulness and restraint. He was compassionate and reached out to those in suffering. In all he did, Karamshibhai brought a sense of love and humanism, qualities imbibed in his early youth from the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He believed in the ancient Sanskrit saying (na manushit paro dharmah). "There is no religion greater than Man". Karamshibhai's life exemplified this lofty principle through practice.

Shri Karamshibhai Somaiya passed away on May 9, 1999, a week before his 97th birthday. Somaiya Vidyavihar is the living legacy he has left behind, a standing monument to his sagacity, perseverance and foresight..