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Justice Packiaraj passes away

By A. Subramani


CHENNAI, JUNE 3. Justice A. Packiaraj, who described his elevation to the Madras High Court in March 2001 as `second baptism,' passed away today after brief illness. He is 58, and is survived by his wife and daughter.

Known for his mild manners and in-depth knowledge of criminal law, he had held several important positions and was prosecutor for various government agencies, including the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate, before his appointment as a judge.

Born into an agricultural family in Tiruchi on September 28, 1946, Mr. Justice Packiaraj studied at the Campion School, St. Joseph's College and the Jamal Mohamed College, all in his native place before joining the Madras Law College. An accomplished sportsman, he represented his college in hockey, football, volleyball and athletics.

He was enrolled as an advocate in April 1970.

He was a junior to the criminal lawyer, N.T. Vanamamalai.

He was appointed judge of the Madras High Court on March 7, 2001. Mr. Justice Packiaraj was handling criminal revision portfolio when the High Court closed for its annual summer vacation.

CM's condolence

The Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, condoled the death of Justice Packiaraj saying, "in his untimely passing away, the judiciary has lost an able judge and Tamil Nadu a public figure. His sound knowledge of law earned him the admiration of the legal fraternity and his mild manners endeared him to one and all."

In deference to his wish, Mr. Justice Packiaraj, a Catholic Christian, would be cremated at the Besant Nagar crematorium on Friday at 3 p.m.

With his death, the number of Judges in the Madras High Court has come down to 30, as against the sanctioned strength of 42.

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