The former chief justice who led the charge to make tough new laws to protect women in India has died. Jagdish Sharan Verma was 80.

The hospital where he was being treated said he died of multi-organ failure Monday.

Verma was known as the conscience-keeper of the Indian judiciary. The government called on him repeatedly after he retired in 1998. He headed India's panel on human rights and was the first head of a national broadcasting standards authority.

His landmark service came early this year when he headed a government panel to examine the criminal justice system's treatment of violence against women. The panel was created after a fatal gang rape in New Delhi late last year.

Many of the panel's recommendations swiftly became law.