Soli Sorabjee, Former Attorney General, Dies Of COVID-19 [30.4.2021]

New Delhi: 

Former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, one of India's finest legal minds, died of Covid this morning. He was 91.

A senior lawyer and Padma Vibhushan recipient, Soli Sorabjee was being treated at a private hospital in Delhi.

Chief Justice of India NV Ramanna was among those who paid tribute to Soli Sorabjee. " Sad news. One of our legal luminaries and human rights activists, Soli Sorabjee, passed away. May his soul rest in peace," the Chief Justice said.

Soli Jehangir Sorabjee was born in Mumbai in 1930.

He showed early promise as a student at the prestigious Government Law College in Mumbai, the alma mater of BR Ambedkar, the architect of the constitution. Mr Sorabjee won a gold medal in Roman law and jurisprudence.

He started his law practice in 1953 with the Bombay High Court. In 1971, he was designated senior counsel by the Supreme Court.

The legal titan was involved in many landmark Supreme Court cases and argued for free speech and press freedom, limiting the police power of the state and a vibrant democracy protected from overreach by Prime Ministers and Governors.

As a junior to the iconic Nani Palkivala, a giant of constitutional law, Mr Sorabjee was involved in the Kesavananda Bharti case that sought to protect the basic structure of the Constitution. He was also a part of the Bommai judgement, which cracked down on the misuse of Article 356 by the centre to dismiss state governments.

During the Emergency of 1975 imposed by Indira Gandhi's Congress government, Mr Sorabjee emerged as a fierce defender of human rights and media freedoms.

Mr Sorabjee became Attorney General first in 1989 and then from 1998 to 2004.

01 May 2021