‘An icon of India’s authorized system’: Tributes pour in for Soli Sorabjee

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Tributes poured in from throughout the nation after former Attorney General of India and famend jurist Soli Sorabjee died in a non-public hospital in New Delhi on Friday morning. The 91-year-old was present process therapy after contracting Covid-19.

Serving as a authorized skilled for nearly seven a long time, Sorabjee occupied the workplace of the Attorney General of India twice — first from 1989-90 after which from 1998-2004.

President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been amongst these to pay tribute.

“In passing of Soli Sorabjee, we lost an icon of India’s legal system. He was among select few who deeply influenced the evolution of the constitutional law and justice system. Awarded with Padma Vibhushan, he was among most eminent jurists. Condolences to his family and associates,” Kovind mentioned.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “Shri Soli Sorabjee was an outstanding lawyer and intellectual. Through law, he was at the forefront of helping the poor and downtrodden. He will be remembered for his noteworthy tenures as India’s Attorney General. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his family and admirers.”

The Supreme Court additionally paid homage to Sorabjee. A bench of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna, simply earlier than the beginning of the day’s court docket proceedings by way of video convention, mentioned, “It’s a very sad news that human rights fighter Soli has passed away this morning. We pray for the gentle soul.”

Viveck Goenka, chairman of the Indian Express Group, mentioned: “I was deeply grieved to hear of Soli’s passing away. To all of those who championed the cause of constitutional rights and the freedom of the press, he was a source of inspiration and unflinching support. To those who had the good fortune to know him, he was the very epitome of intelligence allied to courage, integrity and grace. My sincere condolences to his children Hormadz, Jehangir and Zia.”

Sorabjee began his profession in 1953 on the Bombay High Court. He famously assisted Nani Palkhivala within the landmark Keshavananda Bharati case. In 1971, Sorabjee was designated a senior advocate. In 2002, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

In his lengthy innings on the Bar, Sorabjee appeared in a number of civil liberties instances. In the 1978 landmark ruling in Maneka Gandhi v Union of India — referred to as the passport impounding case — Sorabjee, regardless of showing for the federal government, defended the petitioner’s proper to be heard. The court docket on this case held that due course of is substantive and never merely procedural with regards to private liberty.

In the 1994 SR Bommai v Union of India case, Sorabjee argued that the proclamation of President’s rule is topic to judicial assessment, regardless of the safety that the workplace of the Governor enjoys underneath the Constitution. The Bommai case continues to be the operative legislation for scrutinising actions of Governors.

In the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case, Sorabjee represented the victims, main the legal prosecution towards Union Carbide. Although as Attorney General, he was criticised for advising the federal government to not pursue the extradition of Warren Anderson, Sorabjee had additionally refused to seem for the corporate when approached although Nani Palkhiwala, Fali Nariman, Anil Divan had been among the many stalwart legal professionals who had been on the opposite facet of the case.

He was famend for his work on human rights globally. In 1997, he was appointed by the UN as a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria to report on the human rights situations within the nation.

From 1998-2004, he was additionally the chairman of the UN sub-committee on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights.

In court docket, Sorabjee was identified for his fast wit and perceptive fashion of argument. He was additionally a jazz fanatic.

Sorabjee is survived by his spouse Zena Sorabjee and three kids.