Legal luminary Soli Sorabjee dies due to COVID-19


New Delhi: Eminent lawyer and former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, who appeared in several landmark cases such as Kesavananda Bharti and SR Bommai, died of COVID-19 at a hospital here on Friday.

The 91-year-old man is survived by his wife, a daughter and two sons.

Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the country’s second highest civilian honor, the renowned human rights lawyer served as India’s Attorney General from 1989 to 1990, and then from 1998 to 2004 during the terms of Vice President Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpayee respectively.

President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among a crowd of leaders who expressed their condolences on the death of the eminent jurist.

The Prime Minister described him as an exceptional lawyer who was at the forefront of helping the poor and the oppressed through the law.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana also expressed his condolences for Sorabjee’s disappearance.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Shri Soli Jehangir Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India. During his nearly 68-year association with the judiciary, he has made an immeasurable contribution to the enrichment of global human and fundamental rights jurisprudence, ”he said.

Considered one of the best experts in constitutional law, Sorabjee has written several books on law and justice, press censorship and urgency, and has vehemently fought violations of human and fundamental rights.

One of his recent legal battles over fundamental rights violations has been the Shreya singhal case in which the Supreme Court in 2015 accepted its arguments and overturned a provision of the Information Technology Act relating to restrictions on freedom of speech and expression online.

The Supreme Court ruled that section 66A was unconstitutional because it violated constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression, a point made by Sorabjee.

Considered close to Vajpayee, Sorabjee led India’s fight before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) when Pakistan demanded compensation from India for downing its Atlantic naval patrol plane in 1999 just after the war. by Kargil.

The ICJ at The Hague ruled in favor of India after taking note of Sorabjee’s comments and dismissed Pakistan’s claim for compensation, saying it had no jurisdiction in the matter.

He also appeared and worked for the Citizen’s Justice Committee which represented the victims of the anti-Sikh massacre.

Born into a Parsi family in 1930, Sorabjee was admitted to the bar in 1953 and was appointed senior counsel by the Bombay District Court in 1971.

Sorabjee has appeared in many important cases, including the Kesavananda Bharati question on the doctrine of structure SR Bommai question relating to the invocation of presidential power in the States, among others.

He was appointed by the United Nations as Special Rapporteur for Nigeria in 1997 to report on the human rights situation in that country, then he became a member and chairman of the United Nations Subcommittee on the promotion and protection of human rights, from 1998. to 2004.

Sorabjee was also a member of the United Nations Sub-Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and the Protection of Minorities since 1998.

He was also a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague from 2000 to 2006.

Sorabjee, who was known for his reluctance to file PILs, was so overwhelmed by the terrorist attack in Mumbai in 2008 that he proceeded to file one in the superior court, seeking instructions to train and equip police to fight against terrorists.

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