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

Tributes poured in from throughout the nation after former Lawyer Common 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 practically seven a long time, Sorabjee occupied the workplace of the Lawyer Common of India twice — first from 1989-90 after which from 1998-2004.

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

“In passing of Soli Sorabjee, we misplaced an icon of India’s authorized system. He was amongst choose few who deeply influenced the evolution of the constitutional regulation and justice system. Awarded with Padma Vibhushan, he was amongst most outstanding jurists. Condolences to his household and associates,” Kovind mentioned.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Twitter: “Shri Soli Sorabjee was an excellent lawyer and mental. By means of regulation, he was on the forefront of serving to the poor and downtrodden. He shall be remembered for his noteworthy tenures as India’s Lawyer Common. Saddened by his demise. Condolences to his household and admirers.”

The Supreme Courtroom 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 really unhappy news that human rights fighter Soli has handed away this morning. We pray for the light soul.”

Viveck Goenka, chairman of the Indian The Press Reporter Group, mentioned: “I used to be deeply grieved to listen to of Soli’s passing away. To all of those that championed the reason for constitutional rights and the liberty of the press, he was a supply of inspiration and unflinching assist. To those that had the great fortune to know him, he was the very epitome of intelligence allied to braveness, integrity and beauty. My honest condolences to his kids Hormadz, Jehangir and Zia.”

Sorabjee began his profession in 1953 on the Bombay Excessive Courtroom. 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 circumstances. Within 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.

Within the 1994 SR Bommai v Union of India case, Sorabjee argued that the proclamation of President’s rule is topic to judicial evaluate, regardless of the safety that the workplace of the Governor enjoys beneath the Structure. The Bommai case continues to be the operative regulation for scrutinising actions of Governors.

Within the Bhopal Gasoline Tragedy case, Sorabjee represented the victims, main the legal prosecution in opposition to Union Carbide. Though as Lawyer Common, he was criticised for advising the federal government to not pursue the extradition of Warren Anderson, Sorabjee had additionally refused to look for the corporate when approached despite the fact that Nani Palkhiwala, Fali Nariman, Anil Divan have been among the many stalwart legal professionals who have been on the opposite aspect of the case.

He was famend for his work on human rights globally. In 1997, he was appointed by the UN as a Particular 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 Safety and Promotion of Human Rights.

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

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

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