After Former Attorney General and legal luminary Soli Sorabjee passed away at the age of 91 on Friday, Senior Advocate Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi spoke exclusively to Republic Media Network and shared fond remembrances and a lot more about the veteran jurist. Dr Singhvi remarked on his interests and talents, proclaiming that the field and art of drama and mimicry had a great loss when Soli Sorabjee decided to join law, and the same stands true for Jazz music. "In each, he could have excelled had he come a professional, " the senior advocate added.
Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "He was a master of many areas of law and practised in them. I've worked with him and appeared against him over the years. Two areas where his eyes would light up are public issues and media-related issues."
Stating that he must commend Soli Sorabjee that his chamber has produced very eminent juniors, which is a mark of a good senior, Dr Singhvi while speaking to Republic revealed that he too had wanted to join Soli Sorabjee's chambers but wasn't able to as it was already overcrowded. Informing that another of the former Attorney General's passions was books, Dr Singhvi said that he as a neighbour spent many moments in Soli's 'den'. There were many books, the senior advocate added, going on to reveal how serious Sorabjee had been about his books via anecdotes.
Dr Abhishek Singhvi also spoke about a complaint he had, which also related to books. "I told him many times 'you've been meaning to write a public law book, it won't happen till you get down to it.' I don't know if he did, but it now won't be published in his lifetime. I also told him to write his memoirs."
The field and art of drama and mimicry had a great loss when Soli joined law, just as the field of Jazz music. In each he could have excelled had he become a professional: Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi remembers Soli Sorabjee https://t.co/RZHKU3wOei pic.twitter.com/WSxnFMurdJ— Republic (@republic) April 30, 2021
Veteran lawyer and former Attorney-General of India Soli Sorabjee passed away on Friday morning aged 91. He was admitted to a private hospital in Delhi after contracting COVID-19. Sorabjee, a Padma Vibhushan recipient, began his legal practice in 1953 at the Bombay High Court and was designated senior advocate by the Supreme Court in 1971. He became the Attorney General of India first from 1989-90 and then from 1998-2004.
A renowned human rights lawyer, Soli Sorabjee was appointed by the United Nations as a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria in 1997 to report on the human rights situation in that country. He went on to become a member and chairman of the UN Sub Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights from 1998 to 2004.
The veteran jurist was a strong advocate of freedom of speech and had defended freedom of the press in many landmark cases in the Supreme Court. Sorabjee also played an instrumental role in revoking censorship orders and bans on publications. His publications on this subject include The Laws of Press Censorship in India (1976); The Emergency, Censorship and the Press in India, 1975-77.
In March 2002, Sorabjee was honoured with the second-highest civilian award in India for his defence of freedom of speech and the protection of human rights. Notably, Soli Sorabjee had termed the Centre's decision to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir as unwise. “I don’t think there is anything revolutionary here. It’s a political decision, even though it is not a wise decision,” he had said.