Former Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee passes away at 91

NEW DELHI: Former Attorney General (AG), Padma awardee and one of the topmost lawyers in the country, Soli J Sorabjee passed away on Friday at the age of 91, due to COVID-19. Soli and his wife had tested COVID-19 positive, some days back. His wife is in the process of recovering from the disease. However, Soli, unfortunately, succumbed to the disease.

Soli was born on March 9, 1930, to a Parsi family and was a champion of freedom of speech and expression. Soli, who served as the AG from 1989-90 and then from 1998-2004, is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter.

Soli had been honoured with the Padma Vibhushan award, for his immense contribution towards the defence of the freedom of speech and expression and the protection of human rights. He had held several offices in organisations of national and international repute.

The gentle giant Soli Sorabjee passed away this morning. Always ready to lend a helping hand Soli Sir leaves behind countless admirers & many memories. My condolences to the family in this hour of grief.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) April 30, 2021

In a condolence message to the family members of Soli and his well-wishers, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana, offered his last respect and said, “My deepest respect to the departed soul. Condolences to the family, friends, and fans.”

“Soli J Sorabjee served the office of Attorney General of India twice with great distinction. His humane and compassionate approach defined his legal work. His body of work, spread over nearly seven decades, in defending fundamental rights and human rights is of international repute. He will be remembered as a legend who added strength to the pillars of democracy,” CJI Ramana said.

The present Attorney General (AG) KK Venugopal, speaking to ANI, said that he was one of the finest lawyers and a champion of freedom of speech and expression. “He was a man of great ideas and a believer and a champion of freedom of speech and expression,” Venugopal said.

Venugopal stated that he knew Soli since 1979, as he remembers his association with him. “I know Soli ji since 1979. He was one of the best in the legal field and will always be remembered as a great visionary in the legal field. This is a huge loss to the legal field,” Venugopal told ANI.

Former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and senior Supreme Court lawyer, Vishwajeet Bhattacharjee remembered him as a great visionary and a man of “great ideas and thoughts”. “He had great ideas and thoughts. He was purely a person who had immense knowledge of law and the judiciary. A great talented man, we have lost today,” he told ANI.

Bhattacharjee said that Soli was a person and believer of free speech and freedom of speech. He will always be remembered as a great lawyer whose arguments, no one can even think of.

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President and former Additional Solicitor General (ASG) and senior Supreme Court lawyer, Vikas Singh, said that we have today lost a great lawyer and a legend of the legal fraternity. “We have lost a legend in the legal field and a man with great vision. His immense contribution to the legal field will always be an inspiration for generations to come,” Vikas Singh added.