Soli Sorabjee was true legal and constitutional philosopher: CJI U U Lalit

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) U U Lalit on Monday said late jurist Soli Sorabjee was a true legal and constitutional philosopher as well as a social engineer.

Speaking at the release of a book titled “Soli Sorabjee – A Great Maestro”, the CJI said he worked as a junior lawyer in Sorabji’s chambers for about five-and-a-half years and every case that the renowned jurist argued set an example for his juniors.

“All his cases bring goosebumps to me. These cases were milestones in my career. I have spent five-and-a-half years with this legendary man, who was a true legal and constitutional philosopher, a social engineer. Whenever an opportunity came by, he never lost it and utilised the most of it,” the CJI said.

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Justice D Y Chandrachud also spoke on the occasion and said Sorabjee brought a joyous zest of human experience to the solemnity of law.

“It is said that the fields of mimicry, jazz music suffered a great loss when Sorabjee decided to join law,” Justice Chandrachud said.

Sorabji’s voice was an important one in the constitutionalisation of Indian administrative law, he added.

“It is a widely reported perception that judgments are a product of the craftsmanship of the judges who author them and they are the sole torch-bearers of creating a just constitutional order.

“The role of lawyers in creating a just socio-political order is often focused on their contribution outside courts through their social and political movements. Due regard and appreciation is not given to lawyers, who build the jurisprudence through their submissions in the courts,” Justice Chandrachud said.

During his long and illustrious career, Sorabjee donned many roles and robes, Justice Chandrachud said, adding that he was an excellent jurist and a defender of human rights.

“But the story would remain incomplete without a preview into Sorabjee’s role as an extraordinary mentor who trained many of us at the bar and bench. We not only honed our legal craft at his chambers, but also learnt by example that our fidelity to the Constitution must not be compromised,” he said.

“Soli Sorabjee – A Great Maestro” has been written by lawyer V Sudhish Pai.

Former chief justice of India M N Venkatachaliah, Attorney General R Venkataramani, former attorney general K K Venugopal and senior advocate Fali S Nariman also spoke on the occasion.

Sorabjee had served as the attorney general from 1989 to 1990 and then, from 1998 to 2004. He died on April 30, 2021 at the age of 91.

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