Eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee passed away yesterday of covid. My respect and tributes to the great man.

I always like to narrate an anecdote about him. He defended me and my colleagues Ms. Amiya Rao and Tejender Singh Ahuja in the Supreme Court. Our anticipatory bail applications in the matter of sedition for writing the joint CFD Report on Operation Bluestar, having been dismissed both at the district and High Court levels, we were before the Supreme Court for the same. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Soli was arguing our case. The bench before which we were appearing, consisted of Justices Balakrishna Eradi and V. D. Tulzapurkar. On the third hearing, Soli came up to me and said , “Ghose, if you and Tejender withdraw, the bench is agreeable to grant anticipatory bail to Amiya Rao.” Without thinking even for a second, I said “Yes” and thats how Amiyadi got bail and our anticipatory bail applications were dismissed as withdrawn. That we were arrested later and set free by a district court , when Shanti Bhushan appeared for us, is another story. That is not part of the anecdote.

The anecdote is about how Soli used to remember me. Not by my name. Whenever I had the good fortune of meeting Soli in the Supreme Court and wishing him, Soli would look at me, run his fingers through his hair and ask, “Eradi and Tulzapurkar ?”. Thats how , Soli used to remember me. Respected Soli, may his soul rest in peace.

Aurobindo Ghose, Human rights lawyer. Can be reached at g_aurobindo@yahoo.com


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