OBIT: Soli Sorabjee By Sarosh Zaiwalla

SAROSH ZAIWALLA: We have lost a kind noble Soul who has left for his heavenly abode today. In his passing my firm and I have lost a well-wisher, supporter and a friend

Soli Sorabjee, former Attorney General of India, passed away today. He was victim of the current Covid surge in India. I had known Soli since my childhood days in Mumbai. Soli was a unique personality.

Some six or so years ago my firm had instructed him to give evidence on Indian Law on behalf of our client PEC Ltd, an Indian government-owned company based in Delhi, in a case before the English court. PEC Ltd vs Asia Golden Rice involved a challenge to a GAFTA Appeal Board arbitration Award. The case was listed for a three-day hearing in the English High Court before Hon Mr Justice Walker. Soli was going to travel to London for the hearing.

Two days before the hearing my firm got a message from the High Court that Mr Justice Walker had decided to step down as the judge for the hearing on noticing that Mr Sorabjee was going to be an expert witness because he had heard Soli’s presentation at an International law conference in Australia and he was so very impressed by Mr Sorabjee’s truthfulness and integrity that it would not be fair to the other party for him to sit as a judge in the case. Such was Soli’s reputation for truthfulness and integrity.

My last meeting with Soli was in January 2020 when on very short notice he attended the book launch of my memoir in Delhi in a wheelchair. This was another example of Soli’s kind nature. We have lost a kind noble Soul who has left for his heavenly abode today. In his passing my firm and I have lost a well-wisher, supporter and a friend. My sincere condolences to his wife Zeena and other members of his family.