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Former Attorney General and eminent jurist Soli Jehangir Sorabjee passed away on Friday due to COVID-19-related complications. He was 91.

The senior advocate was being treated at a private hospital in South Delhi after getting infected with COVID-19.

The Supreme Court paid homage to the noted jurist. Just prior to the beginning of the day’s court proceedings, a bench of Chief Justice NV Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and AS Bopanna said via video conference: “It a very sad news that human rights fighter Soli has passed away this morning. We pray for the gentle soul”.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh condoled the demise of Soli Sorabjee, calling him “an exceptional legal mind and a great scholar” of the Indian Constitution.

“Deeply pained by the demise of India’s former Attorney General and veteran jurist, Shri Soli Sorabjee,” tweeted Singh.

“He was an exceptional legal mind and a great scholar of our constitution. His services to the nation will always be remembered. My heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family,” he added.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Smriti Irani tweeted: “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.”

In March 2002, the constitutional law expert was honoured with Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award, for his efforts towards defending the freedom of expression and the protection of human rights.

Born in 1930 in Bombay, Sorabjee started his legal practice in 1953 in the Bombay High Court. He became the attorney general of India first from 1989-90 and later from 1998-2004.

A renowned human rights lawyer, Sorabjee was appointed by the UN as a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria, in 1997. Later, he became a member and then chairman of the UN-Sub Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, from 1998 to 2004.