Legend Anil Divan, RIPLegend Anil Divan, RIP

Senior advocate and constitutional law expert Anil B Divan passed away this morning at around 830am, aged 86, according to several posts by lawyers on social media.

Originally from Mumbai, having spent half his career at the Bombay high court, Divan went on to become one of the most respected and socially active of senior counsel at the Supreme Court, having continued arguing in many high profile matters also in recent years and having been one of the founder members of the influential Centre for Public Interest Litigation in the 1980s.

In the 1990s, he made waves as amicus in the Jain Hawala political scandal.

And Divan had been regularly instructed in the Cauvery dispute for Karnataka for decades.

More recently, had been appointed by the Supreme Court to oversee the appointment of BCCI administrators, and he made convincing key submissions in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) hearings in 2015.

He was also the co-petitioner with senior counsel Ram Jethmalani in the controversial public interest litigation (PIL) that challenged several governments to take action over black money stashed by Indians abroad.

And in 2013, he was one of the few bar leaders who had called for beginning sensible and “meaningful dialogue” on the entry of foreign law firms, while he was Bar Association of India president.

In a message to members, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) secretary Gaurav Bhatia wrote: “With profound grief I regret to inform the sad demise of Shri Anil Divan Sr Adv father of Mr Shyam Divan Sr Adv who left for heavenly abode.

“It is a great loss to the SCBA & the legal institution. The cremation will take place today at 4:30 pm at the Lodhi Crematorium New Delhi. Gaurav Bhatia Hony. Secretary.”

Advocate Rahul Rao had posted on Facebook: “My grand-senior, senior advocate Anil Divan passes away... Had the privilege of spending an evening with him, just a few days back... Razor sharp mind, a warm enveloping heart. An absolutely down to earth man although he was one India’s finest and amongst its most respected lawyers

Photo via Moneylife Foundation

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Like +0 Object -0 SC 20 Mar 17, 17:16
RIP, Sir.
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Like +2 Object -1 KalaRaja 20 Mar 17, 20:36
“His life was gentle; and the elements
So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world, THIS WAS A MAN!”
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Like +0 Object -0 Rahu Ray 21 Mar 17, 12:46
Lawyers like Mr.Divan are rare,briefing him was tough but you ended picking up some nuances pf the legal profession.Seniors like him are rare.
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Like +0 Object -0 Bunkum 21 Mar 17, 13:15
I salute this man!
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Like +0 Object -0 Legal Eagles 22 Mar 17, 19:43
Mr Anil Divan was a great legal luminary. May his soul rest in peace. He will be missed.

Another contemporary of Mr Divan was Mr RKP Shankardass, a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India who also very recently passed away. Mr Shankardass was the former President of the Bar Association of India and former President of the International Bar Association (1987-88) - the only Indian till date. Though Mr Shankardass may not have been seen in the SC courtrooms but he had the legal wisdom and personality of a wonderful lawyer and a human being. Surprisingly there has been no mention by any news agency or bar association about his demise. He received an honorary OBE in July 1996 in the UK Queen's honours list. May his soul rest in peace.
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