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TR Andhyarujina, RIP: Tributes pour in from all ranks for universally loved, admired TRA

TR Andhyarujina, RIP
TR Andhyarujina, RIP

Senior counsel TR Andhyarujina passed away early yesterday morning, with his funeral having taken place yesterday afternoon.

Following shortly after the loss of senior counsel Anil Divan, just over a week ago, the legal community and beyond expressed their grief and sorrow at the death of Andhyarujina, who was not just a legal legend but also held in near universal esteem by nearly everyone he’s ever interacted with.

Ashish Chugh had written, via Facebook:

It is with profound grief and sorrow that I note that Mr TR Andhyarujina has passed away this morning. Mr Andhyarujina was certainly an eminent senior counsel and a well-known constitutional law expert but beyond that, and more importantly, he was a wonderful and gracious human being.

I was privileged that my early years at the bar were under his tutelage. His style of advocacy was a product of the fierce and fabled Bombay Bar of yore - succinct, forthright and incisive. There were a few qualities that were never in short supply in his chambers - diligence, integrity and being thoroughly prepared in a matter.

He taught all of us that there was no shortcut to success; a lawyer had to earn that through hard work and graft. For many of us, this would be the closest we could ever hope to imagine how the legal giants of the ilk of Setalvad, Daphtary and Seervai conducted themselves back in the day.

With Mr Andhyarujina’s demise, the bar has lost a truly inspirational, meticulous and astute lawyer from an era when the bar had lofty standards. And for me personally, I have lost my hero today. RIP

Manushi Desai, advocate practising in Gujarat wrote (edited for length):

I first met TRA in 2012 at my college, Campus Law Centre, Delhi University where he gave his famed lecture on judicial activism and his rendition of the Kesavnanada Bharti case.

When I next met him while wandering the Supreme Court corridors, he gave me his trademark “Helloo” greeting and asked me how I was doing. I told him I was in search of an internship and he immediately offered me a place in his chambers, such was his kindness.

And thus started my magical journey in the Supreme Court with TR Andhyarujina, one of the most distinguished gentleman at the Bar and a gem of a person.

TR Andhyarujina was born in Mumbai and later married Harvard graduate Silo Andhyarujina.

He was a brilliant scholar and entered the bar as HM Seervai’s junior, going on to working on the famous Kesavnanda Bharti case with Seervai Sir on which he later published a book.

In 1993, he became Advocate General of Maharashtra and Solicitor General of India in 1996. He was Chairman of the Committee on Banking Laws appointed by the Government of India in 1998.

Later on he was senior advocate in several high profile cases including the Krishna Water dispute case, Yakub Memon’s death row case and the Novartis- Cipla trademark case.

As an intern, I had the privilege of working on such cases and attending conferences, tribunals, and what struck me was that he always treated everyone with utmost politeness especially in his trademark Bombay style of speaking Hindi.

I regret not being able to spend more time in his Chambers under his pupillage but as memories flash today: of him showing his library, or advising me on books to read or asking my opinion on SLPs, my only wish is that I had a photo with him, my Godfather.

Twitter too saw an outpouring of memories and recognition.

Journalist Rajdeep Sardesai tweeted:

Last week: Anil Diwan, today Tehemtan Andhyarujina: both giants of the courtroom have left us. Gentlemen jurists. RIP

— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) Tue, 28 Mar 2017, 21:42

And lawyer Rudrajyoti Nath Ray tweeted:

RIP Mr T R Andhyarujina Sr. I will remember you for this brilliant book. Changed my way of thinking. https://t.co/U93l5uVKic

— Rudrajyoti Nath Ray (@Rudespot) Tue, 28 Mar 2017, 12:03

Chandru tweeted:

Temthan Andhyarujina one of India’s finest lawyers passes away, we will never get people like him.

— Chandru (@ChandrusWeb) Tue, 28 Mar 2017, 10:31

Even retired Justice Markandey Katju, had only great things to say about TRA (in 2016, when he was still alive):

I regard Mr. T.R. Andhyarujina the most erudite lawyer in the country today. https://t.co/wVFic31sO9

— Markandey Katju (@mkatju) Sun, 26 Jun 2016, 13:50

At his funeral in Mumbai yesterday, senior counsel Iqbal Chagla said, according to the Times of India: “It is a very sad day today when we lost another giant in the profession. Just few days ago, we lost Anil Diwan. Andhyarujina was one of the most respected lawyers, came from a great chamber and went on to achieve great heights as AG and then solicitor general, we feel a great sense of loss.”

Photo via Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, with whom Adhyarujina spoke about the iconic Kesavananda Bharati case, which can be viewed here.

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