Punjabi University has bestowed an award of honour on Hira Lall Sibal, the noted lawyer of Supreme Court of India.
The award was given to the 98-year-old luminary in recognition of his "invaluable services in championing the cause of jurisprudence in general, and in defending the dignified and distinguished literary stature of the legendry Urdu writer Saadat Hassan Manto in particular".
Vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh presented the award at Sibal's residence in Chandigarh on Friday evening along with a memento, a plaque and a miniature painting.
Speaking on the occasion, Singh announced that the university would institute a 'Sibal-Manto' award. He said, "The award will commemorate the unparalleled example of a noted lawyer going out of the way to help an illustrious author, who was far ahead of his times and did not deter from exposing inhuman treatment to women and helping the riot victims during partition."
He also said that Sibal's precious memoirs would be recorded for the Oral History Cell of the university. "It would be a gesture to preserve his extraordinary experiences, which otherwise would be lost in the oblivion."
Brother of the union minister, Kapil Sibal, Hira Lall in his memoirs relates to the dark days preceding the partition of India when he was appointed to lead the team of Indian lawyers to safeguard the life and liberty of the victims of partition riots.
A former advocate general of Punjab and Haryana high courts, Sibal has also worked for the development of cultural relations between India and the erstwhile Soviet Union. He has also been honoured with many titles including Padma Bhushan, Punjab Rattan and Living Legends of Law.
The noted journalist Gulzar Sandhu, director of the World Punjabi Centre, Deepal Manmohan Singh, and family members of Sibal were also present at the function.