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L.M. Singhvi: A muti-faceted personality

Laxmi Mall Singhvi, an eminent jurist and former Indian High Commissioner to the UK, died in New Delhi on Saturday, reports Bhadra Sinha.
Hindustan Times | By Bhadra Sinha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 07, 2007 03:17 AM IST

Dr Laxmi Mall Singhvi, an eminent jurist and former Indian High Commissioner to the UK, died in New Delhi on Saturday. He was 76. Singhvi is survived by his wife, son and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi and daughter.

Dr Singhvi was a leading constitutional expert, a distinguished parliamentarian and an expert in public and private international law. Besides being a doyen of the Indian Bar, Dr Singhvi was also a poet, publicist, a linguist and a litterateur.

Born on November 9, 1931, Dr Singhvi was educated and associated with different universities in India and abroad. Hailing from Rajasthan, he went on to have a long association with the best of law colleges in USA and London. His distinction in academics and intellect won him a lot of adulation both, nationally as well as internationally.

As early as 1956, Dr Singhvi attended the International Legal Science Conference under the auspices of UNESCO in Barcelona, Spain. He was part of the delegation headed by former Chief Justice Patanjali Sastri.

Singhvi later administered several organisations including the Indian Law Institute, now a deemed University offering several specialised law courses.

Dr Singhvi’s keenness to ensure welfare for his colleagues at the bar made him fight the elections of the Supreme Court Bar Association. He was elected Association’s President on more occasions than any other leader of the Bar except late M.C. Setalvad. Besides being a leading senior advocate of the apex court, Dr Singhvi’s dedicated contribution to the Bar is unforgettable.

One of the consultants in drafting the constitutions of Bangladesh, Nepal and South Africa, Dr Singhvi’s political journey started way back in 1962 when he was elected to the third Lok Sabha as an independent member from the Jodhpur constituency.

Dr Singhvi was elected as an honorary Tagore Law Professor in 1973 in the Calcutta University. He crusaded for the ombudsman system in India and coined words like “Lokpal” and “Lokayukta” that have now become a part of the legislative vocabulary of India.

An advocate general from 1970-77, Dr Singhvi was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in January 1998.

He was appointed as the member of the UNESCO’s executive board for three years, between 2002-05.

Dr Singhvi’s contribution toward literature is also widely acclaimed.

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