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The award will be announced every year on March 9, the birth anniversary of Sorabji. The award will consist of a scholarship along with a prize medal.
Soli Sorabji was an advocate of freedom of speech and expression, and he defended the right to freedom of speech and expression in several landmark cases including the Kesavananda Bharati and SR Bommai cases in the Supreme Court of India. For Sorabji, human rights are the conscience of the Constitution, and an independent judiciary is the defense of its conscience.
Therefore, the scholarship and award is a reminder of Soli Sorabji’s achievements and his contribution in all its forms to human rights advocacy and to Sorabji’s field of close interest.
The Soli J Sorabji Endowment Award and Scholarship has been instituted out of a generous endowment established by Senior Advocate Satwik Verma in his personal capacity and will be offered for 20 years.
While making the endowment, Verma shared “Sorabji’s passing was a huge personal loss. Over the years, I had developed a very close personal relationship with him, which also led to an insight into the individual and his personal side as a lawyer. He was generous, affectionate, caring, kind and always ready to extend a helping hand. His values and passion have deeply inspired and influenced me. And his loss left a void to the legal community in India and abroad We felt the best way to continue his deep commitment to human rights was by establishing an expanded scholarship and award in his memory.”
Announcing the award, Professor (Dr) C Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor, OP Jindal Global University said, “The scholarship aims to promote academic excellence, research, integrity and diversity by recognizing outstanding academic achievement of a student. Course on Human Rights.We are grateful to Satwik Verma for partnering with OP Jindal Global University to establish this award in the name of Soli.J Sorabji.
Satwik Verma, himself a distinguished graduate of Harvard Law School and qualified to practice internationally, recognizes the importance of quality legal education that JGLS provides to its students. As someone rooted in the legal system, Verma feels it is his duty to help the future generation of lawyers and as a result these scholarships and awards are nurturing law students and named after one of India’s leading legal stalwarts. Verma’s commitment to carry forward the legacy. We thank him for this generous act.”
Professor Kumar said, “Sorabji, his daughter, Zia Modi and his wife, Jena Sorabji have been great champions of Jindal Global Law School and O.P. Jindal Global University since their inception. They have participated in many initiatives of the University over the years. We are extremely honored to have established this endowment, which will celebrate the legacy and the outstanding and inspiring contribution of Sorabji.”
Responding to the establishment of the “Soli J. Sorabjee Endowment Award and Scholarship”, the family of the eminent jurist welcomed the initiative and said it is a wonderful way to remember and celebrate him and perpetuate his memory.
The family shared the message they want to convey to the students at JGLS: walk the path of justice and equality in all things; A quote from Kitab-e-Aqdas, the central book of the Bahá’í Faith that deeply reflects the Bahá’í view of justice.
Responding to the award, Professor Dabiru Sridhar Patnaik, Registrar, JGU, said, “As a research intensive university, and as a result of the graduate specialties at OP Jindal Global University, we expect our students to develop social and learning skills.” Civic responsibilities relating to the environment and society and thus foster a deeper understanding and respect for diversity and pluralism. The curriculum on human rights theory and practice will help our students to develop and deepen understanding on human rights issues , and the Soli Sorabji Award to an outstanding student capable of contributing to the promotion and protection of human rights, in line with the ideals and commitment of Soli Sorabji.
Soli J. Sorabji was born in 1930 in Bombay. He studied at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai and Government Law College, Mumbai and was admitted to the bar in 1953. At the Government Law College, he was awarded the Kinloch Forbes Gold Medal in Roman Law and Jurisprudence (1952).
In 1971, Sorabji was named a Senior Advocate of the Bombay High Court. He served as the Solicitor-General of India from 1977 to 1980. He was appointed Attorney-General for India on 9 December 1989 until 2 December 1990, and again on 7 April 1998, a position he held until 2004.
In March 2002, Soli Sorabji received the Padma Vibhushan for defending freedom of expression and protecting human rights. Throughout his career, Soli remained passionate about public law and international law, particularly in relation to the protection and promotion of human rights. Soli Sorabji was appointed by the United Nations as a special envoy to Nigeria.
He was later appointed as the chairman of the United Nations Deputy Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights from 1998 to 2004. He also served as a member of the United Nations Deputy Commission on the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities since 1998.
Soli Sorabji also served as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. Representing India in the Atlantic case between India and Pakistan, Sorabjee appeared before the International Court of Justice, The Hague.
Jindal Global Law School, with approximately 5000 students and 500 faculty members, is ranked India’s number one law school by subject 2021 and the world’s 76th ranked law school by the QS World University Rankings. It offers a range of Undergraduate, Postgraduate, Masters. ’ and doctoral degrees in law, jurisprudence and legal studies.
This story is provided by OP Jindal University. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article.