Senior advocate and noted constitutional expert Anil Divan passed away here this morning following a fatal asthma attack.
Divan, 86, leaves behind his wife Smita, two sons Shyam and Vivek, both lawyers, and daughter Gauri, who is a doctor.
Family sources said Divan was suffering from persistent asthma but had no other serious health issues. He had even appeared in the Supreme Court before Holi vacations.
Divan, a former president of the Bar Association of India, was sitting with his family at home when he suffered the attack. A Doctor was called in but he could not be revived and died at 8:15 AM.
Divan was associated with several organizations and was one of the founders of NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), and a member of the Committee on Judicial Accountability, a group of lawyers who work for improved accountability of judges.
He had appeared in many important cases, including the blackmoney matter, in the Supreme Court where he represented senior advocate Ram Jethmalani.
In a message to its members, Supreme Court Bar Association Secretary Gaurav Bhatia said, "With profound grief I regret to inform the sad demise of Shri Anil Divan, Senior Advocate, and father of Mr Shyam Divan, Senior Advocate, who left for heavenly abode. It is a great loss to the SCBA and the legal institution."
Advocate Ranvir Singh, who has been working with Divan for the past many years said, "It's a great personal loss to me as we had a long association of more than 17 years and it is an equally great loss to the Bar. He leaves behind a formidable legacy having fought cases of seminal importance in public law."
A staunch believer in the independence of the judiciary, Divan had appeared in the apex court in the matter challenging the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Act.
He had regularly appeared for Karnataka in the Cauvery river water dispute for decades. He was also recently appointed by the Supreme Court as amicus curiae to oversee the appointment of BCCI administrators along with senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam.