New Delhi: Milon Kumar Banerji, who held the
office of Attorney General of India twice between 1992-96 and
2004-09, died here on Tuesday after months of illness, family
Banerji, 82, was not keeping well since he suffered a
stroke in December 2009. He breathed his last at around 3:30
am at the Apollo Hospital.
His last rites will be performed at the Lodhi Road
electric crematorium tomorrow evening, the family said.
Banerji is survived by two sons who are also practising
advocates. His wife had predeceased him some years ago.
Debal Banerji, his elder son, is a senior lawyer
practising in Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court while
younger son Gourav Banerji is the Additional Solicitor
Banerji was first appointed the Attorney General in the P
V Narasimha Rao Government from 1992 to 1996 and then in the
UPA-I government of Manmohan Singh.
He also served as Solicitor General from 1986 to 1989 and
as Additional Solicitor General from 1979 to 1986.
Banerji, during his 50-year career, had appeared in the
Supreme Court and various High Courts and was associated with
a number of important cases.
During the Narasimha Rao government, the day he took over
as the AG on November 24, 1992, he had appeared in the Ayodhya
Ramjanambhoomi Babri Masjid case and told the Supreme Court
that the situation had reached a boiling point and any
inaction would make it irreversible.
The judgement in the case upholding the validity of the
Acquisition of Certain Areas in Ayodhya Act, 1993, was another
landmark in his career.
He had also argued cases involving issues of Election
Commission`s power and the citizenship of Congress President
Sonia Gandhi. The national awards, like the Bharat Ratna and
the Padma awards, were revived by the Supreme Court after a
long break, accepting Banerjee`s arguments and suggestions.
More than a decade after the apex court`s judgement, he
was awarded with Padma Vibhushan in 2005.
Banerji obtained his LLB degree in 1950 from Allahabad
University and completed his LLM from Cambridge University in
1953 before enrolling as an advocate of the Allahabad High
Court in 1955. He also practised in the Calcutta High Court.
He became a designated senior advocate in May 1972. He
was a member of Permanent Court of Arbitration and was
recently appointed as a member of the Permanent Court.
He was recently elected to the prestigious position of
Honorary Bencher of the Society of Lincoln`s Inn, London,
which also included Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair among its