New Delhi: Former attorney general Goolamhussein Essaji Vahanvati passed away on Tuesday due to heart attack.
He was 65 and had served as the AG from June 2009 for three years. His term was extended by another two years in 2012.
Vahanvati was the 13th AG of India. Earlier he had served as the Solicitor General of India and the Advocate General of Maharashtra.
He was embroiled in a controversy when in April 2013, his junior Harin P Raval had charged him with impropriety. Raval had resigned thereafter.
He again came under the radar when it was alleged that he colluded with government officials during UPA regime and misrepresented facts in the coal blocks allocation case.
At the same time Vahanvati had to face the CBI regarding his role on the 2G scam.
However, later he was given a clean chit by the investigating agency when it filed a status report in the Supreme Court.
He resigned from the post after the Congress-led UPA was defeated in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the BJP-led NDA government came to power.
Vahanvati also faced charges of undeclared assets in a UBS bank account. This was brought in the public domain by former MP Gurudas Dasgupta.
Nonetheless, he will be remembered as a decorated legal mind and his contribution in the nine judges bench hearing on the Ninth Schedule, tainted ministers case and challenges to the Master Plan 2021 amongst others, are well chronicled.
Vahanvati, along with Zimbabwe High Court Judge Steven Majied was part of the inquiry into the allegations of racism in Zimbabwe in September 2004. This was on the request of the International Cricket Council.
He was also the only member of the one man commission to inquire into allegations of racial abuse regarding South African cricketers during South Africa's tour of Australia in December 2005.
Meanwhile, former PM Manmohan Singh today condoled the death of Vahanvati. "In his demise, India has lost an eminent legal luminary, a dedicated public servant and a very decent human being," Singh said in a release, as per PTI.
Maharashtra CM also offered condolences on the death of former AG. He posted on Twitter:
Sad to hear of the passing away of Former Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati . Deepest condolences to his family.
— Prithviraj Chavan (@prithvrj) September 2, 2014
With Agency inputs