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Jurist L.M. Singhvi dead


New Delhi : Eminent jurist, constitutional expert and former parliamentarian L.M. Singhvi, who was one of India’s longest-serving envoys to Britain, died here Saturday. He was 76.

A noted scholar in Jain history and culture, Singhvi was ailing for the past two weeks and died of a heart attack at the Max Devki Hospital around 1.45 p.m., family members said.

Cremation has been fixed for Sunday morning at the Lodhi Crematorium.

His wife Kamala, son Abhishek, who is a senior advocate and a spokesman for the Congress party, and daughter Abhilasha survive him.

Singhvi was among the longest-serving high commissioners to Britain (early 1991 to end 1997). He was also a linguist, prolific author, litterateur and a patron of arts. He served the Lok Sabha in 1962-67 and the Rajya Sabha in 1998-2004.

The Padma Bhusan was conferred on him in 1998.

He headed the High-Level Committee on Indian diaspora appointed by the previous National Democratic Alliance government and had been studying India’s ties with its diaspora since his days as a law student at Harvard in 1951.

Singhvi also conceived the idea of an annual Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, the event organised by the Indian government each January to engage with its 25 million-diaspora spread across 130 countries.

Apart from his work on the diaspora, he was noted for his championship of human rights and led the Indian delegation to the UN Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993.

Singhvi was born in 1931 in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. He was advocate general of Rajasthan from 1972 to 1977.

His works include “Towards Global Togetherness”, “Democracy and the Rule of the Law”, “Freedom on trial”, “Jurisprudence of Non-Violence” and a volume of poems in Hindi, “Sandhya ka Suraj”.

Singhvi was also president of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague as well as the Commission of Inquiry into Administration of Justice in Trinidad and Tobago.