Senior advocate Rajani Iyer, one of the six designated women senior advocates of the Bombay High Court, passed away on September 1 after a brief illness.
Senior advocate Navroj Seervai says that she was a friend indeed to those in need. “The first thing that struck one, on meeting Rajani was her sheer presence, by which I mean her personality. As a friend, Rajani was warm, loyal, caring and quick to help. In a world full of people willing to duck unpleasant issues or confront wrong-doing, Rajani shone out as an example of speaking ‘truth to power’. At the Bar, in People’s Union for Civil Liberties and elsewhere, she became a legend with her courage and fearlessness.
Retired Justice V.M. Kanade of the Bombay High Court called her a fire-brand and said, “I have known her since I was a junior. She was a very frank and outspoken judge. She fought for civil rights even during the emergency and upheld constitutional rights for almost 50 years. She was never afraid to call a spade a spade and will be deeply missed.”
Senior advocate Gayatri Singh of the High Court said, “She was a very loving and caring person who was very articulate as a lawyer. She did great work for many survivors of domestic violence and took up civil liberty cases pro bono.”
Senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas said he had lost a warm friend. “I have known her since college days and she always took up cases with a lot of gusto and rigour. She did justice to her briefs and was a feisty opponent.”
The other designated women senior advocates are Indira Jaising, Phiroza Anklesaria, Ms. Singh and Anarkali Keni. Ms. Rajani finished her schooling at Queen Mary School, Mumbai in 1968 and graduated with B.A. Hons in Economics from Xavier’s College, Mumbai in 1972, and completed her M.A. in Economics from Mumbai University in 1974. She enrolled herself in the Government Law college in 1976 and qualified as a Solicitor in 1979. She was designated as a senior counsel in the Bombay High Court in the year 2006.