Friday, July 17, 2009

99-year-old lawyer wows India - video

Pune: Lawyers at the District and Sessions Court in Pune recently celebrated the birthday of their longest-practising colleague. Advocate Shivram Abhyankar is 99-years-old and still goes to court every week. Lawyers at the district court in Pune gathered to wish their most senior colleague on his birthday. Advocate Shivram Abhyankar considers his age as a matter of mere statistics. As a lawyer, he has been practising for more than 70 years. At his home in Pune, we asked why he still insists on going to court. "Old cases (that I too on) are still going on. Who is to complete them? With the help of assistants, I am completing them. For exmple, next week I am completing two cases," said Abhyankar.

This enthusiastic nonagenarian remembers the days before independence. Inspired by Gandhiji's Satyagraha, Abhyankar had attended a meeting banned by the British for which he served six weeks in jail. "I was required to grind grains for six weeks. I was working on the wheel that was formerly occupied by Vinoba Bhave," he said proudly. Clients come to thank this lawyer who has won several important cases over the decades. He has witnessed the growth of the country's legal system after independence. But at heart, Abhyankar says he is disappointed.
"Oh vast difference! Now there are so many laws, so many courts, so many lawyers. But the quality of the work is not so much," Abhyankar lamented. He does not plan to hang up his lawyer's cloak soon though.

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