Chandigarh, Dec 29 (IANS) Leading lawyer Hira Lal Sibal, who had defended noted Urdu short story writer Saadat Hassan Manto in 1945, passed away here.
Sibal, the father of union minister for communications Kapil Sibal, was 98. Another of Sibal's sons, Kanwal Sibal, has served as India's foreign secretary.
Sibal had been admitted to the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here a few days back and died of problems related to advanced age Saturday morning, doctors said.
Sibal had served as advocate general of Punjab twice and was a well known lawyer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Supreme Court.
His legal practice spanned 67 years. He was among the few lawyers to turn down the offer of becoming a judge of a high court.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Saturday expressed grief over the passing away of Sibal.
In his condolence message, Badal described Sibal as a "legal luminary and eminent jurist".
"This is a personal loss for me," Badal said.
Sibal had defended noted writers Manto and Ismat Chugtai in cases of indecent writing filed against them in the pre-independence era. While the case against Manto was dismissed, Chugtai was fined Rs.90.