Veteran criminal lawyer and former Shiv Sena MP Adhik Shirodkar passed away early on Sunday morning following a heart attack. He was 83.
Shirodkar, who complained of discomfort Saturday night, was rushed to Jaslok Hospital by his family. He breathed his last close to 2 am. Known for his sound legal acumen and quick wit, Shirodkar is survived by his son Rajendra, also a lawyer, and daughter-in-law Yogini.
His death came as a “shock” to most of his colleagues at the bar. Some of them said they had met him in the Bombay High Court only last week. A former HC judge, who attended Shirodkar’s funeral at Girgaum on Sunday afternoon, said: “We have lost a giant in the practice of criminal law.”
Donning the black gown for over five decades, Shirodkar defended several high-profile individuals, including former Shiv Sena patriarch Bal Thackeray and gangster-turned-MLA Arun Gawli. Shirodkar was one of the executors of Thackeray’s will that has been contested by his son’s Uddhav and Jaidev in the Bombay High Court.
An eminent member of the bar, Shirodkar was also an avid traveller and a skilled wildlife photographer. He especially loved to shoot tigers and his photographs have been part of nation-wide exhibitions. He planned to go to Nainital this summer to pursue photography, a member of his family said.
A leg injury while boarding a train a couple of years ago had forced him to use a walking stick. “His enthusiasm and energy was a source of encouragement for all young lawyers at the bar. He would go out of his way to help and guide us, sometimes even without asking. He never distinguished between a senior and a junior lawyer. The warmth and affection with which he greeted everyone is, unfortunately, not seen in other counsel of his stature. We will really miss him,” said criminal lawyer Mubin Solkar, who was present at Shirodkar’s funeral on Sunday.