Veteran lawyer Habibullah Basha, one of the finest jurists of the Madras Bar, passed away here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness.
A philanthropist and founder-director of the Apollo Hospitals, 84-year old Basha died at his house, the Madras Bar Association said.
Basha is survived by wife Shyamala Basha, his college-mate, a son and two daughters.
During his more than five-decade long career, Basha had held various law officers post such as the central government standing counsel and Tamil Nadu Advocate General and public prosecutor.
A junior of legendary lawyer Govind Swaminathan, Basha turned down a high court judgeship offered to him when he was aged just 37.
In 1986, he declined a offer for direct appointment as a Supreme Court Judge.
Born into an affluent family on March 8, 1933, Basha after schooling at convents here did his graduation and post-graduation in Islamic studies.
Later he obtained Law degree from the Madras Law College and enrolled himself as an advocate in 1957.
Basha become senior central government standing counsel ten years later and was appointed Tamil Nadu State Public Prosecutor in 1974 and went on to become the Advocate General in 1991.
He had represented DMK President M Karunanidhi in a case registered against him for burning a copy of the Constitution.
The veteran lawyer had appeared for late chief minister Jayalalithaa when she was involved in a bitter factional wrangle to get possession of the AIADMK headquarters here in late 1980s.
Basha had moved the Madras High Court against obstructions put up in connection with the infamous wedding of Jayalalitha’s then foster son V N Sudhagaran in 1995 and argued as party in person.
Three of his juniors became judges of the Madras High Court. Among them is present judge Justice N Kirubakaran.