Vedaaranya Heritage Arts and Healing Festival 2016

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Dr. Abhishek Singhvi

Dr. Abhishek Singhvi

Dr Abhishek Singhvi is an eminent jurist, parliamentarian, visible media personality, well known columnist, author and commentator. He is a Member of Parliament; the senior most National Spokesperson of the Congress Party; the youngest designated Senior Advocate, Supreme Court (at age 34); a former and youngest Additional Solicitor General of India (ASG) (at 37) and former elected Vice President, Supreme Court Bar Association. He is currently the Chairman of the AICC All India Law and Human Rights Department and Chairman, Parliamentary Committee on Law, Justice, Personnel & Grievances. He was formerly Vice Chairman of Congress’ Media Department.

Awarded the Global Leader of Tomorrow Award by World Economic Forum, Davos, in 1999, he earlier wrote a popular fortnightly column, Candid Corner, in India’s second largest English daily (Hindustan Times) and later wrote a column SubVerse in India’s largest English daily, the Times of India. He is also an occasional columnist in the largest Hindi daily, Dainik Bhaskar. The Prime Minister of India wrote the Foreword to his book of columns, Candid Corner, and also released the book. His Chagla Memorial Lecture at Mumbai University in 2007 and the GWU lecture in 2009 are published in reputed academic journals in India and USA. He was also invited to lecture on Federalism in Nepal in 2007 during the country's Constitution formation, with that lecture published in the prestigious IIPA journal also winning that journal's prize for the best essay. In 2011, he delivered the Rajiv Gandhi Memorial Lecture at the prestigious Indian Institute of Public Administration on "Parliamentary Democracy" and the Nehru Memorial Lecture at the India Centre at Cardiff, Wales, UK on "Institutional Foundations Of Indian Democracy." He was invited as a special guest and speaker by the King of Morocco at the World Conference of Nobel Laureates, scheduled at Fez, Morocco in May 2011 (deferred because of a terrorist attack).

He is Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Law Justice, Personnel and Grievances and  current or former Member of several other Parliamentary Committees, including Privileges, Foreign Affairs, Urban Affairs and Office of Profit. He is Chairman, Indo US Forum of Parliamentarians and Vice President, Indo Greek Parliamentary Forum. He is President, Saarclaw and Member, Governing Body, National Law Universities of Jodhpur and Delhi. He has been lead first speaker from the Treasury Benches in Parliament on almost all major Parliamentary debates during his tenure, including Indo US Nuclear Agreement, Office of Profit, Internal Security, Judicial Activism, Terrorism, the Budget, the Motion of Thanks to the President of India, the Ayodhya/ Liberhan Commission, Lokpal Bill and many more.

As Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee, the Lokpal Bill was discussed in a 30 member, 12 party Committee and reported back to Parliament in a record 10 weeks, after receiving over 10000 written representations and hearing almost 140 individual witnesses. The Report discussed and reported on over 24 issues and reflected overwhelming consensus on almost all of them. Dr Singhvi was also the lead speaker from the Treasury benches in the Lokpal debate in the Upper House on December 29, 2011.

He topped India at the school leaving Indian School Certificate exam and did BA Economics Hons, St Stephen’s College, and MA and PhD from Trinity College, Cambridge, UK. He also taught at St. John’s College, Cambridge and did a summer program, PIL, from Harvard, USA. He has lectured to student/faculty groups and general audiences at Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Boston MIT and George Washington Universities, to NGOs and think tanks (like Heritage Foundation, International Council of World Affairs in Washington, DC, USA) and addressed several international conferences, including those at Paris and Pakistan. He was conferred honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Amity, Rajasthan and Jain Viswa Bharati Universities. He is visiting Trumbull Lecturer at Yale University, USA in 2011.

Constitutional law, administrative law, corporate law, commercial law and international commercial arbitrations are his special areas of professional interest. He has been a member of the Supreme Court created and administered bilateral legal forums, including the Indo British, Indo US, Indo Canadian and Indo Israel ones.
He has appeared as lead counsel in several landmark and leading apex court decisions, including, to name a small number, the Naveen Jindal right to fly the Indian flag case, the DK Basu case on custodial death and torture, the Delhi Airport privatization case, the NTC Bombay Mills case, Renusagar 1 and 2 cases on International Commercial Arbitration, the Badal case on Prevention of Corruption, the Reliance dispute between Anil and Mukesh Ambani, the Vodafone Capital Gains Tax case and many more. He is a top ranking Senior Counsel at the Indian Supreme Court.

Recently ranked 34th on the India Today Top 50 Power List, Dr Singhvi is a sought after writer, commentator and panelist in both the visual and print media, and has done innumerable talk shows and interactive sessions in English and Hindi on almost all television channels and all leading print publications. He has written in several legal and non-legal journals and is an office bearer in several legal, social and cultural organizations.
His interests include reading biographies, Hindi film music, watching action thrillers and travel.