Goolam Essaji Vahanvati

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Goolamhussein E. Vahanvati
13th Attorney General for India
In office
8 June 2009 – 28 May 2014
Appointed by Pratibha Patil
(President of India)
Preceded by Milon K. Banerjee
Succeeded by Mukul Rohatgi
Solicitor General of India
In office
20 June 2004 – 7 June 2009
Preceded by Kirit N. Raval
Succeeded by Gopal Subramaniam
Advocate General of Maharashtra
In office
December 1999 – 19 June 2004
Personal details
Born (1949-05-07)7 May 1949
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Died 2 September 2014(2014-09-02) (aged 65)
Mumbai, Maharashtra
Spouse(s) Jumana Vahanvati (first wife, divorced); Nafisa Vahanvaty
Children Essaji Vahanvati (son by first wife)
Father Essabhoy Gulamhusein Vahanvati
Alma mater St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
Government Law College, Mumbai
Profession Lawyer

Goolamhussein Essaji Vahanvati was an Indian senior counsel who served as the 13th Attorney General for India. His first term in office began in June 2009 and was for three years.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Goolam was born to Essaji Vahanvati,a lawyer, [2]


He started his practice at Bombay High Court and was a junior to Fali S Nariman and later under Soli Sorabjee, Ashok Desai and Ashok Sen.[2] In March 1990, he was designated as a senior advocate. In December 1999, he was appointed as the Advocate General of Maharashtra which he served till June 2004 till he was elevated as the Solicitor General of India,[2] where he handled various important cases, including the Enron cases and the stock market scam.

He appeared in the nine-judge bench hearing on the Ninth Schedule of the Constitution of India, Kuldip Nayar's challenge to the amendment to the Representation of the People's Act with regard to the Rajya Sabha, the tainted Ministers case, in all matters pertaining to the sealing and the challenge to the Delhi Laws Special Provisions Act, 2007 and challenges to the Master Plan 2021.[3] He represented Maharashtra state in the public interest litigation petition filed in the fake stamp paper scam.[4] He successfully defended the challenge to the reservation for OBCs in higher education. He appeared as amicus curiae in the MP Local Area Development Scheme and for Union of India/CBI in the matter relating to power of court to suo motu transfer investigation to the CBI without prior consent of the State government concerned. The International Cricket Council appointed him to hold an inquiry into the allegations of racism in Zimbabwe along with High Court Judge Steven Majied in September 2004. He was appointed Single Member Commission to inquire into allegations of racial abuse on South African cricketers during the South African tour of Australia in December 2005.[2]

In 2012 his term as Attorney General of India was extended by two years.[5]

In April 2013, Vahanvati's role in government came under scrutiny after allegations of impropriety and coercion emerged from his junior law officer, Harin P. Raval, who resigned from the post of Additional Solicitor General as a result.[6]

In January 2014, Government of India, along with others, his name was forwarded in the category of "eminent jurist" to the Lokpal selection panel.[7]


He died on 2 September 2014 in Mumbai of a heart attack after suffering from a lung infection.[8][9] On 11 September 2014, a full court reference, a commemorative event involving all judges of the court and lawyers, including the senior officer of the bar was held in the Chief Justice of India's court.[10]


  1. ^ Karanjawala, Raian. "Goolam Vahanvati – "A nonesuch"". Bar & Bench. Bar and Bench. Retrieved 3 October 2016. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c d e Sarin, Ritu; Chhibber, Maneesh (14 June 2009). "His new brief". Indian Express. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Vahanvati appointed Attorney-General". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 9 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "Solicitor General appointed". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 20 June 2004. 
  5. ^ Mahapatra, Dhananjay (9 June 2009). "G E Vahanvati appointed Attorney General". The Times of India. 
  6. ^ Bhatt, Abhinav (30 April 2013). "Harin Raval resigns as Additional Solicitor General after Coal-Gate letter bomb". NDTV. Retrieved 14 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Anand, Utkarsh (29 January 2014). "Meet on Feb 3 to decide 'eminent jurist' on Lokpal selection panel, Vahanvati in shortlist". Indian Express. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "GE Vahanvati, former attorney general, dies aged 65 of a heart attack". Live Mint. PTI. 2 September 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "Former Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati passes away in Mumbai". NetIndian. 2 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Sen, Shreeja (11 September 2014). "Supreme Court remembers former attorney general GE Vahanvati". Live Mint. Retrieved 11 September 2014.