• Professor Shamnad Basheer
    (14th May 1976-8th August 2019 )

It was almost a decade ago when I first met Prof. Shamnad Basheer in connection with an interview taken by Naina Pachnanda on behalf of India Law Journal (ILJ) that I founded in 2008. Prof. Basheer was very kind to appreciate the initiative by Naina and me with respect to ILJ on his blog SpicyIP. Thus began my association with Prof. Basheer and I would get excited every time I was going to meet him knowing that the meeting would only leave me enriched with knowledge and motivation.

I was very inspired by the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative of Prof. Basheer and I was privileged that he instilled faith in me to set up the Gujarat chapter of IDIA as I was studying law at Gujarat National Law University at that time and to be the team leader of this chapter. During the course of this time, I had seamless interactions with Shamnad sir. I also happened to be one of the lucky ones to be present in his office at NUJS, Kolkata and help him finalise the IDIA logo.

Even after I graduated from law school, I continued to assist in the the functioning of the Gujarat chapter of IDIA for a couple of years. In fact it was Prof. Basheer who gave me the opportunity to do my first pro-bono litigation matter when he referred an IDIA student to me who was having difficulty securing his admission after sitting for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). With Prof. Basheer's constant guidance, I was able to settle the writ petition that I filed on behalf of the IDIA student with CLAT who then got admitted into one of India's top national law schools in Raipur. I also assisted Prof. Basheer in securing admission for an IDIA scholar in the national law school in Gandhinagar by intervening prior to and in between a litigation matter filed in connection with the IDIA scholar's admission and speaking with the university authorities who were very kind enough to understand the matter thereby resulting in the court case being withdrawn and the scholar getting a seat.

My association with Prof. Basheer did not just end there. I continued to be in touch with him and would meet him at the annual IDIA events as well. He congratulated me saying that he was very happy for me when I invited him to my wedding and he told me that he would certainly try his best to make it even though unfortunately he could not.
I admired Shamndad sir for his simplicity, generosity and modesty. Never did I imagine that my this almost a decade long association would end abruptly with him having to leave the world because of a tragic accident.

I will really miss Professor Basheer and may God give his family the strength to bear this dear loss. May Professor Basheer's soul rest in peace.

VIKRANT PACHNANDA is an Advocate and the Founder and Managing Editor of India Law Journal.