President, Bombay Bar Association

Addressing the House of 55 members who attended the meeting, Mr Sanghavi spoke of Mr Champak Shah’s sudden demise which came as a shock. Mr Sanghavi and Mr Shah met daily at noon for many years. He was an Advocate of long standing who once had an enormous practice in the insolvency court. He was a professor of law for some time and was learned and well-read. He studied Jain literature and was a pious and devout man. His passing was peaceful and Mr Shah would be remembered for a long time, said Mr Sanghavi. He extended his condolences to the members of the bereaved family.

Senior Advocate

Mr Dwarkadas said that while Champak Shah was much senior to him, he was a family friend of Mr Dwarkadas’ father, Mr Dilip Dwarkadas. He was a source of great support and they spent a lot of time in chambers together. Mr Shah was a religious man with a philosophical bent of mind and immensely well-read.

Mr Dwarkadas said he grew truly close to Champak Shah during a litigation into which Champak Shah’s son, Sunil, was unwittingly dragged. Sunil had accepted hundies without understanding the implications. The question was how to get him out of the problem. Champak Shah gave the matter his heart and soul and, though it concerned his own son, never lost objectivity or flagged in his dedication. Mr Dwarkadas was amazed at his discipline: Champakbhai left nothing to chance, trusted nobody and checked every authority and facet of the law. It was not without reason that he was once regarded as the uncrowned king of the insolvency court though that was before Mr Dwarkadas’ time.

Mr Dwarkadas said that Champakbhai passed away on March 1, the day when devotees of Ram declared a bandh. That call could not restrain the hand of death. Mr Dwarkadas mentioned that his mother, Induben, regarded Champak Shah as a source of great support to their family; yet he never took advantage of the friendship in the slightest manner. Though he lived next door he never once asked for a ride to work, regardless of the weather. He would wait at the bus stop.

He was dedicated to his family: a loving father, devoted husband and a thoroughly biased grandfather. The day he died, his grand-daughter was carrying a picture of God and repeatedly asked “where have you taken my grand father?”

Mr Dwarkadas ended by quoting The Paradox of Time.


“It is sad that I have to address from the very place where we sat for years during the daily lunch recess,” said Mr Deshmukh, speaking in memory of Mr Shah. Champakbhai was a simple man, with no flamboyance. “I was his student at the school of economics,” he recalled, “and we all knew of his depth and remarkable academic achievements.” He was a philosopher who stood first in his BA and MA degrees.

Champak Shah was a man of quiet courage. “There was a time when I was persona non-grata with the University -- for everybody, that is, except him, because he believed in what I was fighting for.”

He was indeed the king of the insolveny court, but without crown or heraldry. His forte was pleadings, in all branches of law. He was a deeply religious man, very personal and involved with his family.


Mr Sanghavi then proposed the following resolution, which was duly seconded and passed unanimously.

“This House mourns the sad demise of Mr Champak Shah and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”

The House observed a two-minute silence as a mark of respect to the deceased.