Senior advocate P.N. Lekhi, one of the defence counsels in the Indira Gandhi assassination case, died here on Sunday, family sources said. He was 85.

Mr. Lekhi died around 4.30 p.m. at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, where he was admitted two days ago.

He is survived by wife Kamla and three children.

Mr. Lekhi was appointed as government pleader when the Shah Commission was set up after the Emergency. The senior advocate also represented Satwant Singh, one of the accused in the assassination of Ms. Gandhi.

He was also the advocate for Rashtriya Mukti Morcha (RMM), a non-governmental organisation which filed a petition relating to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha bribery case.

The advocate was counsel for the RMM, which raised the issue of the foreign origins of Congress president Sonia Gandhi in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court.

Mr. Lekhi also represented Zaheera Sheikh, a key witness in the Best Bakery case of the Gujarat riots, in the Supreme Court.

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