Men live in deeds not in years. This is very much applicable in respect of our respectable senior colleague Heramba Sarma, a prominent lawyer of Tezpur Bar. His sudden demise on January, 2 2017 after protracted illness, in the midst of hectic legal profession is a great loss not only to Tezpur Bar but also to the legal fraternity as a whole. His death has left behind a void which will be difficult to fill.
As a member of Tezpur Bar Association, I met him in 1974, a prolific lawyer, where all-round qualities have attracted me a lot. He was soft spoken, polite, honest and amiable in nature but very strict in discipline and punctuality. He always stressed the young lawyers to maintain the dignity of the legal profession. His advice to the new entrants in the profession is to learn first and earn later.
Late Sarma died due to cardiac arrest at a local hospital at Guwahati where he was under treatment. On arrival of his body at Tezpur, a large number of his students, colleagues, Judicial officers, well-wishers visited his house to pay last homage to the departed soul. Late Sarma was born on 31st May, 1929 at Bihali in the famous tea planter’s family. The Nirmala Tea Estate belonged to his father. His early education was at Tezpur Government High School and Darrang College and after graduation, he joined Gauhati University wherefrom he successfully completed MA and LLB. In 1959, Late Sarma joined at Tezpur Bar and by dint of hard work, within a short span of time, he established himself as a popular civil lawyer. He was appointed counsel of many of the Tea Gardens of Sonitpur, Darrang, Lakhimpur and State Bank of India and many other organizations. He was the President of Tezpur Bar Association for two terms. As a lawyer, his drafting was superb, to the point, lucid and cross examination skill was excellent. While he argues the case, he could spell bound the Court room for hours together. He was one of the founder secretaries of Tezpur College, Tezpur Law College, President of Darrang College Governing Body and Tezpur College Governing Body, ex-president of Tezpur Ban Theatre, Asomiya Bhasa Unnati Sadhani Sabha etc. He also served Tezpur Law College as lecturer since its inception. Many of his students are leading advocates, judge of different places of Assam and other parts of India.
Late Sarma was a founder of the Frontline Youth Organization, “Youth emergency organization” during the year 1962 Chinese aggression and rendered yeomen’s service at the time of aggression of Tezpur.
His death was widely condoled by different organizations, educational institutions of Tezpur. A joint condolence meeting of the bar and Bench held on the Bar premises where different speakers recalled his contributions as a lawyer, social worker. The judicial work was suspended as a mark of respect to the departed soul and his funeral was largely attended. Late Sarma was 88 and survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. He was an epitome of kindness, panacea for the poor and downtrodden, connoisseur of arts and culture and a complete human being.
Today, in connection with his Adhya Sraddha, I pay my homage and pray to Almighty for the peaceful rest of his soul.
Subhash Chandra Biswas