Dr. M. Zahir, an eminent jurist and a renowned corporate and constitutional lawyer of the country, was born on 22 May, 1939 in Calcutta, West Bengal, India and was the eldest son of Late Justice Muhammad Asir and Late Husne Ara Asir. Dr. Zahir spent some time in Calcutta during early childhood and after partition of India, migrated from Calcutta to Dhaka with his family in 1950. Dr. Zahir grew up at Narinda in the old town of Dhaka. He passed his matriculation in 1954 from Saint Gregory’s School and stood 9th in the combined merit list of the whole East Pakistan. He passed Intermediate of Arts (IA) in 1956 from Notre Dame College and was within top ten in the combined merit list.
Dr. Zahir, a renowned corporate and constitutional lawyer of the country, obtained his B.A. (Hons) and M.A. in English Literature and LL.B at Dhaka University and got enrolled as an Advocate of the then Dhaka High Court in 1962. He passed his English Bar exams in 1963 and took LL.M. from the University of London in 1964. Dr. Zahir was called to the English Bar at Lincoln’s Inn in 1965 and got his Ph.D. on company law at the University of London in 1966. Dr. Zahir thereafter resumed his law practice and taught company law at the University of Dhaka for 20 years.
In between, he also worked for over a year in 1974-75 at the Australian Attorney General’s Department and for a brief period at the New South Wales Law Reforms Commission. He was elected a member of the Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce in Paris.
Dr. Zahir, enrolled as a Senior Advocate in 1978, was renowned both within Bangladesh and abroad as a jurist for his expertise in constitutional, corporate and securities laws as reflected in his exhaustive and important analytical publication ‘Company and Securities Laws’.
Dr. Zahir was involved with charitable institutions including the Ahsania Mission. He was interested in sports, particularly tennis, and music. He is survived by his wife, only son, daughter-in-law, three grandchildren, an elder sister, a brother and a host of admirers, friends and colleagues.
Dr. M. Zahir died on 11 July 2013 in Bangkok General Hospital, Thailand at the age of 74 after suffering from multiple myeloma for about two years.