Saturday, April 13, 2024

Legal fraternity pays tribute to eminent jurist Fali S Nariman, shares fond memories

Several members from the legal fraternity mourned the demise of eminent jurist and Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman and recalled fond memories of his remarkable life and contribution on Wednesday morning. 

Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud expressed that he is deeply saddened to learn about the demise of Fali Nariman. He added that his voice truly represented the conscience of a generation. He recalled that Fali S Nariman was fearless in the expression of his views and wrote and spoke with clarity and candour. 

The Chief Justice of India further remarked that the jurist mentored a generation of lawyers and judges. He remembered Fali S Nariman as a kind and affectionate father figure who was a towering intellectual of the era. 

Senior Advocate Pradeep Rai said the death was an immense loss to the legal fraternity. He said it has left an irreplaceable void.

The Senior Advocate recounted his  interactions with the jurist. “Each interaction with him provided invaluable learning experiences, marked by his humility,” he said.

Reflecting on instances like the Office of Profit matter involving Rajya Sabha MP Jaya Bachchan, Nariman, despite representing her, prioritized legal integrity and the responsibility as an officer of the court over personal affiliations.

Engaging him as counsel for Jaya Bachchan, the Supreme Court was almost convinced that she did not fall within the ambit of office of profit. However, Justice YK Sabharwal requested Nariman’s opinion, and he asserted that the court was incorrect in not considering the benefits attached to the office of Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation. “This illustrates the responsibility of a senior lawyer when providing opinions to the court,” he reminisced.

Recalling his generosity, Rai said Nariman had the biggest chamber in the old block of Supreme Court and when the bar required a room for medical facilities to be created for lawyers, Nariman was the first person who offered his chamber and gave it to the bar. Thereafter, he started sitting in Library Number Two and continued working from there only.

Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal hailed Nariman as a great son of India, who was not just the greatest lawyer of the country but also one of the finest human beings who stood like a colossus above all. He added that the corridors of the court will never be the same without him.

Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi also paid tribute to the renowned lawyers and expressed that he was a living legend who stuck to his principles unwaveringly and called a spade a spade. 

Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde said that the rule of law in the country has lost its greatest warrior today. Adding that Fali S Nariman will continue to inspire generations of men and women of law, he expressed gratitude for his kindness and teachings.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan recalled Fali S Nariman and shared a letter sent to him after the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Electoral Bond case. The Advocate expressed that Fali S Nariman was a pillar of our Constitution and Civil liberties. He added that Nariman’s unexpected death is a huge loss to the legal community and the country. 

World Bank lawyer Vikram Raghavan expressed sorrow and stated that the demise is the end of an era. He remembered that Fali S Nariman Had a maestro’s talent for the law and letters. He added that Nariman’s sparkling intellect and unmatched wit illuminated every courtroom, column and conversation. A monumental legacy left by a life richly lived, he concluded.

Fali S Nariman practiced law for over 70 years and was appointed as the Additional Solicitor General of India in May 1972. 


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