Sunday, April 14, 2024

‘Bhishma Pitamah of lawyer community’: Eminent jurist Fali S Nariman passes away at 95

Fali S Nariman

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 21: Eminent constitutional jurist and veteran Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court Fali Sam Nariman passed away in New Delhi on Wednesday. He was 95. He was suffering from multiple ailments, including cardiac issues.
He had practised law for more than 70 years initially in the Bombay High Court and since 1972, in the Supreme Court. He had reportedly handled more than 13,565 cases during his tenure.
Lawyer and activist Prashant Bhushan posted his condolences on X, calling Nariman the “Bhishma Pitamah” of the legal community. “Very sad news. Eminent Jurist Fali S Nariman Passes Away. He was also regarded as the Bhishma Pitamah of the Lawyer community. A great lawyer & close friend of our family. His passing away at this critical juncture is an enormous loss for our country.”
In his long and illustrious legal career, Nariman argued in several landmark cases, including the famous case of the National Judicial Appointments Commission, which was struck down by the Supreme Court.
Other notable judgments of his were in the Bhopal gas tragedy case, TMA Pai case, and the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case.
In December last year, Nariman had criticised the Supreme Court’s verdict upholding the abrogation of Article 370 which had conferred special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. He told Rajdeep Sardesai, of India Today, ”It (the verdict) is, in my view, an incorrect appreciation of the Constitution, which I didn’t expect the court to do.”
Fali Sam Nariman was born on January 10, 1929 in Rangoon (now Yangon) to a well-off Parsi business executive and his wife. The Nariman family later fled to India in the face of the Japanese invasion in 1942 when Fali was 12.
Nariman had a B.A., in Economics and History from St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, and a law degree (LL.B.) from the Government Law College, Mumbai, in 1950, where he stood first in the exam. Nariman enrolled as an Advocate of the Bombay High Court in November 1950 and was designated Senior Advocate in 1961.
In 1971, he was appointed as a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court. He was appointed Additional Solicitor General of India in May 1972. He resigned from the post a day after the imposition of Emergency on June 26, 1975.
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in January 1991 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2007. He also received the Gruber Prize for Justice in 2002. He was also nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in November 1999.
He was also an internationally recognised jurist on international arbitration.
Nariman got married to Bapsi F Nariman in 1955, and the couple has 2 children, a son and a daughter. His son Rohinton Fali Nariman was a Senior Advocate and a Judge of the Supreme Court. Rohinton had also held the post of the Solicitor General of India from 2011 to 2013.
His autobiography Before Memory Fades is a widely read book. He has also authored The State of the Nation, India’s Legal System: Can it be Saved? and God Save the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
(Courtesy: TNIE)