Veteran jurist Fali S Nariman passes away at 95 : The Tribune India

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Veteran jurist Fali S Nariman passes away at 95

PM Modi condoles Nariman's death; says he has left an indelible mark on Indian jurisprudence

Veteran jurist Fali S Nariman passes away at 95

Fali S Nariman



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 21

Noted jurist and former Rajya Sabha member Fali S Nariman passed away at the age of 95 here on Wednesday. He was suffering from multiple ailments, including cardiac issues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death, saying he has left an indelible mark on Indian jurisprudence.

“Deeply saddened by the passing of legal luminary Shri Fali Nariman Ji. His contributions to the field of law were immense, leaving an indelible mark on Indian jurisprudence. Heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and the legal fraternity. Om Shanti,” Modi said in a message on X.

“Shri Fali Nariman Ji was among the most outstanding legal minds and intellectuals. He devoted his life to making justice accessible to common citizens. I am pained by his passing away. My thoughts are with his family and admirers. May his soul rest in peace,” the Prime Minister said.

Born in Rangoon on January 10, 1929, Nariman Government Law College, Mumbai, Nariman started his legal practice in the Bombay High Court in 1950 and was designated as a senior advocate in 1961. Later, he shifted to Delhi where he was appointed Additional Solicitor General (ASG) by the Indira Gandhi government in 1972. However, he resigned as ASG following imposition of Emergency in June 1975.

A recipient of Padma Bhushan (1991) and Padma Vibhushan (2007), Nariman argued in several landmark cases during his 70-year-long career. These included Golaknath Case (1967), the Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record Association case (1993) in which the top court set up the Collegium System of judicial appointment. He also successfully opposed the 99th Constitutional Amendment and National Judicial Appointment Commission (NJAC) in 2015 which had sought to do away with the Collegium System.

He was enrolled as an advocate of the Bombay High Court in November 1950. He practised law for more than 70 years beginning from the High Court of Bombay and then moved to the Supreme Court.

His son Rohinton Nariman is a former judge of the Supreme Court.

Fali S Nariman has authored several books, including “Before the Memory Fades”, “The State of the Nation”, “India’s Legal System: Can it be Saved?” and “God Save the Hon’ble Supreme Court”.

Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud on Wednesady condoled the death of legal doyen Nariman, saying he was a “great giant of an intellectual”.

“Mr Attorney General, we mourn the sad demise and passing away of Fali Nariman. He was a great giant of an intellectual,” Chandrachud told Attorney General R Venkataramani as he began the day’s proceedings in the apex court.

Reacting to the news of his Nariman's death, senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi took to X and wrote: “End of an era’?#falinariman passes away, a living legend who will forever be in hearts and minds of those in law and public life. Above all his diverse achievements, he stuck to his principles unwaveringly and called a spade a spade, a quality shared by his brilliant son #Rohinton.”

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said not only the legal fraternity, but the country has lost a towering figure of intellect and wisdom.

“The country has lost an epitome of what righteousness stood for. A doyenne, paragon and a legend in his own lifetime has left us, leaving the jurisprudence enriched by his immense contribution. I have always learnt something new by merely appearing even against him,” the law officer said in his message.

Activist-lawyer Prashant Bhushan said Nariman’s death was an enormous loss to the country.

In a post on X, Bhushan wrote: “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 and close friend of our family. His passing away at this critical juncture is an enormous loss for our country.” Fali Nariman’s son, Rohinton Nariman, was a Supreme Court judge.

In a post on X, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said the death of a fierce votary of constitutional civil liberties, Nariman, is a huge loss to the legal system.

“A Padma Vibhushan recipient, his unwavering commitment to his principles remained steadfast and admirable. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and compatriots. May his soul rest in peace,” Kharge said on the microblogging platform.

Rahul Gandhi condoled the veteran lawyer’s demise and said it leaves a profound void in the legal community.

“His contributions have not only shaped landmark cases, but have also inspired generations of jurists to uphold the sanctity of our Constitution and civil liberties,” the former Congress chief said.

“May his commitment to justice and fairness continues to guide us, even in his absence,” Gandhi said. —with PTI inputs

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