Eminent Jurist Fali S Nariman Passes Away At 95

New Delhi: Distinguished jurist and senior advocate Fali S Nariman passed away on Wednesday morning in New Delhi at the age of 95.

Nariman had been battling various health issues, including cardiac ailments. The funeral service will be held at 10 am on Thursday at the Parsi Aramgah in New Delhi, family sources said.

Often hailed as the “Bhishma Pitamah” (patriarch) of the Indian judiciary, Nariman was the recipient of the country’s highest civilian award Padma Vibhushan. Through his remarkable oratory prowess and astute advocacy, the senior advocate was prominently involved in numerous Constitution bench cases that significantly contributed to the interpretation of constitutional provisions and reshaped the legal landscape.

Nariman played a pivotal role as a lawyer in several landmark cases, including the Golak Nath case (even constitutional amendments are amenable to judicial review), the TMA Pai case (affirming the rights of minorities to establish institutions), and the SP Gupta and NJAC case (advocating for judicial independence in the appointment of judges).

A former Rajya Sabha member, Nariman was also a prolific author. He authored 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”.

Born in Rangoon on January 10, 1929, in what was then British India, Nariman was admitted to the bar of the Bombay High Court in November 1950. He attained the status of senior advocate in 1961.

Nariman dedicated over 70 years to the practice of law, beginning in the Bombay High Court and later extending to the Supreme Court. He assumed the role of Additional Solicitor General of India in May 1972 but resigned just a day after the declaration of the Emergency on June 26, 1975. The renowned legal luminary also held the position of President of the Bar Association of India from 1991 to 2010.

His son, Justice Rohinton F Nariman, served as a former judge of the Supreme Court.

Expressing his heartfelt condolences, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote 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.”

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, in a post on X, said, it was “an end of an era”.

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