Senior Supreme Court lawyer Fali S. Nariman passes away
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Senior Supreme Court lawyer Fali S. Nariman passes away

February 21, 2024

New Delhi: Eminent jurist and senior Supreme Court advocate Fali S. Nariman passed away at his Delhi home this morning. He was 95. He is survived by his son, former Supreme Court judge Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, daughter-in-law Sanaya and daughter Anaheeta. His wife Bapsi Nariman passed away in 2020. The noted jurist was awarded Padma Bhushan (1991) and Padma Vibhushan (2007). He was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha from 1999–2005. A distinguished Constitutional lawyer, Fali Nariman has argued several landmark cases, including famous National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) verdict.

Nariman also appeared in the important SC Advocate-on-Record Association case (which led to the collegium system), the TMA Pai case (on the scope of minority rights under Article 30) etc.  In June 1975, he resigned as the Additional Solicitor General of India to protest against the decision of the Indira Gandhi government to declare an Emergency.

A fierce votary of civil liberties and secularism, Nariman was an important public voice whose critical opinions about judicial developments carried much weight. His autobiography ‘Before Memory Fades’ is a widely read book, especially among law students and young lawyers, acting as a source of inspiration for them.

Supreme Court Advocate Brijesh Kalappa met Fali S. Nariman on Feb. 17 along with his son Dhanush Thimmaiah. In a Facebook post, Brijesh Kalappa said, “Dhanush and I called on Fali S. Nariman on Saturday, Feb. 17. He was a bit under the weather. His eyes were moist and he complained of having a cold. We spent a good 30 minutes in his company until he said he wanted to rest. The legend passed away today.”

‘The State of Nation’ and ‘God Save the Hon’ble Supreme Court’ are some of his other books. “I have lived and flourished in a secular India. In the fullness of time if God wills, I would also like to die in a secular India,” he wrote in his autobiography.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he was pained at Nariman’s death, terming the jurist one of the “most outstanding legal minds and intellectuals”.

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Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud began the day’s proceedings in the Supreme Court by condoling Nariman’s death. “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.


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