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Indian Jurist Fali S. Nariman Dies At Age 95

Fali S. Nariman, a former Additional Solicitor General of India, constitutional lawyer, and jurist, departed from this life on February 21 at 12.45 a.m. He was ninety-five. Mr. Nariman, who is well-respected worldwide, was born on January 10, 1929.

“We are truly saddened by Mr. Nariman’s untimely passing. As soon as the court met on Wednesday, Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud addressed Attorney General of India R. Venkataramani in public. “He was a giant as an intellectual,” the Chief Justice said. Nariman was working late last night to finalise his written pleadings for a Constitution Bench matter, according to a senior advocate.

Nariman’s earliest recollections include his “adventurous trek” with his parents from Burma to India following the attack of Pearl Harbour and coming dangerously close to being run over by a wild elephant in the jungles.

In November 1950, he started his legal career in the esteemed chambers of Sir Jamshedji Kanga at the Bombay High Court. After being appointed as the Additional Solicitor General of India in May 1972, he relocated to Delhi; however, with the imposition of censorship during the Emergency, he resigned from his job with a single line letter addressed to the Law Minister.

Subsequently, he represented clients in a number of significant Supreme Court cases, such as the Bhopal gas tragedy, the TMA Pai case, and, years later, a brilliant apex court intervention in the Jayalalithaa disproportionate assets case.

He wasn’t shy about calling out the judiciary when they made mistakes. He was an advocate for civic freedoms and free expression.

Nariman has occupied a number of esteemed positions in both the domestic and global spheres.

In November 1999, the author was a member of the Rajya Sabha and was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.

Judge Rohinton Nariman, his son, served on the Supreme Court as judge.

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