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Veteran jurist Fali S. Nariman dies at 95

Nariman argued in several landmark cases that had a long-lasting impact on India’s constitutional jurisprudence

Veteran jurist Fali S. Nariman dies at 95
[Source photo: X/Rahul Gandhi]

Veteran lawyer and renowned jurist Fali S. Nariman died on Wednesday at the age of 95. He was suffering from multiple ailments, including cardiac issues.

He is survived by his son, Rohinton Nariman, a former judge of the Supreme Court of India.

Born on 10 January 1929 in Rangoon (now Yangon, Myanmar), Nariman started his career as a lawyer at the Bombay High Court after getting a law degree from the Government Law College, Mumbai. 

He later moved to Delhi, and was appointed the Solicitor General of India in 1972. He resigned in 1975 following then prime minister Indira Gandhi’s decision to declare Emergency.

During his long and illustrious career, Nariman argued in several landmark cases, including the National Judicial Appointments Commission case, the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association case which led to the collegium system, and TMA Pai Case on the scope of minority rights under Article 30.

He served as president of the Bar Association of India from 1991 to 2010. 

Nariman was a nominated member of Rajya Sabha between 1999 and 2005.

An internationally recognized arbitrator, he was the vice chairperson of the International Court of Arbitration of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce from 1989 to 2005.

The government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 1991 and Padma Vibhushan in 2007.

Condolence messages poured in as the news of his death became public. 

“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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said. 

“The passing away of eminent jurist, senior advocate, and a fierce votary of Constitutional Civil Liberties, Fali S 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,” Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge said. 

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