Updated February 21st, 2024 at 15:43 IST

Difficult to Imagine to be in Supreme Court Without Him: Arvind Datar Remembers Late Fali Nariman

In an exclusive chat with Republic, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar remembered ‘Doyen of the Bar' Late Fali Nariman

Reported by: Srinwanti Das
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar Remembers Late Fali Nariman | Image:Republic
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New Delhi: With the passing away of legal luminary Fali S Nariman, tributes and condolences have poured in from people of his legal fraternity. In an exclusive chat with Republic, Senior Advocate Arvind Datar remembered the ‘Doyen of the Bar' and shared anecdotes from their interactions at the court and outside it.

Stating that it is difficult to believe that the noted Indian jurist is no more, Arvind Datar said, “I met him recently in Delhi and spent an hour with him. He was regaling anecdotes about his days in the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court. I worked with him in quite a few matters, particularly matters related to Central Excise, Customs Duty and Taxation Matters.”

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Talking about the National Judicial Appointments Commission for the Constitutional Bench, Arvind Datar further added, “Fali argued that there should be an independent process of selecting judges where primacy is given to the judicial members. His court craft was unmatched. He never irritated the judge and was dignity personified before the court. He never crossed swords with any judge. He tuned himself to what the judges wanted to understand and his advocacy was par excellence. In fact, he was a role model in advocacy.”

Highlighting his legal acumen, Arvind Datar stressed, “The way he prepared his written submissions was something to learn from. I learnt a lot from him on how to present the submissions. He stressed that the facts narrated must show the strength of the case.”

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Noting that the legal legend will be hugely missed, Arvind Datar added, “We will miss him. It is difficult to imagine to be in the Supreme Court without him. We used to often see him walking down the corridor or appearing in court or sitting in the Bar room. All these memories will be permanently with us.

Junior of the veteran Jamshedji Behramji Kanga, Fali S Nariman practised in the Bombay High Court before coming to Delhi and fascinated and inspired his fellow lawyers and advocates. 

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When asked to point out a particular case that Fali S Nariman a legal legend, Arvind Datar promptly shared, “His entire matter of advocacy in the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) case, where he told the court that we were against the particular amendment and giving supremacy to the executive. He didn't cross swords and say that the entire thing is absolute rubbish. He was able to explain why the NJAC path by the Constitutional amendment would be against the judiciary,” adding that he learnt strategy and planning from Fali S Nariman and admired how he spent a lot of time on a case.

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Published February 21st, 2024 at 15:43 IST