Delhi High Court: A Bench of Rajendra Menon, CJ and V. Kameswar Rao, J., dismissed a petition wherein Mathews J. Nedumpara, Advocate and others sought, inter alia, to disqualify Senior Advocate Fali S. Nariman from appearing in the Supreme Court.

The petitioners made certain prayers including:

declare that respondent No 1, the living legend, is disqualified from appearing in the Supreme Court where his illustrious son, Hon’ble Mr Justice Rohinton F. Nariman, is a sitting Judge, fo, the Supreme Court means the entire Courts as an institution and the petitions which he (respondent 1) vets captioned as “To The Hon’ble the Chief Justice and his companionJustices of the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India come up before his illustrious son, Hon’ble Mr Justice Rohinton F. Nariman.”

The petitioners contended that the Explanation to Rule 6 of the Bar Council of India Rules, 1971 negates the concept of nemo debet esse judex in propria causa (nobody shall be a judge in his own cause).

As for the relevant purpose, Rule 6 bars an advocate from practicing in any way before a Court where any of his relation mentioned therein is a Judge of the Court. However, Explanation thereto makes it clear that the word “Court” does not mean the entire Court but only refers to a particular Court where relative of a lawyer is a Presiding Judge.

According to Mr Nedumpara, a declaration should be given to bring within the ambit of the word “Court” the entire Court where the relative of the advocate is a Judge.

The High Court was of the considered view that the law does not permit it to make such a declaration. It was stated, “If the provisions of Rule 6 and the Explanation contained thereto as appearing in the statutory rules are taken note of, it clearly explains the ambit and import of the word ‘Court’ used therein and if the contention of the petitioner is to be accepted, we would be rewriting the statute in a manner which would run contrary to the legislative intent and this, in our considered view, is not permissible in law”. That being the legal position, the Court saw no reason to make any indulgence into the matter. Resultantly, the writ petition was dismissed. [Mathews J. Nedumpara v. Fali S. Nariman, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7529, dated 6-03-2019]

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One comment

  • Not for fali sir…He is himself an institution ……Father of law.. learn from him about clarity… The issue whether a spouse of sitting judge can practice in same court…..What I can share we sometime don’t get relief but on same grounds a spouse of sitting and even president of council gets …A contentious issue…Can we object it…But fali sir case …I have learned only watching conferences and appearance…We all lawyer can not only dream. But should follow him…I dnt think we will get another lawyer like him for decades….

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