Loot the Adanis and Ambanis if you have to, but spare the taxpayers- A request to Mr. Fali Nariman


Mathews J Nedumpara
98205 35428

I am once again surprised to come across an order of the Government of Kerala, law department dated 3.11.2022 in the social media titled ‘payment of professional fees to Shri Fali S Nariman, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court, for providing ‘written legal opinion in Re Kerala Legislative Assembly Bills’. On verifying I had no reason to doubt the genuineness of the order which has become viral on social media. The Government order states that the Government has sanctioned a total amount of Rs. 46,90,000/- (Forty Six Lakh Ninety Thousand) for the written legal opinion rendered by Shri Fali S. Nariman. The break up is as infra.

1. Shri Fali S Nariman- Rs. 30 lakhs
2. Junior- Shri Subhash Sharma – Rs. 9.90 lakhs
3. 2nd Junior – L. Ahmed – Rs. 4 lakhs
4. Clerk- Vinod – Rs. 3 lakhs

The looting of the Adanis and Ambanis of the world in terms of legal fees is of no concern to the common man. But charging state governments tens of lakhs for rendering a legal opinion is nothing but looting. It is not so far in the past that I have lamented -despite my warm relationship with him- about Shri Aspi Chinoy, a Senior Advocate of the Bombay High Court, charging Rs. 82 lakhs for defending the BMC. Kangana Ranaut had filed a case in the Bombay High Court in challenge of BMC’s order directing her to demolish a part of her building which was allegedly constructed in violation of the rules. Ordinarily, any of the panel counsels of the BMC could defend it, the issue being a simple case of some additions made without BMC’s permission.

Looting of the Central and State governments and the public sector undertakings by the so called senior counsels of the Supreme Court is a practice which has been in vogue for quite some time now, which has remained largely unquestioned. But Fali Nariman is not just any lawyer. He has assumed to himself -with the help of his coterie- the post of the moral guardian. That is the impression anyone who has read his books would gather.

I have noticed long since that he doesn’t necessarily practice what he preaches. When Justice Krishna Iyer became a judge of the Supreme Court, his sons even gave up practice. When Justice KS Radhakrishnan, who has since retired as one of the senior judges of the SC, was elevated to the bench in 1993, his illustrious father, late Shri CKS Panicker, the doyen of the kerala bar, retired from practice. I can cite any number of such examples. However, when Justice Rohinton Nariman was elevated to the bench, FS Nariman, his father, did not stop practicing in the Supreme Court where his son was a sitting judge. On the contrary, he ruled the roost, even challenged the NJAC using SCAORA as a pawn and in the open court, during it’s hearing, thanked the judges for elevating his son, Rohinton Nariman J. I am forwarding along with this message the Government of Kerala’s notification.

It is said that charity begins at home. Look how charitable Shri FS Nariman is to his juniors and clerks at the cost of the poor tax payers of the country. For Shri Subhash Sharma, Mr. Nariman’s trusted junior, the Government was billed Rs. 9.90 lakhs. The charity did not end there. The tax payers are made to pay another Rs. 4 lakhs to another junior. The clerk gets a whooping Rs. 3 lakhs for I assume typing out the legal opinion. If this is not looting, with utmost respect, I beg to ask, what is?

The so called senior lawyers loot the litigants because law, an otherwise simple subject, has been made to appear to be a rocket science, nay, even more complicated. They have been fooling the common people by making a mockery of the concept of judicial review, PIL, etc. I have dealt with these issues at length in various articles. I would request the reader to go through them. This kind of malpractice needs to be brought to an end.