Eminent legal luminaries like Shri. S. E. Dastur, Shri. N. M. Ranka, Dr. K. Shivaram and others from across the Country have paid their tributes to late Shri. S. H. Kapadia, the former Chief Justice of India, for his stellar contribution to the development of law and justice
(1) Shri. Sohrab Erach Dastur, Sr. Advocate
1. Justice Kapadia was the first Chief Justice born in free and independent India (29th September, 1947). This corresponds to his approach in all judicial matters – free and independent in his thinking and in the pronouncement of judgments – not afraid to dissent where necessary. He was enrolled as an advocate of the High Court at Bombay at the age of 27 years, comparatively an old age for such enrolment, but this was because he had to support himself and his family by engaging himself in an employment prior to qualifying as an advocate. Even to educate himself and to go to college, he had to provide his own finance. He did not have a godfather in the profession. Mr. R. A. Gagrat, a fearless solicitor, who used to take on the most difficult cases – which others shied away from – appreciated lawyer Kapadia’s dedication to the profession and took interest in his progress. He later devilled in the Chambers of Mr. Feroze Damania, a leader in the field of labour law. Under his tutelage he developed as a very persuasive lawyer. As an advocate, he handled a variety of different types of litigations and was also a Counsel on the panel of tax lawyers of the Central Government in the High Court. He was meticulous in preparation of cases and was fair in presenting them.
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While there were several facets to the personality of late Shri. S. H. Kapadia, the former Chief Justice of India, one unknown facet is his fascination for the AIFTP Journal and his affection towards the ITAT Bar Association. The late Jurist was also vocal in his insistence that members of the legal fraternity should put “Duty to the Country” above everything else
Much has been written about the personality of the late Shri. S. H. Kapadia. One inspiring aspect which captured the imagination of the members of the legal fraternity is how the late jurist powered his way from the position of a lowly clerk to the highest judicial office (see Chief Justice Kapadia: Inspiring Story Of Journey From Clerk To Chief Justice). Though there were several obstacles on the way, the late judge overpowered all of them to reach the pinnacle of success through sheer dint of hard work and perseverance.
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Nani Palkhivala, the late eminent Jurist, used to mesmerize the audience with his eloquence. His annual lectures on the Union Budget used to be attended by thousands of people from all walks of society. The crowds were so large that the lectures were held at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai. For the benefit of everyone, and especially the younger generation who would have never had an opportunity of watching Nani Palhivala in person, the Forum of Free Enterprise has made some of his lectures available on youtube. The lectures are a must-watch for all professionals to understand the depth of Nani Palkhivala’s thinking and also the simplicity and clarity with which he made his points understandable to the audience.
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