Justice Rohinton Nariman Retires

Noted Supreme Court Judge Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman has retired on 12th August 2021.

  • In 1993, then Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah amended the court’s rules to designate him senior advocate at the age of 37.
  • He was appointed Solicitor-General in 2011.
  • He became only the fifth lawyer in the nation’s history to be directly appointed as judge of the Supreme Court in 2014.

Significant Role as a Judge

  • Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code: Justice Nariman almost single-handedly steered the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. Of the 164 Supreme Court judgments on the code, 81 were authored by him.
  • Review Petitions: The Supreme Court amended its rules following his judgment that review petitions filed by condemned prisoners should be heard in open court and not within the judges’ chambers.
  • Section 66A of the Information Technology Act: He struck down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act which armed the State with power to send people to prison for “uncomfortable” social media messages.
  • Homosexuality: He cleansed a colonial smear from the Indian Penal Code by decriminalising homosexuality.
  • Sabarimala Judgment: He was part of the majority on the Bench which held that women aged between 10 and 50 years cannot be barred from the Sabarimala temple on the biological ground of menstruation.
  • Instant Talaq: His judgment on instant talaq found the Muslim man’s “capricious and whimsical” right “manifestly arbitrary”.
  • Accountability of Political Parties: He held political parties accountable for the ‘criminal’ candidates they field in elections.
  • Speaker’s Power: He urged Parliament to take away the Speaker’s power to decide disqualification under the Tenth Schedule. He said an independent tribunal should be formed for this function.