FS Nariman was one man I trusted in life. Although brief meetings on several occasions over 15 disqualifications in the case of  Kihoto Hollohon vs Zachilhu and Others. He appeared in the case for us more than a dozen times. He is one who truly advocated what is morally right.

I cannot forget Fali Sam Nariman, a Parsi. I came to know him representing the Congress Party in the case during 1990-1992.

We have challenged the irregularities and illegal procedures of the Speaker.

After a brief trial of the case in the Guwahati High Court, the matter was allowed to be transferred to the Supreme Court as the question of applicability of Tenth schedule was raised. The question arose as to whether the Speaker has absolute authority as specified in the para 6(2), which says the decision of Speaker or Chairman shall be final. In another issue Para 7 bared judiciary jurisdiction.

FS Nariman after briefing him the synopsis and head notes on the case, replied, “I have no mercy for unprincipled and immoral defectors but I shall see that the Constitutional provisions don’t strike down the basic structure of democracy, the Legislative,, Executive, and Judiciary.” His Junior Ezaz Megbool and Prasad were engaged in helping the formation of the case at every stage. They were excellently brilliant.

I have seen FS Nariman had huge respect in the Supreme Court. They made way for him in the rush and crowded Supreme Court corridors and Court rooms. When he rises for submission, the Court room remains silent and I notice that the Honourable Judges give full attention.

Kihoto Hollohon vs Zachilhu case is a landmark judgement.

In a five bench division judgement the judgement validated the Tenth Schedule to protect stability from unprincipled and unethical defections. In view of upholding the para 6 by the majority, merit of the case was not considered as the tenure of the MLAs were over by then.

The minority of the bench delivered that the tenure and position of Speaker depends on continuous support of the majority in the house, therefore, he does not satisfy the requirement of independent adjudicatory authority. Therefore para 7 was struck down and the bar of court jurisdiction was lifted. The Court now has jurisdiction over the Speaker’s decisions. The court can now strike down bad decisions of the Speaker’s.

He lived well. I believe his soul will Rest in Peace.


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