Nanabhoy Palkhivala

Nanabhoy Palkhivala

Views: 1086

Category: Administration

Nanabhoy Palkhivala Profile

  • Name:
  • Nanabhoy Palkhivala
  • Born:
  • January 16, 1920
  • Died:
  • December 11, 2002

Nanabhoy Palkhivala Biography

Nanabhoy Palkhivala was an Indian jurist, an outspoken critic and economist who lived during the period, January 16, 1920 – December 11, 2002. C. Rajagoplachari once remarked that Palkhivala was God’s gift to India. By far he is the best litigator that India has ever witnessed. As a lawyer he is known to save the Constitutional rights of the citizens and its structure for many years. With fighting legendary cases like the “Kesavananda Bharti vs The State of Kerala“, he is always remembered as one of the finest speakers in the Court of Law. When Nani Palkhivala refused to defend Indira Gandhi in court in 1975 just before Emergency period was announced, it was a new history.


Nani Palkhivala was born in 1920 in Mumbai into a Parsi family. He spent his younger days in Mumbai where he completed his schooling, followed by graduation at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai. He was a dedicated student and brilliant scholar, he was hampered by a bad stammer, and later he overcame his speech impediment, and went on to become one of the greatest jurists India has ever witnessed. He was a close friend and colleague of Padma Vibhushan Soli Sorabjee.


Soon after graduation, its application for serving as a lecturer was rejected multiple times because of stammering. He enrolled at Government Law College, Bombay and once completion of his course, he proved himself as an excellent barrister at his time. Palkhivala was called to the bar in 1946. He served as junior counsel in the case Nusserwanji Balsara vs. State of Bombay while serving as a junior in 1951. Over the years he went on to become one of the leading interpreters of constitutional law and a most ardent defender of the civil liberties.


In 1963, Palkhivala was offered a seat in the Supreme Court, which he declined. He was offered the position of Attorney-General by Govinda Menon in 1968 which he declined too. He served as Indian Ambassador to the United States in 1977. During his last years he was seriously affected by Alzheimer's disease and was critically ill in 2002, before he passed away in December the same year.

Published: October 15, 2018

Updated: October 15, 2018

Famous People: By Profession


Suggest Philip Hartog profile update

captcha image (Can't see? refresh)