Source – Income tax Review, December 2002.
Honourable Justice Mr. M. H. Kania, Former Chief Justice of India
“Apart from his ability as a lawyer, Nani was a person of complete intellectual integrity. He combined great intellectual ability with humility. He was never rude to any judge nor was he rude to any member of the Bar. It will be a long time before the Bar has an advocate like Nani Again”
Honourable Justice Mr. M. N. Chandurkar, Former Chief Justice of Bombay and Madras High Court.
“To describe Nani Palkhivala by use of adjective and superlatives would hardly be fair to the giant stature of the personality, who had became legend in his life time. To speak of his multifaceted personality in a few words is an enormously difficult task.
But so far as the filed of law is concerned, his monumental treatise on Income Tax law and the eminence and the stature he achieved is hardly capable surpassed at least in the near future”
Honourable Justice Mr. T. D. Sugla, Former Judge, Bombay High Court
“I had bad habit of asking questions when a counsel would be on his legs or say when he would be arguing. Shri Palkhivala would answer all such questions with respect and humility. So great was Palkhivala that he would make us feel great even though we were not, as more often than not, on retrospection we would realize that some of the questions were not really relevant. This is against the trend that quite a few advocates adopt after success goes in to their heads, and they become more assertive than persuasive and grumble and some time even retort improperly on being asked questions.”
“If I am to describe Shri Nani Palkhivala in one sentence, I will say that he was a great author, a legal giant in his own right, a versatile lawyer, jurist a, noble soul and a gentleman to the fault all personified in one. Such people rarely come down on this earth particularly in the present climate”
Honourable Justice Mr. U. T. Shah, Judge, Bombay High Court.
“I joined the Chamber of the Late Shri S. P. Mehta in October 1958, and soon thereafter started accompanying him for meetings/conferences with Shri Palkhivala in respect of cases to be argued before High Court/Tribunals. Shri Palkhivala was always soft spoken and very courteous. He used to be extremely attentive and alert in briefings done by us. He was a busy man and for him, time was always at a premium. The meetings were therefore short, precious and ending mostly with his polite ‘anything further’ accompanied by a disarming smile. However, on the date (s) of hearing he would simply excel in putting things in proper perspective with forceful and effective arguments.”
Shri V. H. Patil, Advocate, Bombay High Court
“As a Lawyer he was perfection personified. Just as the saying goes that no body perfect, it is seen that every lawyer is lacking in some or the other quality. However Shri Nani Palkhivala was a perfect lawyer, devoid of any drawback small or big, in his advocacy. In him we, saw the least, advocacy, at its best. As an advocate he was very effective and precious. So much so that no word could be added or deleted from his presentation of the case to make it more effective. The impact of his arguments was so great that one of the past presidents of the Tribunal once remarked that whenever Shri Palkhivala argued before him, he never decided the issue for next eight days because he was afraid that if the decision was to be given immediately, it was bound to be in his favour of Shri Palkhivala. Not only was he an excellent lawyer, he was even a greater human being. He was very polite, humble to the fault and always ready to help others, all rare qualities especially in a lawyer of his stature.
A very remarkable feature of Shri Palkhivala’s advocacy that he was respectful to the Bench. I have never noticed him losing his temper or being discourteous to the court. Of course, it must be added, that most of the members of the judiciary were always over awed his presence before them. He was equally fair and courteous to other side.”
Shri S. N. Inamdar, Senior Advocate, Bombay High Court, Mumbai
“Shri Palkhivala was role model to us in the profession of tax consultants. He taught us to be fearless in approach and honest in action. He taught us values to be cherished by his own behavior.”
Shri Narayan Varma, Chartered Accountant, Mumbai
“A couple of professionals and I had number of meetings with him on the matter and delighted to witness his grasp, advocacy and readiness to help the profession and we learned lot from him these meetings”
(Source : Souvenir, 1st Nani Palkhivala Memorial National Tax Moot Court competition (16th to 18th December, 2004)