(Source: Roses In December an Autobiography of Honourable Justice Mr. M. C. Chagla (First Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Post Independence).

“Palkhivala to start with, appeared as Kang’s junior until he took over himself. But even if he did not surpass Kanga, he certainly was his equal. It was on the very first day when I joined the Bench in 1941, and was sitting in my chamber during the lunch interval, when my secretary told me that an advocate by the name of Palkhivala wanted to see me. I did not know him then nor had I heard him, but it was my invariable practice to make myself accessible to any lawyer who wanted to come and see me. I asked my Secretary to bring this young man in, and when I looked up I saw standing before me a shy, and diffident, young man. I was then a member of the Syndicate and all he wanted was a note from me which would permit him to read in the University library. I told him that I would be very happy to give him one, and I was happier still when I found that young lawyers did not merely read law, but were interested in other subjects like literature and history. I did not know then, that Palkhivala would achieve such a rapid and dazzling success at the Bar. Today, he is undoubtedly the most brilliant advocate we have in India. He has an unrivalled command over the language which he uses with mastery and skill and which he combines with his vast knowledge of law and great powers of advocacy. Apart from being an outstanding authority on income tax on which he has written what is truly a monumental book, he has also acquired a mastery over the principles of constitutional law. Indeed, he can handle with consummate skill almost any aspect of law. And it must finally be said to his credit that with all this he has remained essentially modest and humble, Success has not gone his head, something that is rare with human beings”

Source: Souvenir, 1st Nani Palkhivala Memorial National Tax Moot Court Competition (16th to 18th December, 2004)

Comments are closed.