Rohinton Fali Nariman

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Rohinton Fali Nariman
Judge of the Supreme Court of India
Assumed office
7 July 2014
Solicitor General of India
In office
27 July 2011 – 4 February 2013
Personal details
Born 13 August 1956[1]
Spouse(s) Sanaya Nariman[2]
Relations Fali Sam Nariman
Alma mater Shri Ram College of Commerce, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, Harvard Law School.
Profession Lawyer (till appointment as judge)

Rohinton Fali Nariman (Hindi: रोहिंटन नरीमन) is a judge of the Supreme Court of India. Before being elevated as a judge, he practised as a senior counsel at the Supreme Court. He was appointed the Solicitor General of India on 23 July 2011.[3] He also served as a member of the Bar Council of India.[4] He was designated as a Senior Counsel by Justice Venkatachaliah (the then Chief Justice of India) in 1993 at the early age of 37.[3][5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Nariman is the son of Fali Sam Nariman,[7] a distinguished Indian Jurist. He received his early education in Mumbai, at the Cathedral and John Connon School.[8] He completed his undergraduate B.Com. degree from Shri Ram College of Commerce. He completed his LL.B from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi, where he ranked 2nd in the batch. He then went to Harvard Law School for his LL.M. degree in 1980–81 where he was taught by stalwarts like Professor Laurence Tribe and Professor Unger. He is the only Harvard alumnus serving as a Judge at the Supreme Court of India.

Legal career[edit]

Nariman joined the Bar as an advocate in 1979.[9] Times of India has placed him among top ten lawyers of his time.[10] After his year at Harvard, he practised Maritime Law in New York at Haight, Gardner, Poor & Havens for a year.[2][11] He has been designated as a Senior Advocate at Supreme Court of India from 15 December 1993 at the young age of 37.[12] While appointing him Chief Justice Venkatachalaiah amended the rules as Nariman was of 37 years and the minimum age for being made a senior in the Supreme Court was 45.[7]

He has been practising law for the last 30 years and has more than 500 reported Supreme Court Judgments to his credit. He is an expert in Comparative Constitutional Law and Civil Law. He has argued numerous cases, including the constitutional bench judgments of P.A. Inamdar v. State of Maharashtra[13] and State of Punjab v. Devans Modern Breweries Ltd.[14]

One of Mr. Nariman's latest cases, Enercon (India) Ltd. v. Enercon GMBH, Civil Appeal No. 2086 of 2014, has clarified the arbitration law on the seat/venue dichotomy. Khoday Distilleries Ltd. v. Scotch Whisky Assn., (2008) 10 SCC 723 is a landmark case in trademark law wherein the arguments of Mr. Nariman that the class of buyer may be relevant to the determination of a passing off action and it is not always the test of the prudent man which would apply was accepted. He has argued the cases for theatre artist Vijay Tendulkar and the controversy-marred play Sakharam Binder. He claims that these two cases have been the turning points of his life.[10] He has handled the high-profile case of gas sharing between the Reliance Industries Limited (led by Mukesh Ambani) and Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (which is led by Anil Ambani).[6][15]

He has set up the Supreme Court Lawyers Welfare Trust which works for the welfare of lawyers and encourages young talent.[10][16]

Solicitor General[edit]

Nariman was of 55 years of age when he was appointed the Solicitor General of India.[7]


After being at the post of Solicitor General of India for eighteen months, Nariman resigned on 4 February 2013. The reasons for the same have been unknown though it is being said that he shared a poor rapport with the Law Minister Ashwani Kumar[17][18]

Supreme Court Judge[edit]

Nariman was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court on 7 July 2014. He is the fifth Supreme Court judge to be elevated directly from the Bar. He will retire on attaining the age of 65 years on 12 August 2021.[19]


  1. ^ Press Bureau of India : Shri Rohinton Fali Nariman Appointed as Solicitor General of India Last Retrieved on 4 February 2013.
  2. ^ a b The BPP Review (17 December 2011) : Solicitor General feted Last Retrieved on 4 February 2011
  3. ^ a b [1], Rohinton Nariman appointed Solicitor-General
  4. ^ "Members of Bar Council of India". 
  5. ^ "Rohinton F. Nariman – Personal Website". Archived from the original on 22 March 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Rohinton Nariman is new Solicitor General of India". 
  7. ^ a b c [2], Rohinton Nariman To Be Appointed Solicitor General of India
  8. ^ The BPP Review (17 December 2011) : Solicitor General feted,
  9. ^ Legal Era – Rohinton Nariman To Be New Solicitor General Last Retrieved on 4 February 2013.
  10. ^ a b c India's top 10 lawyers – Times of India Last retrieved on 4 February 2013
  11. ^
  12. ^ List of Senior Advocates at Supreme Court of India
  13. ^ (2005) 6 SCC 537
  14. ^ (2004) 11 SCC 26
  15. ^ "Rohinton Nariman appointed Solicitor General". 
  16. ^ Supreme Court Lawyers Welfare Trust encourages young talent; Introduces 2 annual fellowships – Bar and Bench Last Retrieved on 4 February 2013.
  17. ^ NDTV: Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman quits after 18 months in office Last retrieved on 4 February 2013
  18. ^ Times of India – Solicitor General RF Nariman resigns Last retrieved on 4 February 2013
  19. ^ "Justices Arun Mishra, Adarsh Goel and lawyer Rohinton Nariman appointed Supreme Court judges". Economic Times. PTI. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2014.