Senior Advocate Fali S Nariman had delivered the seminal CK Daphtary Memorial Lecture entitled The Judiciary and the Role of the Pathfinders in 1987, during which he spoke of two judges who influenced creative judicial thinking.
"In the judicial firmament, these past fifty-six years there have been many other bright and brilliant stars. But what I would call – the Pathfinders – have been few. I can name two – Chief Justice Subba Rao and Justice Krishna Iyer."
Justice Rao, according to Nariman, was the most articulate in all spheres of law, but particularly in matters pertaining to constitutional law.
On the other hand, Justice Iyer helped humanize the legal system, particularly in criminal jurisprudence and jail reform, says Nariman. The lecture explains how Justice Iyer treated binding decisions as no more than decisions applicable to the facts of that particular case.
Nariman, in his inimitable style, goes on to critique the two judges for a couple of their decisions, and concludes the lecture by saying,
"All of this in the end goes to show that Judges are human beings, and that human-beings, like stars in the firmament have their blemishes – despite such blemishes they shine. It is to the credit of these two great men, that after taking into account their frailties, they shine, and shine brightly – like the two Pointers in the Northern Sky."
Today, on Nariman's 94th birthday, we are publishing a copy of the full lecture and a recently recorded video of the eminent jurist reading a shorter version of the lecture.
[Watch the Video Lecture]
[Download the full lecture]