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The Nani Palkhivala Debate, 2019, organised by LexisNexis India, was conducted on August 21 at the Indian Society of International Law, New Delhi. The debate was conducted as part of Lex Consolium Foundation’s celebration of the birth centenary year of legal luminary Nani Palkhivala.
The event saw two teams led by Senior Advocates Raju Ramachandran and Arvind Datar face off on opposing sides of the Privy Purses case (H. H. Maharajadhiraja Madhav Rao vs Union Of India). Ramachandran and Datar were assisted by Advocates Shankar Ramachandran and Gautam Bhatia respectively.
While introducing the teams, it was commented that the debate was designed so that law students, junior advocates and law aspirants were able to understand how arguments may be presented in a court setting within a given time frame, in the backdrop of a matter that has already been decided.
The debate was intended to expose the audience to themes of court etiquette, the manner in which precedents must be cited, and the ability to marshal thoughts during the court process.
The debate was moderated by retired judge of the Supreme Court, Justice AK Sikri. In his opening remarks, Sikri J commented that Palkhivala was perhaps the greatest lawyer India has produced. The case chosen for the debate was one in which Palkhivala appeared and succeeded in. Sikri J remarked that the case triggered a lot of debate at a time when such debates were uncommon. He also commented that the event would offer the audience a glimpse into how lively debates can be in courts.
Watch the LexisNexis debate [Video Courtesy Lexis Nexis]