The Bar Council of India (BCI) conferred five legal luminaries with lifetime achievement awards for their contributions to the field on Sunday. Senior advocates K Parasaran, Fali S Nariman, KK Venugopal, Soli J Sorabjee and Ram Jethmalani were among the legal veterans who were listed for the award. Sorabjee and Jethmalani were posthumously awarded for their contribution in the field of law.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah presented the awards to Nariman and Venugopal. Parasaran’s award was accepted by his son, senior advocate Satish Parasaran. The home minister also handed over the awards of Jethmalani and Sorabjee to their family members.
Shah, while addressing the event, said “I want to say from the heart that awards were given to such persons that I felt proud felicitating them. It’s always difficult to select people for awards from such a big field. But ask any person related to the legal field in the country and they will tell these names — late senior advocates Sorabjee, Jethmalani, senior advocates Parasaran, Fali Nariman and Venugopal — for the award.”
Parasaran, who served as attorney general of India from 1983 to 1989, had successfully argued the Ayodhya land dispute case for the Hindu parties. He is the first trustee of the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, which is looking after temple’s construction and management.
“The Bar Council of India, for the first time, is going to felicitate the legal luminaries of the country. The council has decided that every year five legal luminaries, the number may increase in course of time, will be felicitated with the lifetime achievement award — Bar Council of India Vidhi Ratna Award,” Bar Council of India Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra announced during the valedictory session of the its two-day International Lawyers Conference – 2023.
It is a proud moment for the council to felicitate the country’s “legal assets”, who not only brought fame and respect to the legal profession in India but also abroad, he added.
Parasaran, in a video message, thanked the council for the award and termed it a great privilege.
Nariman served as additional solicitor general from 1972 to 1975 and is a former Rajya Sabha member.
Venugopal was attorney general of India from 2017 to 2022.
Sorabjee, who passed away in April 2021, served as attorney general of India from 1989 to 90 and 1998 to 2004.
Jethmalani, who died in 2019, served as the Union law and justice minister and Bar Council of India chairman.
Shah also lauded the Bar Council of India for felicitating the legal luminaries.
Attorney General R Venkataramani and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta read out the citations for the awards.
(With PTI inputs)