A Review of “Legal Eagles”

There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures.”

Legal Eagles traces the journey of 7 Lawyers. It is replete with anecdotes. The first two chapters are unmissable.

Fun Facts:

Harish Salve

  • “My Senior, Soli Sorabjee, was an eminent jurist with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law – but he hated figures” (pg. 8).
  • “Despite his nervousness, Harish began his arguments and sharp at 1 p.m., Justice Chandrachud asked if he was done” (pg. 10).
  • “I feel privileged that I got an opportunity to sit in a room that was for decades occupied by the famous Michael Beloff, QC” (pg. 21).
  • “He has passion for music, and is fond of listening to Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Harish is a connoisseur of art, and ever little artefact in his house has sentimental value.” (pg. 23).

Mukul Rohtagi

  • “The senior lawyer’s (RamJet) diatribe against Mukul and Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, on the issue led even Karanjawala & Co., the advocate-on-record (meaning an advocate or firm through whom one can file petitions and affidavits in the Supreme Court), to withdraw from the black money case filed in 2009, as Raian Karanjawala is one of Mukul’s closest friends” (pg. 34).
  • “Mukul had represented Modi and his government in the 2002 Gujarat riots case when he was the chief minister. He had also dealt with the fake encounter deaths” (pg. 34).
  • “I am still in touch with my school friends, especially those who are still in Delhi… Navin Dang of the famous diagnostic centre in Delhi… comprise my childhood friends” (pg. 38).
  • “Justice Madan B. Lokur of the Supreme Court was Mukul’s senior at school” (pg. 38).
  • “Mukul has also defended Varun Gandhi, an estranged member of the Nehru-Gandhi political clan, who was accused of inciting religious hatred during the election campaigning in 2009” (pg. 49).

Abhishek Manu Singhvi

  • “Many present High Court judges, potential future Chief Justice of India and eminent business heads were not only his college batchmates but classmates as well. These include the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Dhananjaya Chandrachud; the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, Sanjay Kaul” (pg. 71).
  • “At the age of thirty-four, Abhisek was designated as India’s youngest senior advocate ever” (pg. 76).
  • “His interests include reading autobiographies and biographies; his favourites include A Sparrow’s Flight by Lord Quintin Hogg Hailsham” (pg. 85).

Arvind P. Datar

  • “When joining the Bar, Arvind had set a goal for himself to write a nationally known law book by his thirtieth birthday. For lawyers, advertising is prohibited, and the only way a lawyer can make himself known is by writing articles and books” (pg. 105).

Aryama Sundaram

  • “My father would often say, there is so much that is good in the worst of us… and so much that is bad in the best of us… it little behoves some of us to talk ill of the rest of us” (pg. 141).

Prashant Bhushan

  • “Justice Jagmohan Lal Sinha of the Allahabad High Court, who ultimately heard the case after Justice W. Broome retired, set aside Gandhi’s election and disqualified her for a period of six years! It was a verdict that is still unparalleled in India’s judicial and political history” (pg. 159).
  • “One of the country’s leading lawyers Harish Salve filed a contempt case in 2010 against Prashant for the accusation he had made against the judges, questioning their integrity” (pg. 168).

Justice Rohinton F. Nariman

  • “Rohinton, being interested in the genealogy of royal families, stood up, scrutinizing the list” (pg. 191).
  • “It was at Harvard that I submitted my thesis: Affirmative Action: A Comparison between Indian and US Constitutional Law” (pg. 194).
  • “He believes that the case that actually built his reputation as an astute lawyer was R. Laxmanan v. State of Tamil Nadu (1996)” (pg. 198).
  • “I feel it’s the greatest obstacle to have a father who is in the profession, especially if he is a renowned jurist. I chose not to join him as a junior” (pg. 203).Legal Eagles
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