A Tribute To MN Krishnamani

Mr. M.N. Krishnamani, Senior Advocate, Padmashree awardee left for his heavenly abode this morning at Bangalore. Mr. Krishnamani was a very eminent senior advocate practicing in the Supreme Court. He was elected as President of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on four occasions. In fact, I was President of SCBA for six occasions but on none of these occasions Mr. Krishnamani contested. In fact, he supported me and whenever he contested I did not contest for the post of President of SCBA.

He was a senior advocate who did not confine his horizon to law and court rooms. He was very humble and amiable to each and every member of the bar, be it senior or junior. He interacted not only with the members of the bar but people in various fields. He, as President of the SCBA, devoted lot of time and energy towards problems of the bar. He also had good contacts with members of the bar throughout India. He always respected the elected representatives of the bar councils, High court bar associations, district court bar associations and other specialized Tribunals.

He was well read. He knew Sanskrit very well and knew lot about our history and religion. He was very fond of musical discourses. He had written large number of books. He had written and spoken about Swami Vivekananda. He had composed many poems. He had also written large number of articles on different fields, law and other subjects.

He had lot of spiritual instincts and they were utilized by him as a member of the bar, both while arguing in courts and while writing lectures, articles, speeches etc. He was associated with Delhi Tamil Sangham. He was also the founder member of Ved Parishad.

He did his education in Madras and passed his B.Sc. in Geology from the Presidency College, Madras and also did his law from Madras Law College. He was enrolled as an Advocate in 1971 in Madras. He was junior of late Shri M.K. Nambiar and Shri K.K. Venugopal. He used to appear in large number of high courts. He used to help junior members of the bar and when he was present in the court and found the junior members were not able to formulate their proposition, he would get up and tell the junior members what they should argue loud enough for the honorable judges to hear.

He used to appear for Union of India, state governments, government corporations as well as for private litigants. If any junior member of the bar had told him that the client had not given him the fees, he would gladly appear for the clients, probono.

On a personal note he used to have a lot of interactions with me about problems of members of the bar and we both used to discuss many problems of the junior members of the bar and lady members of the bar.

During one of our usual coffee meetings in the Supreme Court Bar canteen, we discussed about elevating Supreme Court practitioners as judges of different High Courts. Large number of advocates, (senior advocates, Advocates-on-Record and other advocates), have been practicing in the Supreme Court for so many years that they should be considered for appointment as high court judges, preferably, in the high court of the states where they come from. In fact, both of us had mentioned this to some of the then Chief Justices of India and judges. We also pointed out that the high court collegiums state that they do not know the performance of the advocates because the advocate practising in Supreme Court not appearing before them and normally, the Supreme Court collegium does not initiate fresh names. Therefore, we had said that in the Chief Justice’s conference, which takes place every year, they should pass some resolution which will help the high court collegiums to recommend names of the practitioners in the Supreme Court. In fact, except in few exceptions, these big talents available in the Supreme Court, has not been utilized for appointment as high court judges. I hope this desire of his is fulfilled sooner than later.

Mr. M.N. Krishnamani was awarded Padmashree in the field of public affairs by Hon’ble Rashtrapatijiee, Shri Pranab Mukherjee last year. In fact, very few members of the bar have been conferred Padma Awards.

Last time I met Mr. Krishnamani was about three months back when his health did not appear to be good. When I asked him he said he is alright and nothing serious or troublesome. Little did I know that was the last meeting I would have with him.

The bar and bench in the Supreme Court have lost an eminent advocate and a great human being. For me it is a personal loss.

On my behalf as well as on behalf of the members of the Confederation of Indian Bar and on behalf of the International Institute of Human Rights Society, I pray to the Almighty that let his soul rest in eternal peace.

Pravin H. Parekh is a Senior Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and the President of Confederation of Indian Bar.

[The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of LiveLaw and LiveLaw does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same]

This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.

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