The black coat goons, the monochrome league, supermen in black or the penguins of courtrooms, you may call them by any name but at the end of day, they are the ones fighting for justice. In the republic, democratic, sovereign and secular country of India, lawyers play a pivotal role in interpreting law and constitution, so that common man can fight for their rights and nation can curb any form of anarchy in the state. The Indian legal profession is one of the largest in the world. The roots of this profession had been laid many years before Independence, since then the profession has evolved immensely and currently faces various challenges; the most important being to provide access across the profession, ensure ethical foundations and modernise the practice across the board.
The Indian legal profession today consists of approximately 12 lakhs registered advocates, around 950 law schools and approximately 4-5 lakhs law students across the country. Every year, approximately 60,000 – 70,000 law graduates join the legal profession in India. To become an eminent lawyer, one needs years of experience, dedication, rigorous study and track of the amendment laws and rules. All this helps an advocate to perform at his best in the court room and helps him interpret the law according to the nature of the case presented in front of them.
Here we would like to pen down topmost lawyers of India with reference to data of 2015 and 2016.
Harish Salve: Expertise in the areas of constitutional, commercial and taxation laws. He primarily practices at the India, but also appears in various High Courts and in international arbitral disputes, sometimes as a counsel and other times as an adjudicator. He served as the Solicitor General of India from 1 November 1999 to 3 November 2002. Land mark case: Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Limited case of the Krishna Godavari Basin gas dispute case against the latter’s brother is the main Anil Ambani’s Reliance Natural Resources Limited.
Ram Jethmalani: Primarily known as only a criminal lawyer, although he has appeared in many important cases concerning constitutional matters.Ram Jethmalani first came to spot light with his appearance in the famous K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra case in 1959 with Yeshwant Vishnu Chandrachud. And this case is about to show cased as Rustom realeasing on 12th August, 2016.
Mukul Rohtagi: Works with various profiles of cases. Landmark case: Represented Gujarat government in the Supreme Court in the 2002 Gujarat riots and fake encounter death cases, including the Best Bakery and Zahira Sheikh Cases. He has also served earlier as Additional Solicitor General of India and presently appointed as Attorney General of India.
Majid Memon: Specialised in criminal law. Landmark case: He represented Yakub Memon but could not set him free.
Satish Maneshinde: Expertise in: Advocate FEMA, Custom Law Consultants, Service Matter Advocate, Will Legal Consultant, Labour Law Advocate, Online Dgft Licensing, Court Domicile Certificate, Excise, Civil, Factory, Consultant, Writ Advocate, Share Market Advocate. Landmark case: he secured bail for Sanjay Dutt in the Bombay Blast Case and for Salman Khan who allegedly killed one person for drunk driving.
Aryama Sundaram: Primarily practices corporate law but also takes up constitutional law and media related cases. Landmark Case:Lawyer in the S. Rangarajan case which resulted in one of the landmark judgments on the freedom of speech and expression.
Arvind Datar: He is a senior advocate of Madras High court who specializes in tax laws and a writer as well. His books ‘Nani Palkhivala: The Courtroom Genius’, ‘Datar Commentary on Constitution of India’ and ‘Guide to Central Excise Law and Practice: With Accounting Practices’. Landmark Case: High Court of Madras on the Sahara v. SEBI case (Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Limited v. Securities and Exchange Board of India).
Abhishek Manu Singhvi: Specialized in Constitutional law. Landmark case: Naveen Jindal vs M/S Zee Media Corporation Ltd & Anr.
Gopal Subramanium: Works with wide range of topics, from matters involving complex questions of constitutional and criminal law. Landmark case: concerning the law of arbitration in India, including the BALCO case.
Soli J. Sorabjee: Renowned human rights lawyer. He was appointed by the UN as a Special Rapporteur for Nigeria, in 1997, to report on the human rights situation in that country. Landmark cases: Keshavananda Bharati, Maneka Gandhi, S.R. Bommai. He has been honored with Padma Vibhushan for his defense of the freedom of expression and the protection of human rights.
Fali S. Nariman: Distinguished Indian Constitutional jurist and senior advocate to the Supreme Court of India since 1971. Landmark case: Nariman argued in favour of Dow chemicals (the owned by Union carbide) in the infamous Bhopal gas disaster case, which he admitted as a mistake in recent times. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan (1991), Padma Vibhushan (2007) and Gruber Prize for Justice (2002).
By: Sanjukta Biswas, Staff Writer at Legal Desire Media & Publications