IMAGE: REPUBLIC WORLD
In this week’s edition of ‘Legal Eagle With Rhythm’, Senior Advocate and former Additional Solicitor General Atmaram Nadkarni revealed the various facets of late former Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who had also served as Goa Chief Minister, and under whom Nadkarni had been the Advocate General. Speaking with Republic's Executive Editor - Law & Governance about his relationship with the much-admired Parrikar, Advocate Atmaram Nadkarni called him "a man of complete integrity" apart from being a good friend.
"Apart from being a good friend, one of the qualities of that man (Manohar Parrikar) was he was a man of complete integrity, unlike the politicians you see today. I don't think there were any allegations against him ever. Across India he was known to be a very forthright politician," Atmaram Nadkarni said.
Speaking further, he said, " His qualities was he wanted himself to learn so he would come to me and discuss matters on law. Like he would say he wants a particular scheme or a particular law to be implemented, then law department, myself and many others would point out something and he would understand. So his governance was all people-centric governance. And he has the highest respect for law as he had been a great user of RTI act when he was in opposition. He had himself filed PILs. And therefore my bonding with him was because I respected the man and the quality."
Atmaram Nadkarni, who is the youngest Advocate General in the history of India at the age of 36, and has been appointed four times to the position since then, spoke about the role of an Advocate General in the Constitution.
"He represents and is supposed to protect the interests and people of the state. He is the first law officer for the state like the Attorney General is for the Centre. It is a post which carries a lot of responsibilities," he said.
Speaking further on being the Advocate General for Goa, he said, "Especially in a state like Goa which is too small a state and where you get immediately exposed if the talent is not there, I had never become a government advocate, or additional government advocate or additional AG and so on. I directly became an Advocate General. That is because then CM Francisco Sardinha called me and asked me to be his Advocate General. Thereafter Mr Manohar Parrikar had me to continue as the Advocate General under who I have served the longest."
Moving on further, he also shared his experience on being an Additional Solicitor General.
"For Additional Solicitor General, the vista is completely different. It is at the union level. It is basically an all-India sphere of operation and it is in the Supreme Court. Although Supreme Court and High Court are both Constitutional courts, there is a subtle difference between the two. And the difference is not only in matters of law, factual aspects, etc, even the kind of exposure you get in either of the posts is completely different. But I enjoyed my tenure as both and I consider it to be grace of the god for having got this opportunity," he said.
Senior Advocate Atmaram Nadkarni also spoke about the Tarun Tejpal rape case. After the verdict in Goa sessions court exonerated the accused journalist-author Tarun Tejpal, the Goa Government challenged the verdict in the Bombay High Court.
Speaking on revealing the identity of the victim in the case, Advocate Nadkarni said, "there are certain portions in the judgment which identify the prosecutrix. If this is so, it is a very serious matter. The Chief Justice of the Bombay HC and the High Court judges must take a very serious note of it. The Law provides that the victim's identity should never be disclosed."
The Goa bench of the Bombay High Court heard the petition filed by the Goa government on Wednesday and called the session court's judgment a "manual for rape victims" as it goes into how a victim should respond in such cases. Justice SC Gupte of the Bombay High Court has issued a notice to Tejpal and posted the matter for hearing on June 24.