Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana on Friday said Justice L. Nageswara Rao played a vital role in expounding the law and interpreting the Constitution in several noteworthy opinions, and also authored several landmark decisions during his time on the bench.
It was also revealed during his farewell function that he had acted in films and played in the Ranji Trophy for Andhra Pradesh.
In his address at the farewell function of Justice Rao organised by the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), the Chief Justice said: “As a judge, brother Nageswara Rao played a vital role in expounding the law and interpreting the Constitution in several noteworthy opinions. He has authored several landmark decisions during his time on the bench. It is a long and distinguished list, so, I will only mention a few.”
He said that Justice Rao was the force behind ensuring that the tribunal structure in India is upheld through his judgement in Madras Bar Association v. Union of India, and had recently authored the judgement in Jacob Puliyel vs Union of India, where he held that no individual can be forced to be vaccinated, and that forcing someone would go against the ethos of Article 21.
“He was part of the 7-judge Bench of the Supreme Court in Krishna Kumar Singh v State of Bihar that held that re-promulgation of ordinances is unconstitutional. He was also part of the majority opinion of the 7-judge Bench decision in Abhiram Singh, which held that an appeal in the name of religion, race, caste, community or language is impermissible under the Representation of People Act, 1951,” the CJI said.
Justice Rao was also part of the 5-judge Bench decision in Jaishri Laxmanrao Patil v Chief Minister, which quashed the reservations for the Maratha community. He is also one of the founders of the International Arbitration and Mediation Centre, Hyderabad.
“He has acted in films as a police inspector. He had acted in a movie called ‘Kanoon Apna Apna’ with Kader Khan and Sanjay Dutt,” senior advocate and SCBA Vice President Pradeep Rai said.
Justice Rao said that he was into theatre during his youth and one of his cousins was a director. Rai said Justice Rao is a cricketer and has played in Ranji Trophy for Andhra Pradesh.
Justice Rao said: “I love being active and sport has taught me a lot of things in life- first thing…..”.
Attorney General K.K. Venugopal called Justice Rao “a powerful judge”.
Justice Rao has also twice served as an Additional Solicitor General.