d. 22 August 2005
Mr RA DADA
Senior Advocate President, Bombay Bar Association
Nari Gursahani was a leading lawyer with over fifty years in practice. He handled many matters which became milestones. Speaking from personal experience, Mr Dada referred to the Mr Gursahani’s work in defending the constitutionality of the Maharashtra Private Forests Act. At the request of the Court he also personally looked into the matter of selections and examinations of police officers. It was on his report to the Court that justice was served. He gave his services readily and no one who came to him was turned away only because he could not afford the fees — for example, the poor teacher who came seeking redress about some matter. Nari Gursahani immediately agreed to appear for him without fees. He was instrumental in helping those who were displaced. Mr Gursahani was one of the few who could harness good. He was warm, affectionate and loved by the Bar. His passing has created a huge void. He epitomizes the man of whom Lloyd George said, “he lived for others, not for himself.” He is deeply mourned by the Association.
MR SR CHITNIS
“The sad part is that Nari is no more,” said Mr Chitnis. He was known as Dada and he lived the part. Everyone went to him for help, from the juniormost lawyer onwards, and there was no one to whom he did not extend a helping hand. He was always ready to help with admission to any school or college and he was generous to a fault with the needy and the poor. Dada’s passing is deeply mourned by all of us.
BAR ASSOCIATION OBITUARY
Nari Gursahani was, in many ways, a misfit. He carried his legal apparel lightly, without the all too often contrived gravitas that can be so forbidding to an ordinary litigant. If there is one word to describe his mien, it must be avuncular: he was everybody’s favourite uncle, the elder brother, Dada, to whom one could unhesitatingly turn at any time. No junior at the Bar thought twice before marching up to him and asking for help. Nari saw each request as a demand, one that he cheerfully complied with. Many of today’s seniors will readily attest to this.
But there is another tradition, too, one that is the hallmark of his community, and of which the late Hotchand Advani was, in his time, the torch-bearer. It is the commitment to serving a wider constituency, to helping people well beyond the portals of a court. Often this took the form of monetary help, but perhaps more important was the dedication to another ideal — education. The Sindhi community has a fine record of a commitment to higher education. Their myriad educational institutions, not just in the city, but in poorer areas, are a continuing testimonial to this commitment. Helping people in their educational careers was emblazoned on Nari’s heart and mind, as it was on Advani’s. Again, no one hesitated in seeking their help in these matters; and, again, no suitor was turned away.
He achieved his renown not just in court, but equally outside it, and there are not many of whom this can be truly said. Nari was of that select band. His family and friends mourn him. His acquaintances miss him, and remember him fondly. The legal profession is diminished in his passing. But, more telling than any of these, is the grief in knowing that an increasingly cruel society has yet again been robbed of a humane, sincere and decent man.
The President, Mr Dada, then proposed the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr Patel and passed unanimously.
“This House mourns the sad demise of Shri Nari Gursahani and expresses its heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”
The house observed two minutes of silence in memory of the deceased.