Nani A. Palkhivala, a stalwart of the Tata Group, passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday, December 11, 2002. He was 82. Mr Palkhivala was taken critically ill on December 7 and hospitalised at Jaslok Hospital. His funeral will be held at Allbless Bungli, Mumbai, on Thursday, December 12.
Born on January 16, 1920, in Mumbai, Mr Palkhivala was a man of many parts. A lawyer by profession, he was a fellow of the Government Law College, Mumbai, and, later, an honorary professor of the college for many years.
In 1975, he was elected an honorary member of the Academy of Political Science, New York, in recognition of his outstanding public service and distinguished contribution to the advancement of political science. In June 1978, Princeton University, New Jersey, United States, conferred on Mr Palkhivala the honorary degree of doctor of laws, describing him as a "defender of constitutional liberties, champion of human rights, teacher, author and economic developer".
As an author, his books on taxation, constitutional law and on India's priceless heritage, have become bywords on the subjects. He also distinguished himself as India's ambassador to the United States. Above all, he will be remembered as the conscience keeper of the nation during the turbulent 1970s.