Legal Era in conversation withIndia’s most distinguishedconstitutional lawyer, the legendaryFali SamNariman...Legal Era (LE): You have been Senior Advocate of the SupremeCourt of India since 1971. What has the experiencebeen like?Fali Sam Nariman: Fantastic! A more detailed answer to that question would filla book. In fact, it has already filled a book! My Autobiography(“Before...
Access the exclusive LEGAL ERAStories,Editorial and Expert Opinion
Legal Era in conversation with
India’s most distinguished
constitutional lawyer, the legendary
Court of India since 1971. What has the experience
Fali Sam Nariman: Fantastic! A more detailed answer to that question would fill
a book. In fact, it has already filled a book! My Autobiography
(“Before Memory Fades”), the first edition of which was
published in 2010, is currently in its seventeenth edition.
Briefly - very briefly - my experience is set out below:
I joined the Bombay Bar in November 1950.
A year later, I joined the Chambers of the greatest Advocate (of
the time) in Western India, Sir Jamshedji Kanga (JBK).
Despite all physical inconveniences of a small Chamber,
accommodating such a large number of advocates – many of
them already in top practice – the days I spent in JBK’s Chambers
at the ground floor of the High Court building were the happiest
years of my early professional life. We had the most amazing
leader in Sir Jamshedji Kanga – all 6 feet 4 inches of him – but
much taller in heart and in mind. At 6:45 in the evening on almost
every working day, when the conferences of the busy seniors
were over, we would all gather around Sir Jamshedji’s table and
he would regale us with stories of old. We loved him because
he was so exuberant – always childlike, never childish! Kanga’s
Chamber was a busy one. It was also a very happy Chamber
where there was much fun and laughter.
During my early days at the Bombay Bar, I came to know and
learn a great deal from the professional giants by just listening
to them and watching them perform. And in my time, we were
fortunate to have judges who were considerate and kind to
juniors. Amongst them were Justice N. H. Coyaji, Justice Sunderlal
T. Desai, and Justice Kantilal T. Desai, not to forget Chief Justice
M. C. Chagla, who (as Judge) was in a class by himself!
In 1972, the then Law Minister of the Union of India offered me
the post of Additional Solicitor General of India, a post which
had been abolished way back in 1967 and which had just been
I was young and ambitious, and I readily accepted (‘too readily’
had been my wife’s laconic comment!). But then, I had already
declined one good offer and did not want to refuse another: It
was in late 1966 that Justice Kotwal, Chief Justice of Bombay,
pressed me to accept a judgeship at the Bombay High Court. In
those days, an offer of judgeship to anyone under 40 was taboo
without express clearance from the Chief Justice of India. I was
nearly 38 and Justice Kotwal told me that he had sought and
obtained the necessary permission. He read out to me Justice
J. C. Shah’s letter to him communicating Chief Justice Subba
Rao’s approval to my being asked. But it was with great regret
that I was compelled to decline the offer – for financial reasons.
In those days, the monthly stipend of a high court judge had
remained stationary since I joined the Bar in 1950 viz. '3,500.
This amount was insufficient to support, in the same style of
living, my immediate family of three (my wife and two children)
and my dearest grandmother who was dependent on me. So,
despite Chief Justice Kotwal’s kind persuasion, I simply could not
afford the luxury and ‘prestige’ of being a high court judge!
For me, accepting appointment as a law officer of the Union of
India was different from declining the offer of a place on the
bench of the Bombay High Court six years before. Although it
meant shifting to Delhi and private practice was forbidden, a
law officer’s remuneration by way of stipulated fees ('1,040 for
appearance in each special leave petition and '1,680 per day for
final hearings of appeals and writ petitions) did, at the time, add
up to a comfortable figure. Besides, appearing for public-sector
corporations and state governments for ‘normal fees’ was not
prohibited. ‘Normal fees’ were hardly ever more than double
the fees stipulated for appearances in matters of the Union of
India. C. K. Daphtary, distinguished former Attorney General
who had reverted to private practice by the time I went to Delhi,
ticked me off for accepting the post of ASG. He told me, ‘Fali, you
have made a grave mistake … with this government, you will find
it a thankless job.’
The reaction of a trusted member of our household staff to
my appointment as ASG in Delhi was no different than C. K.
Daphtary’s. Babu Kalidas had worked with us for many years –
in fact, he always ‘worked’ as if he had long since retired from
active service. Babu did not react with great enthusiasm when
my wife told him that I had been appointed Additional Solicitor
General of India. He screwed up his face and said, ‘Chalo (!) vela,
vela magistrate thaye jai to saroo’ (Well, it will be good if he
soon becomes a magistrate!).
I am frequently asked by law students around the country
as to how a lawyer must prepare for and argue important cases.
The only appropriate answer I can offer is, ‘As best as you can.’
Robert H. Jackson (who was Solicitor General of the United
States in the late 1930s), after he became an Associate Justice of
the US Supreme Court (1941 to 1954), wrote that as a practising
lawyer, he found that he made three arguments in every case:
the one he planned (‘logical, coherent, complete’); the one he
presented (‘incoherent, disjointed, disappointing’); and the
one he did not make (‘the utterly devastating argument that I
thought of after going to bed that night!’) – After 67 years in
active practice as an advocate, I sometimes still experience the
of Indian Constitutional Law. Has the Constitution
of India withstood the test of time?
Fali Sam Nariman: I believe it has, despite many hiccups! For instance, one of the
lessons of the Internal Emergency (of June 1975), which I hope
we have learnt, is not to rely on constitutional functionaries.
These functionaries failed us – ministers of government,
members of Parliament, judges of the Supreme Court, even the
President of India who signed the Proclamation of Emergency
virtually at the behest of three senior lawyer-politicians of
the Congress Party (then in power at the Centre). With the
Basic–Structure–doctrine first pronounced by a majority of the
Court (7:6) in the Keshvananda Bharati case (1973) and later
cemented in the case of Raj Narain v. Mrs. Indira Gandhi (1975),
the chances of constitutional functionaries failing us have now
(hopefully) receded. But we must keep our fingers crossed. All of
us – lawyers and judges – must never forget the lessons of the
Internal Emergency of June 1975.
Rajya Sabha between 1999 and 2005. What was
the experience like? You’ve often said that it is not
good for the country for any political party to have
a majority in Parliament. Why?
functionaries failing us
have now (hopefully)
receded. But we must
keep our fingers crossed.
All of us – lawyers and
judges – must never
forget the lessons of the
Internal Emergency of
Fali Sam Nariman: The happiest years of my professional life were in the Chambers
of Sir Jamshedji Kanga. And, next to those years were my six
years (1999–2005) in Parliament. I enjoyed the confidence of all
members at all sides of the House; they always patiently listened
to me, though they did not always accept what I said!
My days as a parliamentarian, I can quite frankly say, have been
a rich experience and I have learned a lot. People often used to
ask me how I fared as a member: ‘How could an intellectual like
you fit in with a host of others?’ they would contemptuously
enquire. My response would be that “The Rajya Sabha was and is
a microcosm of the nation, where representatives from various
sections of society mingled together, spoke passionately about
problems that concerned them, and were generally tolerant
of one another, although this spirit of tolerance may not have
reflected outside Parliament – in the rest of the country!”
My one observation about Indian politics and Indian politicians
is that it is only when our Parliament and our politics are no longer dominated by one single political party that India will
once again become a country where all points of view are freely
expressed and sympathetically heard.
that before investigating allegations of corruption
against senior officers, the CBI should get approval
from the Central Vigilance Commission and not the
Government. However, your proposal was rejected.
Don’t you think all political parties are united in
shielding corrupt officers?
Fali Sam Nariman: I am compelled to believe that all political parties are united in
shielding some favorite coterie of reputedly ‘corrupt’ officers!
I recall that during the debate on the Central Vigilance
Commission Bill, 2003 in the Rajya Sabha, my friend Dr P. C.
Alexander, M.P., spoke with some anguish. He said:
“When I entered the Civil Service way back in 1948, at the
beginning of our Independence, my worry was whether
my tehsildaar would be corrupt, my sub-inspector would
be corrupt, my bench clerk in my court would be corrupt.
I could never imagine that my senior officers would be corrupt. I could never imagine when I became a senior officer
that I would ever become corrupt.
Under this Bill, we have given senior officers protection.
Government sanction is needed before even an inquiry can
be started against them.”
Dr Alexander characterized this clause (in the Bill) as the ‘Enemy
Number One’. And former Central Vigilance Commissioner, N. Vittal,
had already gone on record to say that the provision was ‘vicious’.
What is most disturbing to me, however, is the polity in which we
live and lived. What I regret is not that the government of the day
pushed through the Central Vigilance Commission Bill, 2003 (most of
whose other provisions were unexceptionable) or that the minister
did not accept my proposed amendment to the ‘single-directive-clause1
What hurts me the most is that the opposition then in the
Rajya Sabha (later, in government) – in August 2003 – was in an
effective position to ensure that the obnoxious ‘single directive’ was
not passed, but the opposition also approved the Bill in its entirety!
With adult franchise, we not only get the government we deserve,
but also appear to get our just political desserts!
judges of the Supreme Court so far have been Justice
Subba Rao for his political agenda and Justice Krishna
Iyer for his social agenda. Please substantiate.
Fali Sam Nariman: It has been said that Subba Rao (and the Subba Rao Court) was
‘rightist’, and Justice Krishna Iyer (and those of his school of thought)
was ‘leftist’. This is a superficial characterization indulged in by those
who are obsessed with ‘isms’. Besides, it is not even correct. Each had
many similar and abiding major concerns.
The abiding concerns of the Subba Rao Court were underlined
(coincidentally, but characteristically) by the first and the last case
in which this great judge presided as Chief Justice. In the first case,
he firmly upheld the independence of the judiciary by ensuring that
the subordinate judiciary should not be selected except from the
judicial service. In Chandra Mohan’s Case (1966), it was contended
for the State that it was permissible for the Governor (which meant
the State Government) to frame rules permitting the recruitment
of judges in the subordinate judiciary not only from advocates
and pleaders of requisite standing but also from members of the
executive departments discharging revenue or ministerial functions.
Chief Justice Subba Rao (in this first case in which he presided
as chief justice) said that it was unreasonable to attribute to the
makers of the Constitution who had so completely provided for the
independence of the judiciary an intention to destroy it by an indirect
method! ‘What can be more deleterious for the good name of the
judiciary than to permit at the level of District Judges recruitment
from the executive department?’ he asked and then declared the
Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service Rules framed by the State
Government as unconstitutional.
In the last case over which he presided (Satwant Singh vs.
Assistant Passport Officer – also known as the ‘Passport case’),
Chief Justice Subba Rao speaking for a majority in a bench of
five judges held that the expression ‘personal liberty’ in Article
21 encompassed a right of locomotion, of the right to travel
abroad. Every person living in India has a fundamental right to
travel, even outside India, and the refusal of the government to
give him a passport without a valid law - prescribing reasonable
restrictions - was held to be an arbitrary exercise of executive
power, infringing the Equality Clause of the Constitution. In this
last case, Subba Rao had, with the help of Justices J. M. Shelat
and C. A. Vaidialingam (who concurred with him), converted his
minority opinion in Kharak Singh (1964) as the declared law of
that Soli Sorabjee became the
Attorney General of the Vajpayee
government after you declined
the post. Sorabjee said that
you got the Union Carbide brief
after he declined to take it. Was
this just a rivalry between two
eminent Parsi jurists?
Fali Sam Nariman: Our careers in the profession – Soli
Sorabjee’s and mine – have run along
almost parallel lines – though we have
not always seen eye to eye. I was two
years his senior in the Chamber, but
he was two years my senior in marriage!
(He got married before I did.)
Being older than him, I became a law
officer first, but then resigned during
the 1975 Emergency. But Soli has to his credit not just a stint
as Solicitor-General of India but as Attorney-General of India as
well – not once but twice.
Over the years, we have been rivals in the rough and tumble
of the legal profession, and now for many, many years, in the
evening of our lives, we have remained friends!
Union Carbide in the Bhopal gas leak case. Given
your credentials as a defender of human rights, do
you, in retrospect, wish that you hadn’t accepted
Fali Sam Nariman: For a truthful and effective answer to the question, you must
read Chapter 10 (“The Bhopal Case”) in my Autobiography
(“Before Memory Fades”).
As to whether, in retrospect, I wish I hadn’t accepted the brief
of Union Carbide Corporation in the Civil Litigation arising out
of the Bhopal gas tragedy, my answer is rhetorical - a stanza
from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam – a world famous poem –
translated by Edward Fitzgerald:
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit,
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.”
Supreme Court must oversee the resolution of the
Babri Masjid dispute. Why?
Fali Sam Nariman: My regret has been that in the first round of the Babri Masjid
case in 1994, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court (on this
point) unanimously refused to answer pertinent questions in the
Presidential Reference saying that it had to be decided in the civil
cases filed (and then pending) in the High Court of Allahabad. In
2018, we have now come full circle – the Allahabad High Court
has decided the dispute in the civil
cases and the ball is back again in the
Supreme Court – in appeal from the
decision of a three-judge bench of the
Allahabad High Court. This was and
still is a nation-shaking case for India,
and hence, the earlier the Supreme
Court had put its mind to the factual
dispute, the better it was (and is) for
the Committee on Judicial
that it considered that
recommendations for judicial
appointments should only
be made after public debate,
including review by Members
of the Bar of the affected high
courts. This statement was made in relation to the
controversy over the appointment of Justices C. K.
Prasad and P. D. Dinakaran. You were among the
legal luminaries who signed the statement. Please
Fali Sam Nariman: Since December 2009, there has been far too much disputation
at the Bar, and my comment to this question is that what I stated
then is not precisely what I think now!
the Supreme Court AoR Association in which
the Supreme Court took over the appointment
of judges in the higher judiciary. However, in an
earlier interview, you said that you regret you won
that case. Why?
Fali Sam Nariman: Here again, I must press upon you to read Chapter 16 of my book
‘A Case I Won – But Which I Would Prefer to Have Lost’.
The principal point I made in that Chapter was that:
Once systems are in place and the method and procedure of
appointment is known, the confabulations within the Judiciary must be left to the justices without the intruding eyes of
members of the public or the media. The problem today – as also
the problem that was there yesterday and in the days before – is
that in public perception, not enough time and attention appear
to be given by successive ‘collegiums’ to the important task
of recommending judges for appointment to the high courts
and to the Supreme Court, simply because the judges at the
top (the first three or the first five depending on whether the
recommendations to the government for appointment are to
a high court or to the Supreme Court) are far too busy in the
important constitutional task entrusted to them – to decide the
largest possible volume of cases that keep coming up to the
Highest Court for final adjudication: a supremely important task!
matter of the Narmada rehabilitation but resigned
shortly after the attacks on Christians in the area
and burning of copies of the Bible. Please comment.
Fali Sam Nariman: Prior to December 1998, I was instructed and was appearing for
quite some time as a Senior Counsel in the Supreme Court for
the State of Gujarat in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed on
behalf of tribals who were displaced (and to be displaced) by
the rising height of the Narmada Dam in Gujarat. The principal
question in this PIL was whether the indigenous people of this
country had an inherent right to live wheresoever they chose
and in the manner in which they had been living for centuries,
or whether and to what extent could they be compelled to shift
to higher locations in wider public interest. Linked to all this
was the question of whether there were adequate measures of
While the PIL was pending in the Supreme Court of India, the
then Chief Minister of Gujarat, Keshubhai Patel, called on me
at my residence in New Delhi. It was a courtesy call, but since
a few days before I had read from press reports that Christians
in certain parts of Gujarat were being harassed and their Bibles
were being burnt, I told him that this action (though having
nothing to do with the Narmada case) was something which was
a total anathema to me, and I would like to see this stopped. He
assured me that it would be, and in fact, he said that really there
was nothing in it.
A couple of months later, since there was some policy decision
to be taken-up about improved measures of rehabilitation
in the Narmada case, the same Chief Minister again called on
me. Meanwhile, the situation of minorities in the government
appeared to have worsened, according to press reports. The
media had reported that not only Bibles, but now even churches
were being destroyed and desecrated in various parts of Gujarat.
I was extremely annoyed and told the Chief Minister that unless
conditions in Gujarat improved, I would have to do what I
thought was correct in the circumstances.
Again came more reassurances – both orally and in writing – but
all to no effect, and then, ultimately in December 1998, since
nothing was done at all by the then Gujarat government to
alleviate the plight of the minorities, particularly the Christians, I
returned my brief and said that I would not appear for the State
of Gujarat in this or in any other matter. This caused a great
Besides the purely egoistic, there is a point in my recalling all
this. The point is that but for the revelations by the media – that
is its responsibility as a free press to disseminate information
which is of concern to the general public – I would have been
ignorant and would not have known, living in the capital city of
Delhi, about what was happening in remote parts of Gujarat.
It was the press which brought these attacks on minorities to
light. And I think that it disclosed a very important aspect of
press responsibility or (if you don’t like the word ‘responsibility’)
of press ethos, i.e., to always lean on the weaker side and to
effectively perform the role of an opposition to the government
– whether at the Centre or in the State. To me, this is one of the
finest attributes and an essential role of a free press. And this is
why when dictatorial governments take over in other countries
and parliamentary systems of governments are given a go-by, it
is the press that is always the first victim! (Next are the practicing
damaging allegations against the judiciary and the
rampant disorder running through the collegium
system. Please comment.
Fali Sam Nariman: I suggest you enquire from the Judge who made these
has always been criticism that more often than
not, vendetta and bias govern the working of the
collegium. Is this true?
Fali Sam Nariman: I do not believe it is true, although even responsible people
(sometimes) do float rumors to this effect! If vendetta and bias
permeate the ‘collegium’ system (which I doubt and deny), it
must necessarily affect decisions on the judicial side, and I do
not at all believe that judicial decisions in the country’s Highest
Court are influenced by either vendetta or bias. If God forbid
they ever are, we will have to recruit our judges from outside
India: a horrible thought!
leaving no room for the executive to play a role in
the appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.
What are your views about this?
Fali Sam Nariman: The justification for the ‘collegium – system’ is the Nine-Judge-
Bench decision in the Second Judges Case (Supreme Court
Advocates-on-Record Association & Others vs Union of India –
1993(4) SCC 441). Under this decision, the Executive does have
a role, but only a limited role, not the role initially propounded
in the First Judges case, by a seven-judge bench of the Supreme
Court of India (by majority of 4:3) in the year 1981: the decision
of the majority in the 1981 decision has been overruled by the
Nine–Judge Bench decision in the Second Judges case (Supreme
Court Advocates-on-Record Association & Others vs Union of
India – 1993(4) SCC 441).
his hasty dismissal of the motion to impeach the Chief Justice of India. What do you think about this move to
impeach the CJI?
Fali Sam Nariman: In my view, it was not a hasty decision, and in any case, subsequent events (viz.
the withdrawal of proceedings initiated to challenge the view of the Chairman
of the Rajya Sabha) provide an effective answer to the question posed.
created back in January when four of the seniormost judges
of the SC aired their grievances in an unprecedented press
Fali Sam Nariman: Possibly. The public were led to believe that in the opinion of four seniormost
Judges there was something wrong in the functioning of the Supreme Court –
a premier institution of great prestige.
claimed that you had not consulted the government before
informing the Supreme Court about Karnataka’s offer
to release 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu as a
goodwill gesture. There was a lot of controversy around
the matter, so much so that some people even pointed
at a conflict of interest with your representing the
then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in the
disproportionate assets case. Please comment.
Fali Sam Nariman: There was and there is no conflict of interest because appearing
as Counsel for obtaining bail in the disproportionate assets case
was way back in the year 2014, whereas the Chief Minister of
Karnataka’s reported statement was of a subsequent year
In my experience, when a Counsel is briefed in a proceeding
in Court without any specific restrictions from the client,
the Counsel is free to make binding commitments on
behalf of the client, and if the client chooses not to honor
the commitment so made, the client is free to discharge
the Counsel engaged and to brief another. This has been
my settled view, and I have so acted, whether appearing for
governments or private parties, in my active practice as an
Advocate for over 65 years.
Bail was granted by the Supreme Court of India to Selvi J.
Jayalalithaa only on the condition (which was the offer made by
me as her Counsel in Court) that Jayalalithaa would ensure that the
Appeal filed by her would be heard by the High Court of Karnataka
from January to April 2015, and to facilitate that very early hearing,
we would ensure that all the voluminous records in the Case (343
printed volumes) were got printed by her at her cost before December
2015. “If not,” as the Chief Justice of India had warned in open court,
“Ms. Jayalalithaa will go back to jail”! The case regarding bail was
heard by a bench consisting of Chief Justice H. L. Dattu, Justice Madan
B. Lokur, and Justice A. K. Sikri and the order is recorded in 2015 (3)
SCC 111 (18.10.2014). It reads as follows:
1. After hearing Shri Fali S. Nariman, Shri K.T.S. Tulsi, learned
Senior Counsel for the petitioners and Shri Subramanium Swamy,
party-in-person and also the complainant, for the present, we
suspend the sentence and direct that the petitioners, (i) Selvi J. Jayalalithaa, (ii) Tmt. N. Sasikala,
(iii) Mr. V.N. Sudhakaran, and (iv)
Tmt. J. Elasvarasi be released on
bail on executing a bond with
two solvent sureties by each of
them to the satisfaction of the
Thirty-sixth Additional City Civil
and Sessions Judge (Special Court
for trial of criminal cases against
Km Jayalalithaa and others) at
2. Call these matters on 18.12.2014.”
The sting was in the tail – the last
sentence. The subsequent order (dated
18.12.2014) of the same court records
that the undertaking given by Ms.
Jayalalithaa to have the records printed
(343 volumes) and copies supplied to all
parties before December 2014 had been
honoured, and accordingly, bail granted
was confirmed, and the Appeal of Smt.
Jayalalithaa was to be, and was in fact
and was directed to be, heard in January
2015 by the Karnataka High Court: The
High Court of Karnataka by its judgment
dated 11.5.2015 reversed the verdict of
the special court and acquitted all the
accused including Smt. Jayalalithaa of all
charges. But on further appeal in the Supreme Court of India,
where the matter was heard from February 2016 to June 2016,
orders were at first reserved. Meanwhile, Smt. Jayalalithaa died
on 5.12.2016 and judgment in the case was pronounced by a
two-judge bench of the Supreme Court in February 2017, setting
aside the high court judgment of acquittal (reported in 2017 (6)
two freedoms, i.e., freedom from want and
freedom from fear, are a cause for concern in this
Fali Sam Nariman: The quote from ‘WALK THE TALK’ reads as follows:
“Fali Nariman, ‘the liberal lion of the Bar’ as he is called by most
of his well-wishers, says he is worried about freedom in India
today. People are not free from fear, it’s gnawing on them, so
feels Mr. Nariman. He talks about the sedition law and how the
problem of sedition comes from fear. He is a Nehruvian and he
believes that Nehru’s ‘Discovery of India’ made us proud. He
also feels that criminal defamation should be abolished and
civil defamation law made stronger. Mr. Nariman dislikes hate
speech as it pulls down the atmosphere of progress. ‘Must
preserve what our Constitution has given us’ is how Mr. Nariman
concludes this very candid interview.”
tolerant? Please elaborate.
Fali Sam Nariman: If I recollect, I had said that all citizens need to be far more tolerant than they are because intolerance breeds disharmony
and often leads to violence.
international arbitration. What are your views on
arbitration in India?
Fali Sam Nariman: Arbitration is a good thing as compared to litigation, but
mediation, when successful, is even better. With the recent
amendments in the Arbitration Law, whenever an arbitration
proceeding is handled with skill and efficiency, it makes for
a far better (and quicker) method of dispute resolution than
litigation, since litigation in India takes place at least at three
levels – first in the Trial Court, then in the High Court, and finally
in the Supreme Court of India!
“Before Memory Fades”?
Fali Sam Nariman: For two reasons:
(i) Because in the year 2010 when my Autobiography was first
published, I had already reached 80 - the age of forgetfulness!
(ii) because of the fear expressed by the great English poet,
“And we forget because we must, And not because we will”!!
In my Autobiography, I have recalled episodes from my life and
(along the way) commented on men and matters.
thereafter frequently amended); it required prior sanction of the designated authority
in Government to initiate investigation against officers above a certain rank – not only in
the government, but also in public sector undertakings and in nationalized banks. The
single directive was struck down in Vineet Narain’s case (1998) on the ground that it
was not permissible under the Central Government’s general power of superintendence
under Section 4(1) of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act 1946, but it was revived
under the Central Vigilance Commission Bill 2003 – which on being passed became an
Act of Parliament.