It was a Friday afternoon. 5th court of the Madras High Court, in session. A Second Appeal was being heard. The appellant was represented by a junior advocate who was but a few months in practice. The appeal arose from a suit for Partition. The learned judge was notorious for dismissing such appeals, confirming concurrent findings, as if binding on him. He was a tough customer, as he made it a habit, to hear such appeals, for the record, for the orders of dismissal were already made ready. The issue was one of Partial Partition.
The junior advocate, unaware of the reputation of the learned judge, was making his submissions confidently, drawing support from judgments of Privy Council vintage as well. The learned judge was quiet, unimpressed, unmoving and a Silent Budha from the Bench. It was evident to all those in attendant that the second appeal was a goner. Notwithstanding the fact that there was legal support for the substantial question of law alluded to. Last rites remained to be performed.
A senior lawyer, with loads of civil practice and a reputation for fairness, got up. He told the learned judge “Mi lord, I can see your lordship eager to dismiss the appeal. It suits me and my client. But it would be unfair and unjust to the junior counsel and his client. I am satisfied at the question of law raised on Partial Partition. It is applicable to the facts of the case. The appeal deserves to be allowed and matter remitted to lower court for inclusion of excluded properties. Your lordship may record my submission as consent for such an order. Please do not dismiss the second appeal, as it deserves to be allowed and despite your lordship’s well known inclination to affirm concurrent findings in such appeals”. It is mind boggling to imaging that one of the properties was satuate on M G Road, Bangalore worth several Crores.
The judge was helpless. He felt cornered. The senior lawyer who got up and submitted so, was none other than Mr. S V Jayaraman who regretfully passed away recently. The junior advocate N VIjayargahavan nostalgically recalled this anecdote in memory of SVJ.
SVJ born on 23.04.1936 has left behind a grieving family of wife Mrs. Swarnam, and families of a son & daughter. CTC respectfully pays homage to the Senior Advocate Mr. S V Jayaraman, with utmost humility. Mr. S Ramachandran readily concedes that CTC germinated from the start of his career as representive with Tamil Nadu Law Notes Journal, between October,1979 to 1991. TLNJ, SVJ’s baby was born in 1972. SVJ was designated as Senior Advocate when Chief Justice was K. A. Swamy, in 1996. Law reports are replete with landmark decisions in which SVJ was associated, either on one side or the other. It would be a futile exercise to try and identify them, as one would be overwhelmed by the number.
SVJ was humility itself. He was ever smiling. He never raised his voice in or outside the court. He was friendly and affable and ever willing to render free legal aid to junior and upcoming lawyers. He was devoutly associated with the Saibaba Temple at Mylapore, a very popular religious place today. It is legendary. It was his intervention thanks to orders of late Justice K Sampath, which has today made the temple, a powerful institution, sparkling in looks and charitable activities. It was he who ensured supply of food every Thursday to Cancer Institute, Adyar. He rendered service in such religious causes and appeared in cases involving advocates pro bono.
CTC, the Bench, and the Bar would miss the smiling visage of SVJ, sitting in his favourite corner in the quadrangle of the heritage building of Madras High Court – forming the 9th to 12th court halls. No wonder, the Hon’be Chief Justice Mr. A P Sahi sent a moving Obituary to Mr. S.J Karthick, son of Mr. S V Jayaraman on 13.05.2020, which CTC deems fit proper and to publish.
I was really sad to know about the departure of late Mr. Jayaraman whom we all lost amidst this Corona scare. His towering personality at the Bar will be missed both by the Bar and the Bench and I know that this void cannot be filled up. It is a personal loss to you and your family but it is equally a real loss for the entire legal fraternity. Kindly accept my heartfelt condolences and please convey my heartfelt feelings to all the members of your family.
May the Almighty give you and the family the strength to bear with this calamity.
May his soul rest in peace.