N Natarajan, doyen of Madras Bar, passes away – Times of India

Chennai News

CHENNAI: The famed Madras Bar’s best known criminal lawyer, N Natarajan, who nurtured an army of juniors, passed away on Thursday. He was 91.
Fondly called NN, he appeared in many sensational cases in courts across the country, including the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and the Mumbai serial blasts case.
Chief minister M K Stalin condoled the death and said, “He was an expert in criminal laws and had earned wide recognition and reputation from trial courts to the Supreme Court.” Besides providing his tremendous contribution to the judiciary, Natarajan had also helped DMK by giving many lawyers who are well-versed in advocacy. His death is a great loss for the judiciary and for DMK, Stalin added.
A junior of Mohan Kumaramangalam and close associate of former CM M Karunanidhi, NN represented Karunanidhi in many cases, including a case registered on charges of attempting to murder former PM Indira Gandhi, the incumbent advocate-general of Tamil Nadu, R Shunmugasundaram, said. “I was his junior from 1977 to 81. He groomed me, and he was the reason for what I am today,” Shunmugasundaram added.
“We have lost one of the country’s best cross-examiner. There is no district court in Tamil Nadu that he had not appeared,” said DMK Rajya Sabha MP and designated senior advocate N R Elango. He was NN’s 24th junior. A doyen in criminal jurisprudence Natarajan is hailed for his legal acumen. He appeared against the CBI in many cases. Generally, the agency will not engage any lawyer who has appeared against it. But CBI engaged him as a special public prosecutor in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case, which is very rare, said Elango.
This apart, he represented actor MR Radha in the case booked for shooting former CM MG Ramachandran. He also defended actor Nagesh’s wife and family in a murder case registered against them, Shunmugasundaram said.
NN’s cross-examination of the ballistic expert in the MR Radha case is a textbook case of how a scientific expert/witness should be cross-examined during a trial, Elango said.
“In Rajiv Gandhi murder case, he convinced the Supreme Court that it was a case of murder and not an act of terrorism. That led to the acquittal of many accused and reduction of death sentence awarded to Nalini and six others into life-term,” he added.
In the Mumbai bomb blasts case, NN opposed all the bail applications moved by the accused. But when the question of framing charges came, he conceded that a few accused arrayed in the case could not be charged because there was no material against them. “That fair he was,” Elango said, adding, “He always believed a prosecutor must first be fair.”

Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/n-natarajan-doyen-of-madras-bar-passes-away/articleshow/87661802.cms