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It is an honour for me to write about my illustrious father Late V.R. Venkatakrishnan (VRV) He was an eminent Jurist and above all a wonderful soul. During our childhood, we had complete freedom of speech and thinking, and he encouraged serious reading. Yet there was an atmosphere of regimentation and discipline if one crossed the imaginary line! It was subtle but certainly firm. That I guess, came from his childhood where his father was a senior police officer in the British Raj days.

V. R. Venkatakrishnan

Living with Laws

I wanted to pursue a career in Law. He did not discourage me. Soon after my graduation which I did with some distinction, I had job offers from the banking sector to be recruited as a probationary officer which in those days (1973) were very coveted. He discouraged me and urged me to do a professional course. That is when I considered Law. Instead, he suggested that I follow my late uncle, the first chartered accountant in the family and one of the few chartered accountants in the country in those days. So, I joined Fraser & Ross, a reputed south based firm of CAs. 

After qualifying as a CA, my desire to pursue law had not waned. I was self-employed in 1977-78 – a freshly minted CA with huge aspirations for private practice!! So, I approached the local Law College which had an evening course for bachelor’s in laws. I applied and was admitted. But then there was a catch. This evening course was meant for people who were employed. I was self-employed. The college said that there is no employee-employer relationship and so admission would stand cancelled. I approached my father, a lawyer! He had warned me that the system can get too technical.  He referred me to his best friend – the veteran (Late) T.P. Kelu Nambiar, a renowned lawyer and a professor at the same law college! He took my brief (without fees of course) and fought before the then Chief Justice (Late) K. Bhaskaran (who later moved to Andhra High Court as the Chief Justice). The Judge admitted the writ and directed the Principal of the Law College to leave a seat for me for the course. When the case was finally heard before another single judge, I lost it. And with that the dream also vanished. My father VRV said “that is what law does to people on the street !!”

His liberal attitude was indeed a great blessing for all of us at home. He was an affectionate person who greatly treasured family values and a culture of forgiveness. His professional competence and etiquettes were enviable. His spoken and written English language prowess were well known and often admired. He was very close to his brother – late V.R. Subramanian, a retired English Professor, and a freedom fighter and also to his late sister whose children are very fond of him. 

I could persuade VRV to write a book on his life as an active lawyer for over 60 years both at the Madras High Court & the Kerala High Court. He was reluctant. But came around on the condition that he would not want to make dead people turn in their graves!!  Those three years of intense interactions with him to get the book – Living with Laws – fully ready for print and publication were priceless for me. He was about 85 years old then and I must admit that his memory was indeed very sharp. I had the honour to fully edit the book and release it on 29th January 2011. The book, featured in the publications in this website, has reviews from the legendary late V.R. Krishna Iyer, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India, and late Justice J.S. Verma, the former Chief Justice of India. The books also got good reviews from newspapers. He was finally very happy with the outcome. 

Three years later, on 12th June 2014, VRV passed away peacefully at the age of 89. He was active till the last moment, even attending court.  He knew his end was coming and he indirectly told me so. I lost my dear man and a great friend too. I could turn to him for anything and everything. Not now. Not anymore.    

The VRV School of Legal Research – For Common Cause for Common Man - was instituted in his memory. The purpose of this school is mentioned in the section dealing with this topic. This school has held a series of VRV Memorial Lectures which were delivered by eminent people. The 1st VRV Memorial Lecture was delivered by Justice P. Sathasivam, the former Chief Justice of India and the former Governor of Kerala. The 2nd Lecture was delivered by Justice K.T. Mathew, former Judge of the Supreme Court of India. The 3rd VRV Memorial Lecture was delivered by Mr. N.R. Narayana Murthy (Founder of Infosys) at the Nehru Memorial Museum & Library, Teen Murthy Bhavan, Teen Murthy Marg, New Delhi. Visit for more details.


VRV as a young lawyer at the then Madras High Court


VRV honoured by Kerala High Court. Justice K.T. Sankaran (his former junior) at the podium. On the dais VRV with Justice Cyriac Joseph & Justice Jasti Chalameswar (both retired Judges of the Supreme Court)

and Justice Usha, former Chief Justice) 

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