He was Defence Secretary of India in Indo-Pak war in 1971. Earlier, he served as Commerce Secretary.
He also served as Ambassador to the European Common Market, as the European Union was then known.
Lall's stewardship of the Ministry of defence contributed materially to the smooth conduct of, and victory in the 1971 War.
He was conferred Padma Vibhushan award in 2000.
He died at the age of 88 in 2005.