Courtroom Exchange chronicles those observations made by judges and lawyers in court that do not make it to official orders. A gallery view of wit, gravitas, the truth, and nothing but the truth.
Today, the Supreme Court's Justice Rohinton Nariman vented his frustration at the drawbacks associated with virtual hearings. He made the comment while addressing a courtroom video conferencing technical staff member.
Ever since hearings through video conference began, lawyers both in Supreme Court and various High Courts have been caught on camera wearing vests and t-shirts and sometimes even bare chested. The Supreme Court itself recently reprimanded two lawyers who were inadvertently caught on camera shirtless.
This might have prompted CJI to appreciate the fact that a lawyer was fully clothed though he was not wearing the lawyers band, an omission which in normal times would have invited much sharper reactions from the Bench.
"Why are you wearing a tie and not a band?" the CJI asked. The lawyer apologised saying he would be careful in future.
"Ok. At least he is dressed," the CJI quipped.
The Madras High Court made this observation while hearing a plea related to the erection of a compound wall near a temple. In response to this query, one of the counsel replied,
"Now in the name of God, there is politics. That is the only problem."
Another Bench of the Madras High Court, while faced with the urgent mention of a land encroachment matter, was prompted to observe that the urgency was not unique to that case.
Nevertheless, the Bench allowed the lawyer to circulate a memo.
When faced with a request concerning another petition that was yet to be numbered by the Court registry, the Bench, however, drew a line and declined to urgently intervene upon mention.