Courtroom Exchange: "For your sheer perseverance, the matter will appear"

Courtroom Exchange chronicles those observations made by judges and lawyers in court that do not make it to official orders.

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.

For your sheer perseverance, the matter will appear on Monday.
Madras High Court

By an stroke of ill-luck, the lawyer slated to appear before the First Bench of the Madras High Court for the first case listed for virtual hearing this morning was unable to log in on time.

The Bench was already hearing Item 3 by the time the lawyer finally logged in. The advocate then attempted to tell the Bench that he had been trying to join the virtual court since morning, but was unable to. However, the unmoved Bench continued to proceed to Item 4.

An attempt was also made to mention the matter before the Bench rose for lunch, but the lawyer was once again unsuccessful.

However, a third attempt made as the Court's hearings wrapped for the day, at the fag end of the 95-item strong list, yielded an appreciative note from Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, who told Advocate Srinath Sridevan that he need not explain further.

Rather, the Chief Justice informed,

"For your sheer perseverance, the matter will appear on Monday. You may log out now."

We missed it. Well-deserved victory.
Supreme Court

The jubilance over the Indian cricket team's recent win at the Gabba against the Australian cricket team made its way into the top court of the country as well on Tuesday. In a lighter moment, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi informed the Court that he had been watching India's victory earlier in the day.

"We missed it", Justice AM Khanwilkar responded, adding that it was a "well deserved victory."

"Very well-deserved indeed", Rohatgi agreed.

We are from Lutyens Delhi, so we say Good Morning.
Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal

As the workday began on Wednesday, warm exchanges between Senior Counsel on opposing sides at the Supreme Court took an interesting turn,

"Good Morning, AG", greeted Senior Counsel Kapil Sibal.

"I thought we have to say Namaskar", said Attorney General KK Venugopal .

"We are from Lutyens, Delhi. So we say Good Morning", responded Sibal, in lighter vein.

By that logic, Harish Salve is non-functional in London and Arvind Datar is non-functional in Chennai!
Senior Advocate AM Singhvi

With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and virtual courts, senior lawyers of the country have had occasion to enter appearance in cases from diverse parts of the world.

Senior Advocate Harish Salve's residence in the UK (where he also serves as Queen's Counsel), was mentioned at least two times in the courtroom this week.

One such moment arose during a Delhi High Court hearing concerning the tussle between L&L Partners Rajiv Luthra and Mohit Saraf.

Appearing for Mohit Saraf, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh contended during the hearing yesterday,

"Rajiv Luthra has been in Kasauli for two months and is non-functional."

"By that logic, Harish Salve is non-functional in London and Arvind Datar is non-functional in Chennai!", Senior Advocate AM Singhvi rebutted.

In a hearing before the Supreme Court yesterday, as the Bench rose for lunch, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul asked Salve,

"Is it lunch for you?

"It's breakfast for me", Salve responded, given that he is presently in the UK.

"You enjoy breakfast and others will enjoy lunch", Justice Kaul responded, before the Court took its break.

Heavens won't fall!

"Will the heavens fall?", a phrase first noticed in its usage by Senior Advocate Harish Salve while arguing in high-voltage cases, also made an appearance at least on two occasions this week.

While hearing a plea to quash summons issued to NCP leader Eknath Khadse in an Enforcement Directorate case, Justice SS Shinde of the Bombay High Court had occasion to orally observe yesterday,

"What? Heavens are going to fall if the petitioner is given protection for few days?"

The same day, an allied phrase also crept into submissions made by Advocate Kapil Sankla who made passionate arguments in a last-minute suit moved seeking the stay the release of the White Tiger film on Netflix, hours before its scheduled release, on grounds of copyright violation.

"Heavens won't fall for Netflix (if the injunction is granted today). This is just another movie for them to release... for me, my right would go away", he argued.

It's eight 'o' clock.
Electronic Clock

The fact that the suit against Netflix's White Tiger was being taken up by the Delhi High Court well after court hours was brought up by an electronic clock in Justice C Hari Shankar's room mid hearing, when it voiced, "It's eight o clock", for all to hear.

"I know its eight o clock", Justice Shankar orally remarked, adding that there were, however, matters remaining still. The case hearing went on till after 9 pm.

Tomorrow we have to go to court!
Delhi High Court

A day after the Delhi High Court resumed physical hearings for some Benches of the Court, Chief Justice DN Patel had occasion to urge lawyers to mentally prepare to come to Court.

Before allowing a request made for a virtual hearing in lieu of physical hearing, the Chief Justice told the lawyer on Tuesday,

"Dheere Dheere start karo aana court me. Mentally tyyari karo. (Slowly start coming to court. Prepare yourselves mentally) One last chance for virtual."

With the lawyer in the next matter also making a similar request for a virtual hearing, the Chief Justice added,

"Gazab hai...karoge kya court me? Pandemic me maza aane laga hai but tomorrow we have to go to court!" (Strange. What do you want to do in court? I've started enjoying virtual hearings during the pandemic, but tomorrow we have to go to court).

Girl is a major and she is free to move as per her will.
Bombay High Court

With patriarchal attitudes creeping into routine affairs in India, including in matters of relationship and marriage, even obvious statements have the potential to have a powerful impact.

One such statement was made by the Bombay High Court earlier this week in a habeas corpus plea moved to secure the presence of the woman who was allegedly kept in custody by her parents over an inter-faith relationship.

Justice SS Shinde observed,

"Respondent girl is a major and she is free to move as per her will. Can you stop any person above 18 yrs without any reason?"

While disposing of the matter, the Court proceeded to rule,

"Since she is admittedly a major aged about 23 years old, she is free to move as per her own wish."

The way we're procreating, we will leave very little green land in 50 years’ time.
Madras High Court

The hearing in a PIL challenging the State's decision to use temple land in Kallakurichi for the construction of a Collectorate building saw party-in-person Rangarajan Narasimhan also make submissions on how the proposed construction would be adverse to the environment and result in concrete jungles.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee, however, orally pointed out that with the kind of population in India, some concrete jungles are inevitable.

"The way we're procreating, we will leave very little green land in 50 years’ time", he said.

He went on to observe,

"...with the way that we are increasing in numbers in India, you cannot make an argument that open land should be kept open. As long as you do not touch land which is cultivated, forests are preserved...even fallow land may be better left alone and better than a concrete jungle. But a concrete jungle is also necessary for societal order. A district collectorate has to be set up..."

The hearing also saw the Court orally assure the petitioner that it would endeavour to ensure that the temple's interests are protected.

"We will ensure that the temple's interests are best protected. We will see the temples as our property... you are very right in bringing it to our notice… every paisa that is due to the temple, you will get, before we allow a brick to be laid down", the Chief Justice said.

With this, the Court also urged the petitioner to not oppose the proposed public project in principle alone, since the project has an element of public interest as well.

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