- Apprentice Lawyer
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.
With court proceedings being live-streamed on YouTube, the Gujarat High Court is certainly leading the way in terms of keeping an "open court" amid the era of virtual courts and the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikram Nath had occasion today to refer to the YouTube archives of court hearings when a plea was made for anticipatory bail by a person with multiple criminal antecedents.
"How many antecedents?" Chief Justice Nath queried, when the matter came up for hearing.
"12 cases", the lawyer responded.
The Court was prompted to remark,
"Oh! You have not been seeing the proceedings on Youtube? You know the answer! Bail rejected!"
The hearing in a PIL before the Madras High Court against sexual advertisements today saw a lawyer inform the Court that such ads were also being broadcasted on the children's channel, Chutti TV.
The submission prompted Justice N Kirubakaran to comment, in a lighter vein,
"What, you are at the age for watching Chutti TV?" (loosely translated from Tamil)
"No milord, my son", the lawyer was prompt to respond.
A case concerning the salaries of doctors and nurses today saw the Madras High Court express concern that they are likely to be more burdened in the future with more waves of COVID-19.
A lawyer appearing in the matter, however, submitted that it was unlikely that India would experience waves of COVID-19 in the same manner that Western countries are presently experiencing.
The submission prompted the Bench to orally observe that immunity levels in India are generally higher on account of being exposed to relatively higher unhygienic conditions.
"We can walk out to a pond or lake and drink directly", remarked a judge sitting on the Bench, adding that this is more applicable to villages rather than urban areas.
His companion judge, however, pointed out that even villagers now have to drink mineral water.
"They are compelled to. Everything is polluted, including people’s minds", the Court remarked.
The lawyer also weighed in, observing,
"Technology changes and brings new forms of corruption."
"Political manifestos itself are a source of corruption … Hereafter, if anything is promised in the manifesto, let them give it from the party fund, then we will see!", the Court added.
A discussion between senior lawyers amongst themselves before a Bench of the Madras High Court featured some interesting remarks on the virtual court system today.
A senior lawyer from Delhi noted,
“It (virtual courts) is a poor alternative, but something has to go on. We cannot shut the courts. Last six months, the system has improved... if you ask me, the High Court systems are better than the Supreme Court.“