This last week in Court was quite interesting an adventure with practice. There were some really big guns down here in the south, the Kerala High Court; Adv FS Nariman being the biggest of them. In the legal world, he is a luminary and I strongly believe even the Bench would have felt proud in having this eminent jurist argue before them. Every time the Bench rose, I saw them looking at him with reverence and bowing and he bowing his weak old frame in acknowledgement. That was FS Nariman and his charm, while my charm in some courts have made me a special piece of fun for the judge.
I walked in when my number was called, bowed down and said, "lordship, extension of interim stay on investigation?" All I hear is "for what?", then I was asked some sections of statutes I haven't even heard of, a round of humiliation, with me being the center character and finally a long walk back not knowing what actually happened.
While I was up and the above was happening, the number of another one of my senior's case in a different court starts flashing on the tv. Item 9, I was supposed to attend it and the number stayed on screen for 30 second and then moved to 10. I walk out humiliated and then rushes to the item 9 Court and by the back door checks with the Court Officer, what happened and she sends a chit back "No representation, dismissed for default". And it was an Appeal from the decision of a lower court which was dismissed. My clients property depended on it and now I had to pay costs to get the appeal petition restored. The law and the procedure, I can't make sense at times.
I get to a third court and my number gets called, the Hon'ble Judge asks me, "what is the status of the inquiry report?" I know that the report is ready, but I didn't know whether it was finalized. The client hadn't got back to us about it. We would receive it in a day or two and sought an adjournment till then. He looks at me in disgust and says, "you are specializing in that". In the same court yet again my number was called twice, and twice I got humiliated. Unlike before, the Judge did mouth his dislike and asked me whether I have lost my sensibility after wearing the black robe? and eventually the question, 'why do i wear it?'!!
Now all that was day before yesterday. Yesterday I had a case in a small town, in northern Kerala and I walked into the Court Hall, with my three buttoned blazer and shining shoes, sat in the front. Briefed the case, when asked to and sought time for filing some objections to their petitions. And I had 8 cases and I did the same for all. At the end of the 8th, after my request being granted, I feel the other few lawyers there looking at me.I bow down, and then sit.
After the Court, couple of middle aged lady lawyers comes to me, asks my name and where am I from. I tell them Ernakulam, and they asks me whether I practice in the High Court. I say yes. They asks me some names, which I do not quite know, and I tell them so. Then one of them calls her husband, another lawyer and introduces me to him, saying "this is Joseph, a good lawyer from the High Court". Little does she know about the day I just had before!