Present in court for political pleasure (A Legal Reporter’s Diary)

By Parmod Kumar, IANS
Sunday, August 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - Senior counsel and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MP Satish Chandra Mishra could not have asked for more when the apex court bench of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice A.K. Ganguly castigated the Congress government in Haryana for its callous handling of anti-Dalit violence in Mirchpur.

Mishra, who appears in the Supreme Court only when a case concerns the throne of Lucknow where the BSP is in power, was present in court more for political pleasure than for any legal reason.

Mishra’s glee was only too visible as the court went hammer and tongs at the Haryana Police and administration for its failure to arrest the perpetrators of the Mirchpur violence and rehabilitate victims of the April incident. A man and his handicapped daughter were killed when people from the Jat community set fire to Dalit houses in Mirchpur village.

The Brahmin face of the BSP probably sniffed political ammunition, handed down by no less than the apex court. Haryana, after all, has a Congress government and the party’s leader Rahul Gandhi has been hobnobbing with Dalits in the BSP’s backyard, Uttar Pradesh.


Wooing wives

It is not just Justice Markandey Katju who believes the wife is always right. Justice G.S. Singhvi too believes that to keep problems at bay, one must please the wife!

While hearing a matrimonial case, counsel for the petitioner wanted a waiver of alimony arrears. Justice Singhvi said: “It is always a problem when you fight with your wife.”

When the petitioner said he was ready to bring back his estranged wife and live with her, Justice Singhvi advised him to create an atmosphere for her return.

When the court was told that petitioner had sent several e-mails to her, Justice Singh remarked nowadays you get wives through e-mail!


Ban cheques, reduce pending cases

With 38 lakh cases of cheques bouncing - making up for one-fourth of pending cases in trial courts - a judge said in anguish that the issuing of cheques should be made illegal!

The other day, the apex court bench of Justice Markandey Katju and Justice T.S. Thakur was hearing a cheque bouncing case. Annoyed over the petitioner’s attempt to dodge the court on the matter, Justice Katju asked whether or not he had issued the cheque. If yes, then why was he not honouring it?

Damning the attitude, Justice Katju said the issuance of cheques should be made illegal. All transactions should only be through pay orders or drafts. That would make the number of pending cases in trial courts shrink.


Much ado about nothing

With over 57,000 pending cases, the apex court made it clear that it did not appreciate the burden contributed by the ministry of youth affairs and sports.

In the course of hearing Hockey India’s petition seeking the court’s backing for sponsoring the national hockey squad, Justice R.V. Raveendran said, “It is unfortunate that we have to decide whereas it should have been decided by the sports authorities.”

Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, on behalf of the sports ministry, sought to sideline the claim that Hockey India should sponsor the national squad for the Commonwealth Games, saying Indian Olympic Association was competent to sponsor the team.

But Justice Raveendran asked if that was so then why was Hockey India granted recognition to sponsor the hockey team till December 2010? Then Justice Raveendran went on to say it was nothing but an ego problem.

What was relevant, instead of engaging in internal squabbles, he said, was efforts to field the best national squad in the Games. Then the court turned to Shakespeare, saying it was simply “Much ado about nothing”.

Filed under: Court, Immigration

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