When one thinks of the legal system, one thinks of dark-robed lawyers discussing matters of great import. However, the pandemic means many cases are now being fought from home which has given rise to the humour quotient and lightened the leit motif of 2020.
Thankfully, we’ve not been subjected to any salacious Zoom calls till now though we’ve had the odd-hookah smoker, umbrage at people’s backgrounds, complaints about microphones and anger at sartorial liberties like turning up at a hearing with one’s vest on.
‘Pura dinn latkaya’
One lawyer in the Delhi High Court appeared to get quite flustered during a hearing when he started giving live updates to his client except he forgot to switch off the mike.
The lawyer reportedly said: “Pura dinn latkaya ek supplementary matter ke liye.. (Made me wait the entire day for one supp matter).”
This led to a hilarious reaction from Justice Navin Chawla who managed to see the funnier side and suggested that one ought to mute him before he started abusing the court.
A much kinder reaction than a contempt of court notice.
‘Are you sitting in a garden?’
Another hilarious exchange took place in the Supreme Court when CJI Bobde asked a lawyer presenting before him: “Mr Pathak, are you sitting in a garden?”
When the lawyer replied in the affirmative, the CJI noted: “Good good. It is better than sitting in an art gallery. It is also pleasant for us to look at.”
The art gallery jibe was a referral to former Advocate General Mukul Rohatgi’s background when he CJI Bobde had wondered if Advocate Rohatgi had shifted from a museum to an art gallery.
It had come after Rohatgi’s background was seen littered with statues which had led Rohatgi to explain: “I'm sitting in my farmhouse. I shifted to the farm so that I can swim twice a day, your Lordships.”
However, when a technical snag developed, the CJI had observed: “Why don’t you sit somewhere else other than a museum? Try and spend something on your sound system rather than all the artefacts around you.”
And finally, we move the Bombay High Court which was hearing a petition filed by actor Kangana Ranaut against the demolition of her bungalow by the Mumbai civic body. Dr Birendra Saraf, representing Kangana Ranaut pointed out that Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut had labelled his client ‘haramkhor’.
Dr Saraf also added that he’d share the interview with Bombay HC where Sanjay Raut explained his linguistic inference and that he meant ‘haramkhor meant naughty’.
This led Justice Kathawalla to observe that the Bombay High Court did have access to dictionaries and wondered that if ‘haramkhor’ meant ‘naughty’, then what did ‘naughty mean?
To add to that, later in the day Justice Kathwalla also mentioned there