Chai Khana

Being upright and straightforward in courts

Being upright and straightforward in courts has great benefits of its own. In mid 1990’s, I had been assigned a few cases by the then Advocate General. I was appearing for a public Corporation in a case filed against it by an ex-employee whose services had been terminated. His grievance was that he had been dismissed without a proper enquiry.

On perusal of the records, I found that though there was material against him, he was technically right in his grievance. When the case was taken up by the Hon’ble Judge, I stood up for the respondent Corporation and requested the Judge to allow the Petitioner’s case. The Petitioner’s lawyer was surprised but the Judge was shocked; in fact his face impression showed that he entertained an impression that I was “openly” helping the Petitioner in a daredevil manner. He passed over the case.

During lunchtime, he went through the file himself and arrived at the same conclusion. After lunch when the case was called again, the Judge appreciated my conduct in the open court. He asked me whether he should record my statement at the bar. I replied that since my conscience was clear I was not afraid of what the Corporation does to me. He quashed the Petitioner’s dismissal recording my statement at the bar and further gave the Corporation liberty to conduct a proper enquiry under rules and pass appropriate orders again. After enquiry, the employee was again dismissed.

His second Petition (in which the Corporation again engaged me) was also dismissed by the Court. In this manner the interest of the Corporation was safeguarded; I didn’t lose the client either; but more than that I earned such a “precious”and “priceless” goodwill that in all my future cases the Judge (and many more Judges as the reputation does travel) simply used to believe all my statements without question, and I could use all my saved energy elsewhere in my professional pursuits. I ask a question to you “Was I in any manner a loser?”

The answer is obviously “No.” So the underlying message of my today’s post to my younger colleagues is “be fair to the Court and win the Court rather than the case”. If you win the former, the latter will follow automatically!


Advocate Sakal Bhushan practised law at Jammu and Kashmir High Court at Jammu for a couple of decades before moving to New Delhi where he is an Advocate at the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court of India. He frequently comments on matters related to law, constitutional and legislative affairs. Mail him at and follow him on Facebook

 

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