When a Judge disappeared!

This happened with me in June, 1994. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court at Jammu was observing summer vacation. And there was a vacation Bench of Justice  …… (name withheld). I had a matter listed before him. While I was engrossed in reading the impugned order with my head down on the file, an advocate sitting by my side pulled my coat.

This made me to stop reading and I lifted my head upwards strangely to find out that the judge was missing on the dais. Then I looked at the sides and even behind and found that all the advocates, clients and the court staff were observing pin-drop silence and complete decorum as if the judge was present in the court room.

I got further perplexed. Then I again looked at the dais, and this time to find out that the judge was actually there looking at me as if he was questioning me as to why I had stopped reading the order mid-way. I could not understand the eerie phenomenon, and resumed my reading and submissions. This incident is 100% correct; no jokes! Guess what must have happened ……. In fact the judge was wearing slippers and the slippers had sliped away and he too had virtually slipped “under the table” to retrieve his slippers!

Advocate Sakal Bhushan practiced 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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