In the midst of the Supreme Court’s hearing on appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s 2007 Order yesterday (4 January), witnessed witty exchanges between Tamil Nadu’s senior counsel, Shekhar Naphade, and Karnataka’s senior counsel, Fali S. Nariman.
When Naphade began saying that Tamil Nadu was experiencing a failure of monsoon, in order to press its claim for a greater share of Cauvery water, Nariman quipped: “We are blamed even if the monsoon fails in their state.”
That brought peals of laughter in the court room.
A little later, perhaps inspired by the levity, Justice Dipak Misra paused, asking the counsel to ponder for a bit.
Ears perked in the court room, with everyone expecting Justice Misra to say something significant.
Instead, he asked cryptically: "Can any counsel make a submission that the other party is using a geographical remote-control to trigger a monsoon failure?”
Unfortunately, the timing of delivery and the punchline were a little off, and the response was more muted than it had been to Nariman, but polite smirks ensued and Misra, apparently happy that he had achieved his objective of lightening the atmosphere, moved on to the main matter.