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30 November 2011
SCOI Reports

Not quite TiharSupreme Court Insider: From the start of the trial in the 2G spectrum scam case, the prime accused and main conspirator, former telecom minister A Raja, started a silent protest.

23 November 2011
SCOI Reports

SLP's first day at school: no cakewalk Earlier this week, Court Witness thought he impressed his client by predicting the bench who would hear his treasured special leave petition (SLP), which learned to walk last week after having been nurtured since birth by CW.

CW and client then conspired to put together a winning team of eminent senior counsel and junior senior counsel (from the same state as the judge) to make sure the SLP had a good start to its life. Now the SLP is ready to go to school… Hopefully a good one.

21 November 2011
SCOI Reports

The Miracle of SLP Life In last month’s column, Court Witness described the labour pains of giving birth to a special leave petition (SLP). But after filing successfully with the goblin-like clerk Bakshi-ji the real work of raising an SLP was apparently only just beginning – now it needs to start taking its first steps...

18 October 2011
SCOI Reports

image “Follow me,” said the man with the purple hair as he walked through the open doors into the corridor awash in gloomy, fluorescent light.

04 October 2011
SCOI Reports

image Congress Party spokesperson and senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi hosted a dinner for the upper echelons of the legal fraternity in Delhi on Saturday night. Found wining and dining at the seemingly non-descript but ultra-high profile occasion were judges of the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, senior advocates and well-connected lawyers from the Delhi-Bombay Bar.

Read on to find out what happened.

26 September 2011
SCOI Reports

image When an uncharacteristically subdued Katju rose from the Bench in the Chief’s Court for the last time on Monday, one half of the bar and the media sighed wistfully and the other half sighed with relief. One lot would miss the mayhem, humour, and quotability of the average Katju day in the Supreme Court. The other lot would be grateful for never having to go through the mayhem, humour, and quotability of the average Katju day in the Supreme Court.

16 September 2011
SCOI Reports

image Swearing in ceremonies, such as Tuesday’s induction of three newcomers, are those rare occasions when every single judge of the Supreme Court can be found in one place. It is also when you realise for the first time that the metaphorically larger than life Justice Markandeya Katju is, in fact, actually larger than life. He stands a full head taller than almost every other judge and dominates proceedings without having to say a word.

30 August 2011
SCOI Reports

image Court Witness: In Facebook terms the relationship status of the nation’s higher judiciary and the press would say “It’s complicated”.

18 August 2011
SCOI Reports

Delhi-Supreme-Court We bump into each other in the long corridor adjacent to Court 5. It’s cruel, I know I shouldn’t be asking but then I do anyway. “Got any briefs yet?” I see the furrows on his forehead. Anxiety. I know what it feels like. Only two minutes earlier, after some small talk he had confided in me: “I’m independent these days.”

09 August 2011
SCOI Reports

Delhi-Supreme-Court The other day, in the corridor outside the government law officers’ chambers in the Supreme Court a well-dressed man sat outside the solicitor general’s office. Visibly uncomfortable on one of the rickety wooden benches, he was also livid with rage and his gaze seemed intent on burning a hole through the firmly shut door to the SG’s chambers.

03 August 2011
SCOI Reports

SH Kapadia Supreme Court Postcard: Chief Justice SH Kapadia does not preside over the Chief Justice’s Court so much as dominate its vaulting, almost cavernous interiors with his presence. In part his impact is a product of his voice - a booming thunder somewhere between tenor and baritone - which is what you’d expect to hear from the Grand Inquisitor as you are confronted with heresies you have allegedly committed.

But if Kapadia is to have a place of pride in Indian judicial history – and everything so far signifies that he might - it will be for his administrative role as the Chief Justice of India even more than for his purely judicial output. Like Hercules before him Kapadia is in the midst of cleaning the Augean Stables that the Supreme Court of India has become under his predecessors but only part of the task is done.

18 July 2011
SCOI Reports

image On 7 July, his final day in court, Justice B Sudershan Reddy sat on the Bench with Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia in the Chief’s Court, as is custom for a departing judge. The custom was never more apt. Reddy and Kapadia shared a great rapport while on the Bench and although their outlook in matters judicial and otherwise were quite similar, they could not have been more different in demeanour and action.