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Court Witness

04 March 2015
10 December 2014

Bhushan: One of a kindIt won’t be long after you start practice in the Supreme Court of India that you come across the figure of Prashant Bhushan striding purposefully between the courtrooms.

28 October 2014

“At Supreme Court for three years under a kind senior but he's still paying me peanuts and not giving me any great work. At a loss…”

30 September 2014

Court Witness delivers his verdict on the chiefA Chief Justice of India for 153 days is unlikely to leave a legacy behind. Somehow, this one did, explains Court Witness.

28 April 2014

SathasivamCourt Witness does former Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam and asks, was he great? Or merely safe?

27 March 2014

Legally India Supreme Court postcard writer and tweeting advocate Court Witness' column on Subrata Roy: "The Supreme Court dragon has woken and it is annoyed." [Mumbai Mirror]

07 March 2014

Eight hateSupreme Court postcard writer and anonymous legal Twitter celebrity Court Witness returns, this time, full of hate (hate, hate. Hate).

12 July 2013

Grey skiesHave you heard about the senior advocate who “borrowed” paintings from a five-star suite and then got his client to pay for them?

08 February 2013

SH KapadiaAt precisely 10.30am on 28 September 2012, a packed courtroom rose in the Supreme Court of India’s Chief Justice’s Court, as chief-justice-designate Altamas Kabir and former chief justice of India (CJI) Sarosh Homi Kapadia – a little behind him - walked in to preside together in this court for the first and the last time.

03 August 2012

The Adjournment Game The Olympics are here once again. It is that time of the year when people around you start talking about sports no one has ever heard of and will never mention again for another four years.

For two whole weeks people will pore keenly over the progression of world records in discus throwing, the fitness of horses in the equestrian events and how the Koreans are essentially unbeatable in women’s archery. Then we can all go back to obsessing over cricket.

But in the spirit of things, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce to the public a little known but fairly widely played sport called “The Adjournment Game”.

14 June 2012

Mukul-RohatgiCourt Witness: To experience firsthand what exactly happens when all hell breaks loose, visit the Supreme Court of India on a miscellaneous day. 

27 March 2012

Altamas KabirIt’s four in the evening and shadows lengthen along the main corridor of the Supreme Court of India. It is Friday, a miscellaneous day, and all courts have completed their work in time to enjoy what passes for a busy lawyer’s weekend - Friday evening.

All except one court.

15 February 2012

Service law and the art of divination Court Witness explains the obscure practice of “service law”, which few outside the courts have ever heard of yet is plied by many advocates and clogs many a court room or miscellaneous day of the Supreme Court – 30 million such cases have been filed, estimated one judge recently.

23 November 2011

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

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

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.

26 September 2011

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

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.

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