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Last week (around 10.00 am)

Nervous. Excited.

After almost 2 months of sitting at office, staring at window, reading case bundles, drinking countless teas, researching case laws, I am going to appear in court. That too in Bombay High Court. YES, BOMBAY HIGH COURT!

First appearance.

We have a meeting at around 10 am everyday. All of us assemble in the partner’s cabin and discuss very briefly about the cases which are coming up for hearing that day.

That day, I occupied the corner seat. Partner had the list of cases for that day in his hand. He read names of the cases one by one and the concerned lawyer explained what is happening in the case. And then suddenly, partner said ‘so-and-so vs. so-and-so’. The concerned lawyer was on leave.

Partner looked at me and said, “you go”.

“We are for the respondents. Case listed under the caption ‘for dismissal’. Petitioner has not been appearing for last 1 year. Simply say, ‘I’m for the respondents’. Judge will dismiss it. You then say, ‘obliged, your lordship’ and come back.”

Everyone laughed. Except me.

“Ok”, I said.

“Court room no.43. Item no.44.”


— — — —


I thought I did well. After all, first appearance that was. Until the clerk came to me and asked,

“Are you sure you got the case dismissed?”

“yes, why?”

“No, the high court website still shows the case is pending and it will be listed next week.”

“Huh? No.”

“Are you sure?”, again.

“I think so.”

“I checked with the court department.”


He explained everything.

— — — —

Last week (2.30 pm onwards)

Clerk indicated in the morning itself that the case will reach only after 3 pm.

Had half lunch. Reached court at 2.30 pm. Waited for the judge to come. Judge came in about 3.05 pm. They called out item no.27.

44–27=17. 17 more cases to go.

At 3.15 pm. Item no.34.

In 10 minutes, 7 cases. So, for every case about 1.428 minutes. Wow. My case should reach in about 15 minutes from now. I’m good at maths.

3.30 pm. Item no.34.

3.50 pm. Still item no.34.

Will they not stop arguing? He’s saying the same thing again and again. Judge is saying the same thing again and again. Bored already.

4.10 pm. Item no.35. Finally. But, not sure if my case will be called out today. Court working hours is only till 5 pm. 9 more matters to go.

4.15 pm. Court is almost empty now. Strange. I’m sitting in the front row. Just in case. I should be able to hear when they call out my case.

4.20 pm. Item no.38. 39. 40. 41. Wait. Wait. Wait. 42. No, I’m not ready.

4.21 pm. Item no.43. The court clerk said twice, ‘so-and-so vs. not-that-so-and-so’. Remember I was sitting in the front row? Judge looked at me and asked,

“You’re in this matter?”

“No, yeah. item number?”

Court clerk: “43.” | Judge: “what yeah? say yes.”


“For the Respondent?”


“I’m dismissing the case.”

“Ok, yes.”

“Don’t know what they teach in law colleges these days.” To the stenographer, “Here, note down the order.”

I can’t hear anything. The court clerk said “case dismissed.”

“Obliged, your lordship.”

— — — —


I have only one question.

“What happened to the case that I got dismissed?”

P.S: This post is a hearsay account of friend’s first appearance. Not my first appearance. I managed to say, “Pass over”.

This article was first published on Medium.

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