Saturday, September 16, 2017

Diary Entries - Part 6

30.09.1977 – SCBA disapproves appointment of D.A.Desai J. – The strength of judges was increased from 13 to 17. V.D.Tulzapukar and D.A.Desai JJ. were sworn in as judges of Supreme Court of India. Justice Tulzpurkar was second in seniority as a judge of Bombay High Court. The only judge in Supreme Court from Bombay was Y.V.Chandrachud J. Desai J. was fourth in seniority as judge of Gujarat High Court and was comrade-in-arms with Justice Bhagwati. M.C.Chagla J. (Retd.) had made a statement that Chief Justice B.J.Diwan was a better choice. S.H.Sheth J. who was transferred during emergency was the second senior most judge of Gujarat High Court and Desai J was elevated over and above them. A resolution was passed by Gujarat High Court Bar Association and SCBA joined them to pass the following resolution:
“The Supreme Court Bar Association strongly disapproves the appointment  of Mr. Justice D.A.Desai as a judge of the Supreme Court disregarding the superior claims of more senior High Court Judges including the present Chief Justice of the Gujarat High Court. The Association therefore resolves not to attend the swearing-in-ceremony of Mr.Justice D.A.Desai. The Association wishes to put on record its complete satisfaction at the appointment of Mr.V.D.Tulzapurkar to the Supreme Court”.
     However, since the swearing ceremony was one after another with Tulzapukar J. being sworn in first, the members did not have much choice not to attend Deasi J. swearing in ceremony. It was hilarious and also made me wonder the role of SCBA in the real perspective. I thought SCBA had more to do with the members of the bar than with the appointment of judges, which had several overtones and factors attached to it.
    Meeting Smt.Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister – There was a meeting called at the Canning Lane residence of Mr. D.P.Singh, Senior Advocate and sitting member of Rajya Sabha from Bihar. I accompanied Mr. S.C. Agarwal and found a large number of people gathered in the front lawn. After sometime Smt.Indira Gandhi walked in a very graceful, elegant and quick walk with people following gher. As soon as she entered she saw some empty tea cups lying at the bottom of a tree on the side. She immediately called the waiter moving with the tray to pick up the tea ups lying there. It was amazing to see her observation and how much she cared for such small things. I had a fleeting glimpse of her bright eyes as I stoop folded hand on one side. After she sat down on the chairs and continued to observe around, she said “Mr. Gokhale, I know what exactly what you are thinking, don’t worry Mr. Gokhale”. Mr. Gokhale, former Law Minister was sitting at some distance from her, and everybody laughed out. I was not able to make much out of what she meant, but it was certain that she knew every person and everything going around. I still remembered her voice on the radio in 1971in Jodhpur, saying that she had talked to USSR President and there was nothing to worry about the US 7th fleet that was moving towards Indian shores, where Indian navy had closed entry to Dacca and Karanchi. We had earlier faced the Indo Park war in 1965, when 198 thousand pound bombs fell in Jodhpur and I had then seen Pakistan jets flying right in front of my eyes. Today it was great seeing her in person and hearing her voice. 
      10.10.1977 – My first Article - On being a son of a judge - I am not aware of the 'olden golden' days nor of the 'future platinum', but today it is a sin to be born in a family of people who are still able to hold to some values of life, an integrity and work hard.  In Chapter VI, shlok 40 - 41 of Bhagavad-Gita in reply to Arjuna’s query, as to what end does that person meet, who though possessed of faith, is unable to control himself and whose mind deviates from yoga, the Blessed Lord articulated –
"O Partha, neither in this world nor in the next is there destruction for him, the doer of  good, O my son, never comes to grief. Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having lived there for countless years, I who falls from yoga is reborn in the house of the pure and the prosperous"
          I was born and think that similarly several others must have been born in families who still think that purity, integrity and character gives you happiness and takes you to prosperity and up in the social ladder. It is not necessary to resort to manipulation or 'dinner diplomacy', which seems to be the way of the world today. Scott Newman son of Paul Newman said:
I got no nepotistic help from my father or not much. The only thing my dad helps me get is my foot into the door. But no one in my right mind is going to hire somebody to handle a part just because I’s somebody’s son”.
          My grandfather was the first person in Jaipur to do BA in English in 1914. He obtained LL.B degree in 1926 and joined judicial services in the erstwhile State of Jaipur on January 7, 1929 as Munsif Magistrate. He had an integrity of characters and a confidence in the cosmic energy. He retired as the first Registrar of High Court of Rajasthan on March 31, 1951. 
          My father obtained LL.B degree in 1946 and joined the bar in 1948.  From 1958 to 1973, I had not seen him sleeping before 2 ‘o’ clock in the night. He used to communicate with his clients, scribbling on postcards, while he took us to cinema hall for movie. He was elevated as a judge in 1973. No client ever thought of entering our house. He may not be an outstanding judge, but he was known for his perseverance, integrity and hard work.
          Having graduated from Jodhpur in Rajasthan and being a son of a judge, I walked into the Supreme Court on August 01, 1976 and joined the bar on September 03, 1976. I had left Jodhpur with a single attaché, one Bhagavad-Gita, seven volumes of ‘Complete works of Swami Vivekananda’ and Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson as my prized possession. But as I write this article I feel that to be born as a son of a judge is not a boon. If you are successful, the feeling is “Oh, I is a son of a judge, I is bound to be successful”. If you are not successful, the feeling is “Oh, I is a son of a judge, even then I is not successful”.
Either way it is no pleasure to work hard. The vibes around, in the bar, with all the advocates who were not able to become judges or sons of advocates who were unable to become judges are not so comforting. These are feelings and thoughts  at the thresh hold of my carrier, let’s see how events unfold.
      Lust for Life – Biography of Vincent Van Gough by Irving Stone; p. 33-34 – Some lines which will continue to guide me -
…and after a few blocks passed Rembrandt’s old home at Zeestraat ..
“He died in poverty and disgrace”, said Mendes in an ordinary tone as they passed the old house.
…..
“He didn’t die unhappy, though” said Vincent
“No” replied Mendes, “He had expressed himself fully and he knew the worth of what he had done. He was the only one in his time who did.”
“Then did it make it all right with him, the fact that he knew? Suppose he had been wrong? What if the world had been right in neglecting him?”
“What the world thought made little difference. Rembrandt had to paint. Whether he painted well or badly didn’t matter, painting was the stuff that held him together as a man. The chief value of art, Vincent, lies in the expression it gives to the artist. Rembrandt fulfilled what he knew to be his life purpose; that justified him. Even if his work had been worthless, he would have been a thousand times more successful than if he had put down his desire and become the richest merchant in Amsterdam”
“I see”
“The fact that Rembrandt’s work brings joy to the whole world today” continued Mendes, as though following his own line of thought., “is entirely gratuitous. His life was complete and successful when he died, even though he was hounded into his grave. The book of his life closed then, and it was a beautiful wrought volume. The quality of his perseverance and loyalty to his idea is what was important, not the quality of his work
“But how does a young man to know, he is choosing rightly Mijnheer? Suppose he thinks there is something special he must do with his life, and afterwards he founds out he wasn’t suited to that at all?”
…..
You can never be sure about anything for all the time, Vincent”, said Mendes. “You can only have the courage and strength to do what you think is right. It may turn out to be wrong, but you will at least have done it, and that is important thing.  We must act according to the best dictates of our reason and then leave it to God to judge of its ultimate value. If you are certain at this moment that you want serve our maker in one way or another, then that faith is the only guide you have to the future. Don’t be afraid to put your trust in it.”
….
Every person has an integrity,  a quality of character, Vincent,” said Mendes… “and if he observes it, whatever he does well turn out well in the end. If you had remained  an art dealer, the integrity that makes you the sort of man you are would have made you a good art dealer. The same applies to your teaching. Someday you will express yourself fully, no matter what medium you may choose.”
       Arguments in Bangalore Water Supply Vs. Union of India - A Constitutional Bench of Chief Justice M.H.Beg, Justice Y.V.Chandrachud, Justice P.N.Bhagwati, Justice V.K. Krishna Iyer, Justice Jaswant Singh, Justice V.D.Tulzapurkar and Justice D.A.Desai was constituted to settle the issue relating to the definition of Industry. There were judgments of Supreme Court of India and 9 judgments of High Court of Australia. I read each one of them and also all the judgments referred in those judgments, made copious notes, made all possible efforts to understand the flow of the arguments by senior advocates and took down copious notes of each senior arguing and observations of the Hon’ble Judges. The difference of approach, almost diametrically opposite, of Justice Krishna Iyer and D.A. Desai on one side and Justice Tulzapulkar on the other was interesting. Divisiveness seems to be the law of nature.
        Other friends and colleagues
Met Anil Kumar Gupta and Advocate from Lukhnow and one of the first junior to R.K.Garg. Anil Kumar Gupta like R.K.Garg had great leaning for the trade unions and had a good practice on the criminal side and service matters. Along with Anil Kumar Gupta I met  Brij Bhushan Sharma @ Bhushan Uncle, who was commuting every day from Ghaziabad and had joined Anil Kumar Gupta in September 1977. Anil Kumar Gupta used to keep his files in the chamber of Mr. R.A. Gupta, 35, Lawyers Chambers and was operating from Bar Library, till chamber was allotted to him in November 1978 along with S.K. Dhingra. K.B Rohatagi and Shiv Pujan Singh were other friends in the group. K.B.Rohatgi was instrumental in the first break in election of A.K.Sen as the President of SCBA after the reign and dominance of Mr. M.C.Setalvad for years.
     My First Cheque: Mr. Narayan Nettar, Advocate on Record for the State of Karnataka was also using the chambers of Ramamurti & Co. and I developed good relationship with me. One day he told me that will it be possible for me to draft Statement of Case for the matters in which Special Leave was granted and the paper books were ready for hearing. He candidly told me that he is paid Rs.400 for drafting the same and will pay me Rs.200 out of the same. I quickly drafted three Statement of Case and he gave me my first cheque of Rs.600. Now I was on my own and could earn my living by my own labor. I enrolled myself as a member of the SCBA.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

It Exists Forever - Part 2

Justice Appa Muthukrishnan was anxiously walking up and down… up and down… up and down… in the green sprawled lawn in front of his four acre judges bungalow on Tuglak Road, New Delhi, hands held tightly behind his back, which he made efforts to consciously relax by flexing his fingers. It was a pleasant   Sunday morning, there were light showers last night, he already had two cups of his south Indian coffee after his breakfast of upama and coconut chutney, but was unable to reason out why he was getting tense. He had received a call from Justice Drishti Vishwaas’s residence that Swamy would be delivering a copy of the draft judgement circulated by Justice Drishti Vishwaas to all the 12 brethren. He was making all efforts to sooth himself for he was reeling under a mixed feeling of excitement and fear of the unknown, while waiting to receive a copy of the judgement of his very dear friend Justice Drishti Vishwaas.
   A white ambassador with three lion heads and Supreme Court boldly written on the number plate, slowly entered his residence.  Swamy got down from the car and moved towards Justice A. Muthukrishnan with a thick yellow envelop in his hand.
Vanakkam! How is the great Lady” ” said Justice A. Muthukrishnan to Swamy as he took the yellow envelop from Swamy, greeting him before he could.
Vanakkam, Sir Vanakkam, Judge Sir is fine Sir and Maanas Ji and her ladyships has sent you her very personal regards Sir” said Swamy watching  the twinkling in the eyes of Justice A.Muthukrishnan which he had always observed when the two friends were greeting each other, with greatest respect which two beings can have for each other. Justice Drishti Vishwaas and Justice A.Muthukrishnan had been friends for over 42 years, when they had joined the Supreme Court Bar almost together, she as a charismatic, vibrant young girl of 22 from Jodhpur a town in Rajasthan and he as he was at the age of 25 after taking masters in history before joining law from Delhi. Her father was a judge of Rajasthan High Court and his was Solicitor General of India from Chennai.
Justice A.Muthukrishnan turned to the last pages of the judgement, read it and re read it, touched to his head and kissed with all awe, admiration and reverence from deepest level of his soul and jumped, almost in ecstasy. This was a day of celebration, this was the finest treat in his hand as pure as pure as Ganges, this was what the country had been waiting for, for last over 27 yrs when Rajeev Goswami had committed self immolation before public eye and Supreme Court had watched it in its majestic silence, blind folded, eyes covered with cloth, nothing can be done without facts and pleadings on record and with lesser will to give direction to the largest democracy in the world. Nobody can now stop the great country from moving ahead. He had felt and thought that, the divine support was apparent for last almost 9 yrs. when Justice Drishti Vishwaas was elevated as a judge of Supreme Court, in spite of all maneuverings, mechanization, calculated and cautious resistance from a lobby of seemingly superior self proclaimed leaders constituting a random group, but making and maintaining all out efforts to hold monopoly in cricket, economics and law.
Any visionary statement-ship like the one in his hand, was akin to the discomfort felt by England and Australia on India winning cricket world cup or the rising economics of BCCI and Indian Premier League; disquiet of those who control Currency, Pharmaceuticals, Gold, Oil and Diamond - CP-GOD on firming up of peace in democracies and uneasiness of House of Lords and now Supreme Court of UK, feel when Supreme Court of India applies mimansa interpretation to jurisprudence.  But the lobby was successful in achieving that she does not become the first lady Chief Justice of India. Now he will have to wait for Justice Ranjit Singh’s reaction and how much majority he and Ramphry Doorabji would be able to carry with them. He was certain that Justice Drishti Vishwaas will be able to carry the majority for they certainly had the Chief Justice, who was due to retire after 3 months and at least three others, who would not become Chief Justices, held their head high, non-compromising integrity and were not looking for any post retirement employment and two who would find the reasoning impenetrable and felt strongly about their motherland. That would make it 8:5, better then Kesavananda Bharati which had 6 +6 + 1 He could hear the Panchjanya of Hrishikesha blowing in the centre of his body, the anaahat chakraand goose bumps all over his body, experiencing ecstasy of bliss of hitting the sweet spot.
As he brushed through the judgment Justice A.Muthukrishnan’s eyes became wet with adoration, regards and respect. Once again he was proud of his relationship with Justice Drishti Vishwaas and feelings which he had carried in his heart for Justice Drishti Vishwaas since the day he had met her for the first time and had spent hours talking to her in the canteen of the Supreme Court Bar Association in the Supreme Court premises, while waiting for their cases to come or when the cases had finished early. These feelings were too personal to be shared with anybody or expressed at any time, though many occasions had arose for the same. Justice Drishti Vishwaas belonged to that small class of persons for whom it had been justly said that they appear as levers to uplift the world energy and roll it into another direction, but they do not attain to such rare functions by the high range of their ambitions, they do it by large development of their powers and divine support. Maanas was that divine support which just existed in the most powerful and beautiful way with her. History had not produced another couple after Savitri and Satyavan, the personification of Shakti and Shiva, Yin and Yang in recent history of mankind.
This was not a situation when ‘behind every successful man, there is a woman’ pestering, harassing and annoying him, calling him stupid, fool, brainless, dump witted, impractical and all the names for the whole world was making money and enjoying, but here was a man wholly behind a woman, providing her full support and help to enable her to shape her own destiny and that of their nation.
It was time to swim in the thoughts of Justice Drishti Vishwaas, the women of substance. Nobody can now stop the empowerment of his motherland Bharat. The Supramental age as espoused by Sri Aurobindo was now finally dawning at the horizon, he was aware as a student of history and philosophy that it took almost a century before any event, any idea, any thought could take physical shape. Alexander came out of Rome to conquer the world almost a century after Socrates, Plato and Aristotle had expounded the power of aristocracy, Russian revolution took place almost after a century of Marx and Engel wrote Das Capital. Sri Aurobindo had experienced realisation almost a century ago and speaking and writing about Supramental Age. The gold mine in his hand was a major expression of that energy moving forward to fourth wave and choicelessly taking people along with it towards commitments, harmony and peace and establishment of truth and justice... Jai Maa Bharti...

Friday, September 1, 2017

It Exists Forever - Part - 1

Thak, thak… thak, thak, thak...
Justice Ranjeet Singh thought he had heard a knock at the door. 
Thak, thak… thak, thak, thak…
This time he was certain that there was a knock at the door, somebody was slowly knocking at the door of his study for some time.
“Yes, come in” said Justice Ranjeet Singh while sitting behind the table and coming from within to without, he had received the message and had gone down his memory lane…
“Sir, Swamy has brought a thick yellow envelop, containing a copy of the judgment from Justice Drishti Vishwaas” said Sheo Singh in a very humble respectful voice.
“Yes, get me the envelop and tell Swamy to convey my respectful regards to Justice Drishti Vishwaas” said Justice Ranjit Singh as he took the envelop from Sheo Singh. He was wondering what would the judgement holds in it. He had completed correcting the second draft of his own judgement, which would be finalized in next two weeks, but was anxiously awaiting for a copy of the judgement of Justice Drishti Vishwaas, the first to go out for circulation. Justice Ranjit Singh was certain that Justice Drishti Vishwaas’s judgment was going to be a minority judgement and finally the bench would be divided 9: 4, with himself, Ramphry Doorabji J, Chief Justice of India designate, Abdi J. the next Chief Justice of India and Patnaik J. the next Chief Justice after Abdi J.and other signatories with them holding the majority, while the present Chief Justice of India, Justice A.Muthukrishnan and may be one more certainly going with her. He had great respect for Justice Drishti Vishwaas and her fearless consistency which he had seen, observing her for over 42 yrs. manifesting a powerful positive energy which he always felt, but did not understand. How a person can be so ruthlessly consistent, he had always wondered on several occasions, integrity was a great idealism, but it had disastrous consequences when personified.
Justice Ranjeet Singh had once overheard A. Muthukrishnan J. telling her and Maanas “The powerful relationship, the clearity of wisdom, unflinching faith and trust in the cosmic energy, which you both manifest, must be coming from several janam of undertaking great piouskarm, it is not just possible to acquire it all in the little years that you have existed.” He had shrugged off his broad shoulder, for that did not relate to the world of facts and figures, logic and reasoning. The approach seemed to be wholly impractical for the teeming billion and twenty five million people of a developing country. Though there seemed to be an un-explainable and incomprehensible radiance emerging from Justice Drishti Vishwaas every time he saw her, for she seemed to be basically a very contended and satisfied being, basically a happy person, with a very smiling face and an extremely open and carefree laugh, so uncommon in the corridors of powers.
He closed the judgment and continued to stare at the light green blank cover page of the judgement in awed silence, he had expected the result but not in such sweeping manner, but that was Justice Drishti Vishwaas and this was her final signature, take it or leave it. It took some time for Justice Ranjit Singh to re-assemble himself. He suddenly became aware that he had an underground mine lying on his table, a seed of an unknown tree which will certainly change the history of the nation and the perception of its people globally as it happened on 8/6 and 8/9 for Japan when atom bombs were exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and on 9/11 for USA when the two airplanes hit and got stuck in the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Manhattan, New York, the pride of USA and marked the vulnerability of Uncle Sam and 26-28/11 when Taj Hotel, Mumbai was in grip of terrorists for almost three days, the  world was glued to T.V. in disgust, aversion, vulnerability, defenselessness and helplessness and some celebrating ecstacy and bliss of striking at the heart of the rising loin, still in slumber.
“Sheo Singh” said Justice Ranjit Singh, certain that 11 am was too early for chilled beer and instantaneously realised that he was almost shouting in a croaking voice, “Get me a glass of water and a cup of very hot black coffee, without milk, without sugar”, and murmured “this … diabetes...”as Sheo Singh rushed into the study.
The real question, ‘Who is John Galt’ was getting resolved and he was able to appreciate and ascertain the contradiction fully. He was certain, that after this judgment there was no going back or looking back. The nation and its energy was waiting for a spark and here was the necessary spark. For the first time he found himself surrendering in awe and respect and was now certain that it was best to rely on the Wahe Guru, for he alone would show the light and the right path to him and the people of this amazing nation, defending which his father was awarded Param Vir Chakra (posthumously) by the President of India, which he had collected on a Republic Day ceremony, as a school student, after the 1961 war with China… Jai Maa Bharati

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Diary Entries - Part 5

April 1977 - Change of regime: With the coming of Janta Party into power at the center and swearing in of Shri Morarji Desai as the Prime Minister of India, there is a change in the air of Supreme Court. Niren De, Attorney General for India, has been replaced by S.V.Gupte, as Attorney General for India, he is an exceptionally respected Senior Advocate with a suave, sophisticated and aristocratic demeanor, Lal Narain Sinha Solicitor General of India has been replaced by Shri S.N.Kacker as the Solicitor General, a Senior Advocate from Allahabad, who like my father was short heighted and healthy and suffered from asthama as did my father. Shri Shanti Bhushan, a Senior Advocate from Allahabad, who had earned a great name and fame in appearing against Smt. Indira Gandhi in her election matter, was sworn in as the Law Minister replacing Mr. H.R.Gokhale, whose admission to SCBA was seriously objected to Shri C.K.Daphtry, Senior Advocate,  a doyen of Supreme Court being former Attorney General of India and known for his great wit was the President and Shri B.R.Agarwal, who was a partner of Gagrat & Co. and had done a book on Supreme Court Practice and Procedure and who was a very close friend of my father was the Secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
Lunch in the chambers of Mr. B.P. Maheshwari: Shri B.P. Maheshwari, an elderly advocate, having chamber on the right of our chamber in the front, was an old acquaintance of my father. In fact my father as an advocate was getting his cases filed through him as Advocate on Record. He was a very affectionate and a practical person. When I met him in the corridors of Supreme Court, he asked me to come into his chamber. As I met him in his chambers he inquired me as to where I was taking my lunch and I told him that I took a full breakfast and ate dinner when I go back home. Mr. Maheshwari candidly told me that, that did not work. The tendency was to eat ‘samosa or pakora’ in the canteen when one felt hungry and that was not good for health at all. He told me that there was a ‘tiffinwalla’ who was bringing tiffins consisting of 4 home made chappaties, daal, rice, one vegetable everyday and included kheer on Friday and that it would cost Rs.1.75 per tiffin per day and insisted that I must take lunch in his chamber, for I was like his son. This was one of the best solutions for my lunch I could have got. I used to reach home by 10 pm and used to take a bite in the Supreme Court canteen in the noon during lunch and evening after court hours. The routine was further set, now I had my lunch in the chamber of Mr. B.P. Maheshwari, with his junior Mr. Sethi and Ms. Rafat Hashmi, a lady lawyer from Delhi. Mr. B.P. Maheshwari’s son R.K.Maheshwari was an Advocate and was in USA. In spite of my several inquiries he did not tell me anything about him and went silent and his eyes went wet, whenever I talked to him about the issue. Someday I will know about the same 
    Supreme Court had delivered 54 judgments in 1950 and 78 judgments in 1951. Interestingly though Supreme Court Reports (SCR) was the Official Law Reporting Series by virtue of Law Reporting Act, 1875, but all the judgments of Supreme Court were not published in SCR. SCR published only reportable judgments, but since all judgments of Supreme Court were binding by virtue of Article 141 of the Constitution, a large number of judgments not published in SCR were published in All India Report a private publication from Nagpur since 1914. For 1950 out of 54 judgments, SCR published 40, AIR published 13 and 1 was published in Cr.L.J.  My father’s library had the complete set of AIR since 1914 and we used to religiously clean them during summer vacations and put brown paper covers on them, as I was doing for my school books.  AIR was publishing judgments of all the High Courts in India and we used to number each one of them so that they can be placed in series in the book racks and were not lost when carried with the cases to the court. 
    Apart from Indian and Foreign text books on all subjects, AIR Manual and Halsbury Laws of England, Ramamurthy & Co had subscribed for several other publications like Cr.LJ, LLJ, SLR,  a recent publication introduced since 1969 was of Supreme Court Cases (SCC) and then there were cyclostyled judgments circulated by the Supreme Court Bar Association, every week. All ER (All England Report) like AIR was a private publication, while WLR (Weekly Law Reports) was the Official Series, US Law Reports Lawyers Edition, Australian Law Reports and Commonwealth Law Reports (Canada), Howard Law Review were also there. There was an independent section for bare Acts arranged alphabetically and loose volumes of the latest law reports.
    One thing which struck me was the fact that Mr. S.C.Agrawal, before leaving for conference with Mr.R.K.Garg or for the court, would briefly brush through the loose volumes and cyclostyled copies of latest judgments. I soon realized that one of the major issue during the hearing of the matter was, when the Hon’ble judge would ask the appearing senior advocate, if he has looked into the latest judgment delivered by the Supreme Court and it was very discomforting for the Senior Advocate if he had not. It was more embarrassing if the Judge would say that the judgment cited at the bar has been reconsidered recently and he must have a look into it.  The judgments were delivered every day and were not available unless circulated by SCBA or published in a law report. To be respected advocate, it was imperative, to keep abreast with every judgment of the Supreme Court, before going to the court to avoid any humiliation or uncomfortable situation of any sort.
    If a judgment was reported in SCR, the court would insist on citing SCR only. There was one Shri Gopi, an old librarian in SCBA, who had published a conversion table from AIR to SCR and SCR to AIR, which was quite in demand and use. Whenever a list of judgments to be cited before the court was given to the SCBA library to bring the books to the court, the SCBA library staff would get corresponding SCR with proper flags to the court. There was also an encyclopedia of Supreme Court judgments, which was very helpful to get the citations by name of the case alphabetically. 
Another important issue for an esteemed advocate, was his capacity to keep constant  track of follow up and over-ruled judgments. Mr. Ashok K. Sen, who had a better library than Supreme Court Judges Library, for he had some English Law Reports, not even available in the Supreme Court Judges Library, had in pencil marked on his personal law reports the citation of the judgments in which the judgment was followed, distinguished, referred, overruled, etc, like a ready referencer. He was also the law minister of India from (1957 to 1966 - Jawaharlal Nehru’s cabinet). Mr. S.C.Agrawal had it all in his memory which was updated every day along with judgments from UK, USA, Australia and Canada and that is the unmatchable bedrock and strength of Ramamurthy & Co. Several advocates, came and asked Shri S.C.Agarwal about the latest judgments on any issue, which he told with a great smile, which he was always bearing. Finding precedents on the issue in hand is a major activity in advocates office.
    509 judgments were delivered in the year 1976 and 222 judgments between 04.01.1977 to 06.05.1977. There were 14 Constitutional bench judgments in 1976 and 3 in 1977. MISA judgment in 1976 where 13 judgments of the various High Courts, including one delivered by my father in the High Court of Rajasthan was set aside and in which Justice H.R.Khanna had given a dissent, was an important judgment. In 1977 the Supreme Court had delivered 3 Constitutional Bench Judgments. Constitutional Bench Judgment of Justice Krishna Iyer in Fatehchand Himmatlal dealing with validity of Maharashtra Debt Relief Act expounded the constitutional philosophy. 
Summer Vacations: This was a leap year, the total working days for Supreme Court were 183 and total non working days were 183. There was a long summer vacation spreading over a period of 10 weeks from May 7 to July 18. During vacation, two Hon’ble Judge would sit singly for four weeks and two in the next four weeks and take up only very urgent matters. The long summer vacation has been a long tradition since the British days. The High Courts were working for 212 days and the sub-ordinate judiciary for 240 days. The only logic I could find out for this long vacation was that the judges from Britain, who were coming to India, must be travelling back during summers. Travel by ship would be taking two weeks one side totaling to four weeks either side and 6 weeks were left for actual vacation, to get a break from the court routine. The matters whose limitation expired during the summer vacation, were all prepared during the period, piled up and had to be filed on the reopening i.e. July 19, 1977. High Court had 6 week vacation and since my father loved and enjoyed to travel all around, he always had his itinerary worked out well in advance and would leave immediately as soon as the vacations started and would be back a few days before the reopening. He had gone around the world to Dubai, several countries in Europe, various places in USA, Hong Kong and Japan, as an advocate in 1971. 
     In absence of any communication with my senior Mr. S.C.Agarwal or Mr. R.K.Garg on the subject, as to how I should actually go about the profession, I had just continued to absorb everything I could, every moment I was in Supreme Court. Since the summer vacation were coming close and I had to vacate 60 South Avenue, I asked my senior Mr. S.C.Agarwal, to tell me as to what I should be doing during the vacation. He told me since, I had come directly to Supreme Court and had no experience of Trial Court, I must go to a senior in Trial Court and talk to Shri B.P.Agarwal, a senior Advocate in Jaipur. I had a feeling that my coming directly to Supreme Court was not a very acceptable decision, but I had no choice, the choice were made elsewhere, I could only do my best to my perfection.
      I came to Jaipur, discussed the issue with Shri B.P.Agarwal and joined Shri H.M.K.Wali, advocate, who had his office at Wali Gardens and started accompanying him to the trial court in Jaipur. He had two juniors working with him Mr. R.K.Yadav and Mr. Amar Singh. It was amazing to find a wonderful, fine, magnificent and highly respected human being in Mr. Wali. He was totally unruffled and unperturbed and was always smiling and thinking deep. As soon as the matter would be reaching, he would walk to the pan shop, collect a bundle of pan and walk back to the court thinking, contemplating and considering the various aspects of the case. He used to eat almost 40 pan in every day. The judges would hear him with great respect and apt attention and pass the orders. Mr. Wali showed all respect to every judge and made his arguments clearly and precisely. Finally one day he gave me a voluminous brief to read and prepare. After carefully preparing my notes, when I discussed the issues and briefed him he put me a few question, just to test the direction or my understanding and was quite pleased and said that I must have learned all this in Supreme Court with the great seniors with whom I was working. 
28.06.1977 – An uncomfortable experience -As I entered the court today just behind my senior Mr. H.M.K.Wali, the presiding judge recognized, me and almost jumped out of seat. He enquired as to what brought me to the court. It was quite a embarrassing situation. I told him that I had joined Mr. Wali and just walked out of the court, never to come back again.
01.07.1977 – Back to Delhi, back to Supreme Court, Stay at Indian Law Institute and shifting to Ashok Vihar - I read in the column of ‘thought of the day’ - ‘The eagle never lost more of its time than when it went to learn of the crow’. I showed the same to Mr. Wali and he told me that I had nothing much to learn in the trial court and it would be better if I go back to Delhi and practice there. He further expressed that learning will come as I will continue to work on cases as it came, each case was a learning process and every procedure and issue in it must be clearly understood. 
Since I had vacated 60, South Avenue and had no place to live, I made enquiry and got accommodation to stay in a room on the side of Indian Law Institute @ Rs. 5 per day, for a period of 30 days, which was the maximum period allowed there. I met a few academicians there, who used to visit for attending conference or research at ILI and it was a great treat to talk to them and relate to some of my actual experience in Supreme Court. I thereafter, shifted to my cousins place in Ashok Vihar Phase 1, which was quite a distance from Supreme Court, commutation period was more than an hour in DTC bus. I used to take a morning 7.45 am bus to Shakti Nagar, if I did not get a direct bus , another bus to Tilak Bridge and walk to Supreme Court. Leave the chamber at 9 pm, walk till Tilak bridge, wait for the bus to get to Shakti Nagar, change to another bus to Ashok Vihar reaching  back by 11 pm. Attend Bhartiya Vidhya Bhawan on Friday Evening and Sunday morning. All through the commutation, I used to read Shrimat Bhagwat Gita, which I had copied in my diary or various jottings which I took down from the books I had read and there were many.   
     Further Readings: I had already completed reading Complete work of Vivekanand in 8 volumes and had moved on to ‘Godfather’ by Mario Puzo, an amazing book opening the heart of underworld in USA, along with same came in ‘The Valachi Papers’ by Peter Mass and ‘Honor thy Family’ by Gay Telese, about a Bonano Family of New York, USA which finally ended in conviction held by the US Supreme Court. Also read ‘The Day of the Jackal and ‘The Odessa File’ by Fredrick Forsyth. Two books which really gripped and enthused me and which was found it difficult to keep it aside was ‘Fountain Head’ and ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand. Her other books followed – ‘We the Living’, ‘Anthem’, ‘For the New Intellectuals’, ‘The Virtue of Selfishness’, ‘Voice of Reason’. The character of Horward Roark,  Dominique Fracon,  Peter Keating, and Ellsworth Toohey in Fountain Head and the characters of the three disciples of philosopher Dr. Hugh Akston - John Galt, Francisco and Ragner and the classic lines about them:
     “Don’t be astonished, Miss Taggart… and don’t make the mistake of thinking that these three pupils of mine are some of superhuman creatures. They’re much greater and more astounding than that; they’re normal men – a thing that world has never seen – and their feat is that they managed to survive as such. It does take an exceptional mind and still more exceptional integrity to remain untouched by the brain – destroying influences of the world’s doctrines, the accumulated evil of centuries – to remain human , since the human is the rational”
   This thought was solidly buttressed by the brilliant Essay on Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, Midas Mulligan, Richard Halley and many others were powerful characters as many in Ramayan and Mahabharat. Apart from the speech of Francisco on the concept of money, another statement by Ayan Rand formed the fundamental of my understanding:
“Ideas cannot be fought except by means of better ideas. The battle consists, not of opposing, but of exposing; not of denouncing, but of disproving; not of evading, but of boldly proclaiming a full, consistent, and radical alternative.”
    Shrimat Bhagwat Gita was interpreted by all three propounders of main stream of Hindu Philosophy – Advait by Shankracharya, Vishsist Advait by Ramanujam and Dvait by Madhvacharya.  Adviat philosophy was again expounded and taken to the English speaking world by Swami Vivekananda and the individual centric philosophy of Ayn Rand both demanding individual human being to endeavor for leading and craving for total perfection to the best of his ability, potentiality and capacity was in total contradiction, disagreement and inconsistent to what our chamber was known for and was propounding, welfare based on need. Mr. R.K.Garg with photo of Lenin hanging in his chamber, was all about nationalist socialism, providing the have not’s, a minimum basic for everyone. To understand socialism and the philosophy underlying it I bought three volumes of Das Capital, which I was not able to read, but read ‘The Grammar of Politics’ by Harlod J.Laski and the beautiful opening lines made so much sense and expressed the brilliance of the outstanding work. The lines read as follows:
    “My husband once said, that every time an intellectual has the chance to speak out against injustice, and yet remains silent, he contributes to the moral paralysis and intellectual barrenness that grips the affluent world." Frida Laski w/o Harold J. Laski, author of ‘The Grammar of Politics’
   It seemed that the two philosophies were in contradictions,  but to mind there was none. Development or progress of the Self wholly supported the commitment to fellow beings. To understand the whole it was imperative to fully grasp the so called contradictions which were in fact complementary to each other. Contraria Sunt Complementa, was the motto on Bohr's coat of arms 'Contradictions are complementary” Bohr was a visionary physicist and developed the quantum theory, he was ready to see the dual nature not as a contradiction but as 'two sides of the same coin’. 
   I was in the most powerful chamber propounding a philosophy and was in need of some amount to sustain myself and the same was true with many others who had shifted to Delhi, but there was no money, for there was practically no contribution to the day to day working, except some errands, but that seemed to be process of learning. Money was not an issue with me, for my father had given me a blank cheque book, which I could fill with any amount and deposit in my account, but the issue was my earning on my own with dignity and there was none till date. There was, therefore, some error somewhere, between philosophy and practice but that did not make sense. Any philosophy which did not have practical application at individual level has no purpose to exist at national level. 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Further Diary Entries – Part 4

Dairy Entry - Neither Mr. S.C.Agrawal nor Mr. R.K.Garg nor Mr. V.J.Francis told me ever to do any work nor was I ever paid anything for I was doing just nothing. Just come, watch, read and learn if you can. Ramamurty & Co. was a perfect well structured powerful law firm to deal with every issue raised in Supreme Court. In fact they were there in all important Constitutional matters, with Mr. R.K.Garg leading from the front and Mr. S.C.Agarwal, also known as the moving encyclopedia of Supreme Court, supporting him with a great sime. Everybody was enjoying what was happening and a lot was happening every day. There was nothing specific for me to be do or contribute in the on going activities, except Thursday settling of list with Mr. V.J. Francis. It was amazing to see Mr. S.C. Agrawal working always bearing a great smile. He would read the whole file cover to cover, make some notes, pick up some judgments and draft the whole Special Leave Petition in his own hand writing which was like scribbling in the smallest size possible. Beginning from ‘In the Supreme Court of India’ till ‘Drawn and Filed by’ or sometimes dictate to the steno in the same style, if the steno was free as he was mostly getting work from Mr.R.KGarg. There was one typist who alone was able to decipher Mr.S.C.Agarwal hand writing and would cut the stencils. From stencils copies of SLPs were rolled out in the side room by Mr.Sikka, one plus eleven. One plus seven were filed in the Supreme Court (if the matter was referred to 5 judges, there were sufficient copies available), one for Mr. R.K. Garg, one for Mr. S.C. Agrawal, one for Mr. V.J.Francis which I used to use for reading and making my notes and one for the client. I would read all the briefs that were listed, make my notes, read the judgments referred in the judgments of the High Courts and noted by Mr. R.K.Garg and cited by Mr. S.C.Agrawal during conference. I was enjoying absorbing everything that was going around. If notice was issued in the SLP, then the stencils were re-rolled and one copy for each respondent was filed with the registry, which used to prepare the index. The opposite counsel was given three sets, one for his senior, one for AOR and another for his client, after he had confirmed that he had filed the Vakalatnama.
Joining Diploma in Administrative Law – Indian Law InstituteRight in front of Supreme Court was a building  of Bar Council of India and next to it on the right was a four storied building of Indian Law Institute. When I visited it I found it had a huge library, particularly Law Journals from Howard, Stanford, Yale and many other Law Universities. I also found that they were running a diploma courses in Administrative Law, Labour Law and Company law. Since I had a good time to spare, I joined Administrative Law diploma and would go in the evening to attend my classes from 5.30 to 7.30 come back to the chamber and read till 9 pm.
Joining classes at Bhartiya Vidhya Bhawan - My grandfather used to tell us (me and my elder brother) a story every late evening post dinner 8.15 to 9.15 since I was of the age of 5 till 13 yrs of age. They covered the entire Bhaagwat, Mahaabharat and Raamaayan. Swami Chinmayanada had come to Jodhpur for his 365 Geeta Gyan Yagya for the period 7 days. While I was in my final year LL.B, I accompanied my grandfather for the morning discourse on 13 chapter of Srimat Bhagwat Gita and evening discourse on Narad Bhakti Sutra and Parshno Upanishad. This was the beginning of my spiritual awakening. I think it came at a time when it was most required. A got a copy Srimat Bhagwat Gita by Swami Chidananda with my grandfather signatures and it was the great treat of my life, reading the same from the cover to cover. The introduction running into 78 pages opened my thinking process and the book was the greatest treat of my life, which I still continue to enjoy and refer to whenever necessary. On enquiry I came to know that Chinmaya Mission was conducting classes of Friday evening and Sunday Morning in Upanishad at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan, which was on Karturba Gandhi Marg, walking distance from Supreme Court. I met Swami Yagya Chaitaniya there, a young yogi and a very close disciple of Swami Chinamayanad. The classes started with Kathopanishad, the next to follow was Kaivaliyopanishad and thereafter all the major 11 upanishad.
Acquaintances, Associates, Colleagues and Friends - There are a large number of amazing young advocates from all over the country who had passed their law in 1975 – 1976. May be there is some commonality or a good reason for all of us being here together. Made some good acquaintances with Ashok Panda from Orissa, Ram Kumar from Chennai, Ms. Malini Poduval from Kerala, B.B.Singh from Bihar, Rupinder Singh Suri from Delhi, Manik Tarkunde was Justice Trakunde’s daughter from Bombay, a very respected senior. There is an interesting group of Ms. Sunanda Bhandare, Y.K.Jain, K.K. Mohan, Anil Singh, Rajeev Dutta, Naresh Sharma and L.R. Singh, meeting every Friday evening at Ashoka Hotel. Cold tea with lime and french fries and lot of discussions. I enjoyed their company and the wide range of thoughts communicated by them.
03.01.1977 – Elevation of P.S.Kailasam as Judge of Supreme Court – Justice P.S.Kailasm from Madras High Court was elevated as a judge of Supreme Court today
29.01.1977 – Elevation of Justice M.H.Beg as Chief Justice of India - Today justice M.H.Beg was sown in as the 15th  Chief Justice of India. The ceremony was held at Rashtrapati Bhawan, where only few were invited. Mr. D.P.Singh, Mr. R.K.Garg and Mr. S.C.Agarwal had all gone attend the ceremony. Justice H.R.Khanna who was the sole dissenting judge in the MISA case was superseded and had resigned. He would have continued as Chief Justice for about 43 days, till 12.03.1977. This was the second supersession in the history of Supreme Court, when a seniormost pusine judge was not made the Chief Justice of India. The earlier was immediately after the judgment of Keshwanand Bharti in 1973, the basic structure case, when Justice A.N.Ray was elevated as the Chief Justice of India and three senior judges Justice J.M.Shelat, Justice K.S.Hedge and Justice A.N.Grover had resigned. Commitment to political thinking seems to be imperative for giving effect to the progressiveness and dynamics ingrained and inbuilt in the Constitution.
24.03.1977 - Congress Loses Election - Congress lost election in Center and Rajasthan. Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister of India and Mr. Bhiron Singh Shekhawat in Rajasthan. Mr. Shrikrishanmal Modi lost election from Neem Ka Thana. I will have to vacate the room I was so comfortably occupying at 60, South Avenue, in next 3 months.
31.03.1977- 4.00 pm – SCBA Meeting - Supreme Court Bar Association today held a meeting to consider the actions of Mr. H.R. Gokhale, of what did to Law and Justice and the Supreme Court as a Union Minister of law and justice and not to allow him to continue as a member of the Bar Association. He was instrumental in imposition of Emergency and incharge of all legal issues with Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India. Ramamurty & Co. was very close to her. Mr. S.C.Agarwal had drafted the S.LP against the Allahabad High Court judgment, setting aside her election. Mr. Govind Mukhoti the Vice President of the Bar Association spoke about the resolution he had in his hand for not allowing SCBA membership to Mr. Gokhale. A cry was there to postpone the meeting and there were many cries to see that the cries stop.
  The resolution was then read by Mr. J.P. Goyal the main contender in favour of passing the resolution as he seemed to be, started with some personal allegations about him helping his son in law by briefs and to see that he becomes something, which otherwise would not have been possible. Then he came upon saying that Mr. R.K. Garg sat down in Keshwanand Bharti case taking Rs. 1,00,000. At that stage Mr Shiv Pujan Singh came out and shouted and cried that if that was so, than everyone in the profession was corrupt.
   The entire Bar shouted, all and every one shouted at the top of their voice and nobody could listen what other said but everybody said what he long wished to say. It seemed out to be a wonderful channel to project ones thoughts, when nobody could listen but everybody could hear. This made the V.P. say that the resolution be passed by raising of hands. Hands were raised, counted in its own way and resolution could not be passed. There was a victorious joys and some faces fell lopsided, but then there was call for recounting. Again hands were raised, recounting was done, this time the other side got more hands on its side. The expressions changed, some faces became long and other exalted with joy. The meeting ended with resolution being passed.
  It is most interesting to see people with personal grievances, personal attachments, personal knowledge, with rigid political orientation and singled channeled thoughts seeing their profession of a lawyer being suspended by a thin thread of political relationships. In the game of power, when it is used ruthlessly, it can be serious misuse for others existing during the same time. Every man is so bewildered, effected an involved in the moment that the real cause always remain hidden, forgotten and we are so much effected by this thought, that we think ourselves as the effect only, totally in contradiction with what says Shrimat Bhagwad Geeta, but this is the real world of activities in flesh and blood for the purse and that is the philosophy for the soul.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Further Diary Entries - Moving Ahead in Lateral Time

05.08.1976 (Thursday) - Matters were over by 4.00 pm. At 4.15 pm, Mr. Sikka handed over a thick Tentative Cause List with the covering paper giving item numbers to Mr. V.J. Francis. Mr. Francis asked me to accompany him to the Court. I had a question mark on my face. He told me that it was a Thursday, on which the Cause List for the next week was settled in the Chief Justice Court by Mr. C.M. Oberoi, the Asst. Registrar and that was the first place apart from mentioning in court, where an new Advocate learns to address the Court. The Chief Justice Court was packed by Advocate on Records, all having cause list with numbers written on the first page, in their hand.
      Matters were called one after another. The Advocates were insisting on matters not being listed, particularly where notices had been issued and stay had been granted and the other side insisted that matter must be listed for the stay was operating against their clients. One of the interesting grounds was ‘material instructions not received’, which was a great humor issue. The environment was very cordial and very dignified, everybody knew everybody and the Asst. Registrar had continued to insist that the matters should be listed in the next week, for he had little matters for the court. Mr. V.J. Francis told me to speak out two dates in the next week, when the matter should be listed and Mr. C.M. Oberoi looked at me, for that was a new voice coming for Ramamurthy & Co. and accepted it willingly. Mr. Francis himself submitted the cases where the matter had not be listed or to be listed weeks thereafter. The matters which had to be listed after the next week were shown in the tentative list for that week and were confirmed again before they were listed.  Since the dates were already known well in advance to the advocates, as the clients had to come from all over the country, it was good reason for not giving the name of the Advocates on Records on the cause list. Ramamurthy & Co. had a great repute for it appeared for employees and labour supported by trade unions. R.K. Garg had a flair and command in his presentations and arguments, he was a member of Communist Party of India (CPI) and was known for his strong nationalist socialist philosophy. Ramamurthy and Co. had a lot of criminal and service matters from Bihar, UP, Rajasthan and South and also Civil litigation.
     06.08.1976 (Friday) - Around 5 pm, Mr.R.K.Garg came into the 20 A Lawyers Chambers along with another advocate and a two other persons behind him, who looked like leaders (Office Bearers of P & T Trade Unions) and told Mr. S.C. Agrawal “ OK, let’s go” and looking at me said “You also come”. Mr. Agrawal got up and we all went outside. Mr. Agrawal took the driver seat of a white Fiat, Mr. Garg sat next to him and four of us got squeezed in the back seat and we all drove to a market place very close to Supreme Court called the Bengali Market. On the way I saw Triveni Art Gallery on the right of the road after a big round about. I had enjoyed painting since my early childhood and had done several of them in dot painting, pencil, batik, oil. Everybody was in a relaxed mood, it was a Friday evening, we all ate samosa and chola bhatura and went back to the chamber. After sometime everybody left including Mr. Sikka. No work on Friday evening or Friday evening was the only non-working evening for Advocates, rest was all working days and working evenings, it was all about law, law and law. I was enjoying every moment of my life in Supreme Court.
     Since I had nothing particular to do or go, I made a call to my grandfather and mother and told her that I was fine. I then made a few calls to my relatives in Delhi and informed them that I was in Delhi. They asked me if I could come and have dinner with them, to which I readily agreed, asked them about the bus number which I could take to reach their closest bus stand and fixed up my evening meeting for the next and the next Friday.
     07.08.1976 (Saturday) - Had conference meeting in the chamber of Mr. R.K.Garg. There were two more Advocates present there. After Mr. S.C.Agrawal left, Mr. R.K.Garg introduced me to them. One was Mr. R.K. Jain form U.P. and other was Mr. R.P.Singh from Bihar who had joined Mr. D.P.Singh.
    10.08.1976 - Ramamurti and Co. is an amazing place and a citadel of the Marxist or Communist or Leftist thinking, of which I have no knowledge or idea at all, seems to do something with politics, will learn it all over the years. Mr. Francis told me that Mr.V.K. Krishna Menon who was the Defence Minister in Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru’s Cabinet and Mr. Mohan Kumarmanglam who was Home Minister in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet and Syed Mehmood were the original Seniors who were briefed by Mr. M.K.Ramamuti, Mr. D.P.Singh. Mr. R.K.Garg and Mr. S.C.Agrawal and Ramamurti & Co was formed and were allotted 20 A, 25 and 26 Chamber.  After the death of Mr. Mohan Kumarmanglam in a plane crash in 1969, there was a split in the Law Firm where Mr. M.K.Ramamurti retained 25 Lawyers Chambers with Ms. Shyamla Pappu and Chamber No. 20 A, which was infact a canteen and the largest amongst the chambers and 26 were retained by Mr. D.P.Singh, Mr. R.K. Garg and Mr. S.C.Agrawal. After Mr. D.P. Singh was designated as a senior Advocate, Ramamurthy & Co, had two partners, Mr. R.K. Garg and Mr. S.C. Agarwal.
    There was no restrain on any advocate to continue to keep his files and continue meetings with his client in 20 A Lawyers Chambers. There has been a huge lot of advocates who had been associated with Ramamurthy & Co. Other Advocates who were using the chamber regularly were Mr. Naryan Netter, Advocate on Record for the State of Karnataka and a very fine gentlemen to the core. Mr. Narayan Nettar was a class fellow of Mr. S.C.Agrawal in London, when they were doing their Bar at Law there in 1956-58.  His wife was a lecturer of English in Kamla Nehru, College. Mr.P.D. Sharma, Advocate was another advocate who was occupying the chamber regularly, a simple human being, who kept to himself. A smile and a hand shake every time we met.
   13.08.1976 - Justice M.L. Jain, a judge in the High Court of Delhi, a very close friend of my father , was transferred from High Court of Rajasthan, because of his differences with another Senior Judge in the High Court. Justice M.L.Jain informed me to come to Ashoka Hotel and meet Mr. Shrikrishanmal Modi, a Member of Parliament from Neem ka Thana, Rajasthan. At the meeting Mr. Modi told me that he had a M.P. flat at 60, South Avenue, with a Barsati Floor and that I can stay there.
   15.08.1976 - I reached 60, South Avenue, with all my belongings, an attaché and a bedding. Mr. Shrikrishanmal Modi had left instructions for me and I went up to the Barsati Floor. It was a one room apartment with an attached washroom and a terrace in front. There was greenery all around, an MP Canteen right in front and a very calm and wonderful environment. I felt extremely comfortable, for there was lot of peace, fresh air and freedom.
   16.08.1976 - Setting into routine -Got up in the morning at 5.30 am as usual. Went for a jog around 6 am. Came back went through my yoga exercises, did my pranayama and meditation to which I was introduced 2 years ago by a yogi whom I never met again, took bath and was ready around 8.00 am. Went to the MPs canteen, took my breakfast, two boiled eggs, four slices of bread and a glass of milk. Took a bus to Krishi Bhawan, changed the bus and got down at Tilak Bridge and walked to Supreme Court.  In the chamber between 9.00 to 9.15 am. Read the law reports, starting making notes, read some briefs, had my lunch in the canteen, continued to be in the chamber till around 9 pm, walked down to Tilak Bridge, took a bus back to South Avenue. Went straight to the Canteen, took my dinner, four tandoori chapatti, half plate aloo matter and half plate gobhi and in my room by 10 – 10.15 pm.  Read some books. I never subscribed and never felt the necessity of Newspaper. Washed my clothes twice a week after coming back, upto about 12.30 -1 pm and met my relatives on Friday evenings. Sometimes called my grandfather and mother in the late evening before I left the chamber. This was a routine I continued to and follow every day.
   03.09.1976 - Today I got my enrollment as the Advocate from the Bar Council of Delhi and can now wear a white band, a black coat and a gown and can regularly appear in the court along with Mr. Francis and my seniors. My grandfather had completed his LL.B in 1926 and  retired as the first Registrar of High Court of Rajasthan on 31.03.1951 on his attaining the age of 58 yrs. from Jodhpur. My father had completed his LL.B in 1946 but joined the bar in 1950 since he was the prcharak for south delhi during that period. However, since warrants were issued against all RSS personnel after Gandhi murder in February 1948, my grandfather insisted him to join the profession. My father had started practicing law with Mr. C.L. Agarwal at Jaipur. In 1958, my father had along with our family shifted to Jodhpur, after abolition of the Jaipur Bench of the High Court of Rajasthan. He was associated with R.K.Rastogi and had started independent practice thereafter till he was elevated as a judge of Rajasthan High Court in 1973.
   Since my father was a sitting judge of High Court of Rajasthan and was likely to remain till 1986, he felt that my presence in Rajasthan would not be conducive in his, my and the institution’s interest. I, therefore, did not apply for my enrollment as an Advocate with the Bar Council of Rajasthan, but applied it to the Bar Council of Delhi. My name was proposed by Mr. S.C.Agarwal and for the second recommendation Mr. S.C.Agrawal requested Mr. S.K. Mehta, Advocate whose chamber number was 43 and he had willingly and happily accepted aswe walked to his chamber.
   20.09.1976 - We had item No. 1 in the Chief Justices Court and I was sitting next to my senior Mr. S.C.Agrawal. Mrs. Sunanda Bhandare, from Bombay, an advocate on record and daughter of Mr. H.R.Gokhale, Union Law Minister, Government of India mentioned a matter which was on the cause list of the next day, for not to be taken as she was not in town. The A.N.Ray, Chief Justice said that she must get it mentioned on the next day, to which she said that she would not be there the next day and, therefore, it would not be possible for her to mention it the next day.  Chief Justice A.N. Ray then said “Then, let some young advocate mention the matter tomorrow” and looked around. As he looked around his eyes suddenly stopped at me who was sitting in the front row, next to Mr. S.C. Agrawal, and he said “You, young man, mention the matter tomorrow”. It was a pleasant surprise for me, but I thought may be that is the way the Supreme Court functions and encourages juniors. I instantaneously got up and uttered “Yes, My Lordships” and realised all eyes were fixed on me particularly, Ms. Sunanda Bhandare.
There were other mentioning by other advocates and Mr. S.C. Agrawal asked me if I knew Chief Justice A.N. Ray and I said of course not. After our matter was over and as I came out of the Court, I saw Mrs. Sunanda Bhandare and her junior associate Mr. Ajit Sharma, waiting for me. It was the same question again “How Chief Justice A.N.Ray, know you” and “Who are you”. I told them that I did not know Chief Justice A.N. Ray and that I had shifted to Delhi and Supreme Court, because my father was a judge in High Court of Rajasthan and perhaps the only other advocate I knew out of Rajasthan was Mr. S.C.Agrawal and that I will mention the matter tomorrow and that they may give me the brief, so that I can at least read what is there in.
21.09.1976My First appearance before court - I reached the Chief Justice Court at about 10.25, Mr. Ajit Sharma, Advocate was there. I said I was ready, he smiled at me. I was the first in the row of mentioning and told the Chief Justice that the matter was mentioned yesterday and their Lordships had requested me to mention the matter for adjournment. He simply said “Adjourned for two weeks” and I walked back and handed over the brief to Mr. Ajit Sharma. He had put in one year, his father had worked with H.R.Gokhale and he had joined the chamber of  Mr. M.C.Bhandare and Mrs. Sunanda Bhandare. Mr. H.R.Gokhale had two daughters, the elder one was married to Dr. Y.S.Chitale, Senior Advocate and the younger was married to Mr. M.C.Bhandare.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Diary Entry – 02.08.1976 (Monday) - Day Two

Reached 20-A Lawyers Chamber at 9 am. The door was locked, Mr. Sikka arrived shortly. I requested him for the key, so that I can get a duplicate, he said he would get me a duplicate by the evening. Mr. V.J. Francis arrived shortly thereafter and gave a very warm and friendly smile and hand shake. Mr. S.C.Agrawal and Mr. R.K. Garg also arrived around 10 am. Mr. D.P. Singh, the third member of Ramamurti & Co. the eldest and a designated senior and several other advocates arrived and all of them in their full robes with white band and black gown left for the court. Since I was not yet enrolled as an advocate, I was not entitled to wear a white band and a black gown. Mr. V.J. Francis told me to accompany him and we moved towards the Supreme Court main building. Everybody carried one or more briefs and nobody carried the books, as my father used to carry in book trays in the High Court, with the name embossed on it. The trays were made specifically to carry the books to the court rooms and the files were tied in a square cloth and called basta.
The Supreme Court of India has a majestic presence about it. The aerial view of the Supreme Court is that of a balance with Chief Justices court in the center with a big dome and two arms on the side ending in a semi-circular shape like hooks. As I climbed the stairs from the front, I recollected a day in 1964 when I had come to Supreme Court with my father and we had entered the Chief Justice Court. Justice P.B.Gajendragadkar was than the Chief Justice and was presiding over a constitutional bench with Justice K.N.Wanchoo (who was Chief Justice of Rajasthan and my father had appeared before him) Justice M.Hidayatullah, Justice J.C.Shah and Justice S.M.Sikri and I had always wondered how would some body look in a black flowing gown which was worn by Batman in the comics, which I then used to enjoy reading. It was a great annihilating moment for me as I entered the corridors of Supreme Court. The strength of the eight pillars in the front in Dholpur stone looked magnificent. I touched them physically to feel there strength and my physical presence in an institution which was the highest temple of justice in the country like the culmination of all the four dhams erected by Shankracharya at Rameshwaram, Dwarka, Badrinath and Jagganath Puri
There were five courts with Court No. 2 on the right side of Chief Justice Court, when he was sitting inside and Court Nos. 3 and 4 on the left hand side and Court No.5 on the extreme end of the corridor, next to Court No.2. Nobody was able to tell me why Court 4 was next to Court 3 and not after Court 2 for that should have been the normal sitting methodology applied by the Supreme Court. The senior most judge sits on the right side of the presiding judge and the junior on the left. The next junior judge on the right of the senior judge and the next junior to the left of the junior. It’s odd on one side and even on other side, strictly according to seniority. The only reason I could make out was perhaps because Court No. 4 must have started functioning immediately after Court No. 3, while Court No. 5 must have come later when the strength of the judges would have increased and Court No.4 was closer to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Library and the main entrance for the convenience of the advocates and clients, while Court No.5 must have come later at the other end.
Supreme Court of India had stated with the strength of 5 judges (Justice H.J.Kania (Bombay), Justice Saiyid Fazal Ali (Patna), Justice M. Patanjali Shastri (Madras), Justice M.C. Mahajan (Punjab), Justice B.K. Mukherjea (Calcutta) and Mr. S.R.Dass (all of them were sitting judges of Federal Court of India on January 26, 1950). The strength of the judges had increased to 13 in 1956, at present there were 11 sitting judges.
There were Senior Advocates, Advocates, Advocates or records and clients in the corridors. All were moving with a definite thought and a definite purpose. I along with Mr. Francis went to the SCBA Library and gave a list of books for each case in each court. On the basis of the list of books given in the SCBA Library, the peons there, carried them to each court and collected them after the court hours, unless the matter was part heard and a slip was kept on the books ‘Please don’t remove the books’. A copy of the list of books was handed over by Mr. Francis to an officer of the court sitting behind one of the two court masters sitting in the center and the appearance of the advocates was handed over to one of the two court master. Everybody knew Mr. Francis and shook hands and smiled, a great place to work, I thought and felt.
As I entered the Chief Justice Court, I was once again awe struck by the interiors after 11 years. But than I was a then a visitor, now I was here to be here and to be a part of this institution. I could feel the high energy level, some whispers amongst the advocates, most of them were friendly smiles, good morning wishes and quick handshakes.  The Chief Justice court had a huge white dome, with holes to control the acoustics. The teak wooden paneling almost 10 ft. high was just breath taking and there was a portrait of Justice H.J.Kania, the first Chief Justice of India on the right side and a portrait of Justice M.C.Mahajan on the left. Some advocates were standing for mentioning urgent matters for being listed or adjournment of the listed matters and the two rows of chairs was almost completely occupied with advocates in their robes, white or stripped trousers, black jacket, black coat, white shirt, white band and black gown. Some advocates were wearing high neck collars.
The first chair on the right side was empty and came to be occupied by Mr. Niren De, the Attorney General of India, who looked to be a towering personality, particularly in view of his statement in MISA case “During Emergency, there is no fundamental right in life and the Union of India had power to hang anybody’. My father was one of the thirteen judges, who had delivered the judgment in MISA case for the High Court of Rajasthan, which was over ruled by the Supreme Court. His view was that the person who is being taken in custody was at least entitled to be identified as the person against whom the warrant was issued. The Supreme Court must undoubtedly have its own logic and reasoning, someday I will certainly understand the same.
Hon’ble Justice A.N.Ray was the Chief Justice and was presiding with Justice M.H.Beg and Justice Jaswant Singh in Chief Justices Court; Justice H.R. Khanna was presiding in Court No.2 with Justice P.N.Bhagwati; Justice Y.V.Chandrachud was presiding in Court No. 3 with Justice P.N. Shinghal  (the first judge to be elevated from High Court of Rajasthan to Supreme Court) and another face known to me before I came to Supreme Court; Justice A.C.Gupta was Presiding in Court No.4 with Justice S. Murtaza Fazal Ali and Justice P.K. Goswami was presiding in Court No. 5 with Justice N.L.Untwalia for miscellaneous matters. 
After the miscellaneous matters were over the bench would break and the benches would be reconstituted for Final Hearing as follows  - Chief Justices Court - Hon’ble the Chief Justice, Hon’ble Mr. Justice M.H.Beg; Court No.2 - Hon’ble Justice H.R.Khanna, Hon’ble Justice N.L.Untwalia and Hon’ble Justice Jaswant Singh; Court No.3 - Hon’ble Justice Y.V.Chandrachud, Hon’ble Justice P.K.Goswami and Hon’ble Justice A.C.Gupta; Court No. 4 - Hon’ble Justice P.N.Bhagwati and Hon’ble Justice S. Murtaza Fazal Ali. No final hearing matters were listed before Court No.5.
Interestingly unlike Rajasthan High Court, the cause list did not give the name of the Advocate and I wondered how any advocate would make out which was his matter, unless he knew the name of each of his pending cases. But the advocates and their clerks just knew.
Cases continued to be conducted and I continued to watch as advocates and Senior Advocates argued and the judges passed the orders. It was a pleasure seeing great Seniors whose names I had heard. I saw Mr. C.K.Daftry former Attorney General of India, moving with a stick very slowly in the corridor, Mr. Niren De was the Attorney General, Mr. Lal Narain Sinha, from Bihar was the Solicitor General and Mr. Raman from Madras was the Additional Solicitor General. Mr. S. T. Desai, who had his book on partnership law, Mr. G.B.Pai, Mr.O.P. Malhotra whose book on Industrial law I had read in the college were all there. Mr. Ashoke K. Sen, who had visited our house when Automobile Transport case was argued in the Rajasthan High Court, was the Law Minister.
There was a canteen in the ground floor, where I had my lunch and tea and samosa in the evening. Everybody left the chamber around 7.30 pm, Mr. Sikka gave me a duplicate key of the chamber. I continued to stay till 9.00 pm and read SCR as advised and make my notes. Took a three wheeler back to Humayun Road

Monday, July 31, 2017

Forty One years in Supreme Court - Diary Entry August 1, 1976

     On July 31, 1976 Hazari Ji the driver and Ramu Ji the zamadar of my father, Justice D.P. Gupta, Judge, High Court of Rajasthan came to drop me, a twenty one and half years law graduate from Jaswant College, University of Jodhpur, on Delhi Mail at the Jodhpur Railway Station. Delhi Mail left at 2.10 pm to reach Delhi at 6.00 am in the morning today. My father had remained as a junior associate (1950 -1958 at Jaipur, Rajasthan) with Mr. C.L. Agrawal a Senior Advocate and a doyen of the Rajasthan High Court and his eldest son Mr. S.C. Agrawal after completing Bar at Law from London, was practicing law at Supreme Court of India. We had, had a lunch meeting with Mr. S.C. Agarwal about two weeks back in Delhi at Kwality Restaurant, Connaught Placeand my father had requested him to associate me in his office, to which he had readily agreed. My father had fixed for my residence for some time with Mr. N.K. Sanghi, a Member of Parliament from Jodhpur and a close family friend, at Humayun Road, New Delhi. 
    Today, August 1, 1976 a Sunday morning I reached Old Delhi Railway Station at about 6.15 am, with a bedding and an attaché containing apart from my garments, a Bhagavad Gita, by Swami Chidbhavanand, autographed and given to me by my grandfather, complete works of Swami Vivekananda in seven volumes, four books from Aurobindo including Savitri, essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson and my three diaries in which I used to scribble and place ideas from where ever they came to me, particularly the books I had read and I used to read a lot. I was always enthused about reading and learning. There was an insatiable desire to read, to learn, to understand, to analyse and to know the truth. 
    My grandfather was a morning walker, a habit, I picked up from him while I was in class IV as he used to take me and my elder brother to a library in the public park. I moved from Phantom and Mandrake comics early in life to biographies of Bhagat Singh, Chandrasekhar Azad, Chanakya, Vikramaditya, MaharanaPratap, and abridged versions of Shakespeare - Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Merchant of Venice, Tempest and many many more. He also continued to tell me a story each evening, when we were together, since I was the age of 5 till about the age of 14, which cover the entire Bhaagwat, Ramaayan, Mahabhaarat, Puraan, Panchtantraand others.
My mother used to subscribe to Hind Pocket Books, 8 to 10 books used to come by post every month, it was like rain on parched land. As I moved to class VIII, I read Col. Ranjeet (34 of them), Sharad Chandra Chattopadhyay (Devdas ++ ), I also made serious effort in vain to learn Bangla to read him in original. Bankim Chandra, Acharya Chatursen, Shivani, Amrita Pritam, Gulshan Nanda, Krishan Chander. GurudattJi was a close friend to my father and he used to give a huge lot of books to him whenever we visited his place at Delhi. I read him extensively Ganga Ki Dhara (5 vol.), KhandarBolRahein Hein (4 vol.) and many many more, he was making serious efforts to bring Hindu and Muslim Community together, in his own way.
     As I moved to class X (1969) and further, I read James Hadley Chase (76 of them, every one that I could lay my hands on), Ian Flaming –James Bond (18 of them from Goldfinger to The Man with a Golden Gun), Alistair MacLean (28 of them from Guns of Naverone, Where Eagles Dare to Circus), Harold Robbins (Stiletto ,79 Park Avenue, to The Pirates). By the time I was in class XI and entered college the scene shifted to classics Jane Austin, Bronte sisters, Earnest Hemingway, Erich Segal. While pursuing my Law Degree, I heard Swami ChinmayanandJi (12th Chapter of Shrimat Bhagwad Geeta, Prashno Upanishad andNarad Bhakti Sutra) and that opened the gates of freedom for Self, read Bhagwat Gita (Tilak, Vinobha, Gandhi, Radhakrishnan, Satyamitranand Ji), Swami Vivekananda, Sri Arobindo, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bertrand Russell (History of Western Philosophy, Theory of Social Reconstruction), Biography of Philosophers. 
     From old Delhi Railway Station, I took a three wheeler and went to MPs flat at Humanyun Road, where I had to stay for some time till an alternate, more permanent arrangement was made. The flat at the ground floor, at Humayun Road was occupied by Mr. AvinashSanghi son of Mr. N.K. Sanghi, a servant and an old maid as the Parliament was not in session. Mr. N.K. Sanghi, the M.P. had gone to his constituency, Jodhpur.
    Around 8.30 am, I made a telephone call to Mr. S.C. Agarwal, who told me to reach 20-A, Lawyers Chambers in Supreme Court, on Bhagwandas Road, around 10.00 am, when he would be there. I took a three wheeler at about 9.15 am and requested to be taken to Supreme Court at Bhagwandas Road. At 9.30 am, I reached Bhagwandas Road and entered the premises of Supreme Court through Gate No. D. It was a great sight of the magnanimous balance shaped building, with a huge staircase and pillars standing before me, with lush green sprawled lawns. I had visited it once earlier with my father in May 1964, when Justice Gajendragadkar was the chief justice and he was sitting with four other judges in the chief justice court. As I turned on the right and entered into chambers block, through the porch, right in front was 20-A Lawyers chambers, with increasing numbers on the right till 48 and reducing on the left till 1. There was a brown signboard attached on the right top of the door and read ‘Ramamurthy & Co.’ and below that was written D.P. Singh and S.C.Agrawal.
    The door of the chamber was locked and I just walked up and down in the corridor of the chambers, familiarizing myself with the surroundings around and have a feel of place where I had to spend many years to come. In about 10 minutes a middle aged person came and opened the lock of the chamber. I told him that I was a law graduate from Jodhpur and had come to meet and work with Mr. S.C. Agrawal. The person told me that he was Mr. Sikka, the senior clerk of the law firm and looked at me with a curious smile, meaning of which is difficult to decipher and walked into the chamber, without speaking a word. 
     It was fairly a large room, with two wooden executive chairs, two large executive wooden tables stacked with files, leaving just enough space to get into a room on the side and four chairs in the front. There as another large table on the left, with two chairs behind it and three chairs in front, having a type writer in front of one of the three chairs. Between this large table and the wall immediately on the left was another long table from the door to the end of the wall which was heaped with files. There was just enough space to enter to the two chairs on the left behind the table. At the end of the room there was a gate on the right and as I walked in and peeped into it, I saw a table with two typewriters, a cyclostyling machine and the room packed with files from wall to wall. There was a gate at the back which opened into a parking space. Mr. Sikka who had entered the room was standing there and looked at me. We smiled at each other and I came back to the room. I took a seat on one of the two chairs behind the large table, immediately on the left of the entrance. Behind the chair was All India Reporter (AIR) from top of the wall, corner to corner, I checked up, it was from 1914, complete set as was in my father’s office. In the front was Supreme Court Reports (SCR) 1950 onwards, the last row had Supreme Court Cases (SCC) 1969 onwards and bare Acts. I wondered where the text books were.
I looked around to have a feel of the chamber and picked up 1950 SCR. As I looked at the list of Hon’ble Judges on the first page, I saw name of two ad hoc judges, Hon’ble Justice R.S. Naik and Justice Khaliluzzaman. A very interesting fact and I quickly turned over the pages to find where they were figuring and I saw four (4) judgments delivered by Supreme Court of India (Hyderabad), where their names were figuring. I turned over the pages and found the ‘Proceedings at the Inaugural Sitting of the Supreme Court of India, In the Court House, New Delhi, on January 28, 1950’.  It made a wonderful reading and nothing could have been a better document to enable me to understand the vision statement of Supreme Court on my first day at Supreme Court. I continued to read it, just aware of anybody entering the room.
At about 10 am Mr. S.C. Agrawal came and occupied the first of the two chairs at the end of the room. I got up and greeted him. Mr. Agarwal welcomed me and gave me a big broad smile and with a gesture of his hand told me to take the chair on which I was sitting. Mr. Sikka came out immediately, gave Mr. Agarwal some letters and files and Mr. Agrawal signed the letters, gave them back to Mr. Sikka and got busy with the files. After some time another advocate, around 45 yrs. of age entered the room, almost like one of my father’s associates and occupied the chair next to the chair on which I was sitting. He looked around and opened a file and started working on the file. I continued to read and kept looking at Mr. Agrawal, for an eye contact. 
    After some time Mr. Agrawal looked up and discussed something with the associate sitting next to me and after the discussion was over, looked at me and said “Aruneshwar, Mr. Francis, Mr. V.J. Francis” and looking at him said “Francis, Aruneshwar is a law graduate from Jodhpur and will be working here”. I got up and shook hands with Mr. V.J. Francis. Mr. Francis gave a very warm welcome smile and as I touched his hand I realized that his hands was unusually dry and rough. The first feeling I got with the touch was that he had gone through a lot and a very tough life. I asked him which of the chair I should occupy as my seat. 
    Mr. Francis, with a big smile said “Two chairs on those two table there, are for Mr. D.P. Singh, Senior Advocate and Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha from the State of Bihar and Mr. S.C. Agrawal occupies the chair on which he is sitting, I sit on the chair on which I am sitting and the chair next to me is a musical chair, you are occupying it at present. Nobody will tell you to get up, but if somebody is sitting on it, you cannot request him to get up either. We have to get ready for tomorrow matters. Just watch and observe. You will soon pick up something”. 
    Suddenly, around 11 ‘o’ clock the activities in the chamber got moving and energized. Everybody seemed to be rushing here and there. Mr. Sikka rushed with the cause list and some papers out of the chamber. I looked up at Mr. Francis, with a question mark. To my surprise Mr. Francis smiled and said that the boss was there. I had never thought, that there was another boss around. After some time Mr. S.C. Agarwal got up to move out of the chamber, with two files in brown folders in his hand and with a gesture asked me to come with him. I got up to move behind Mr. S.C. Agarwal, who by that time had got out of the room and had turned left. At the same moment Mr. Sikka entered the room and by the time I could get out of the room and look left in the corridor Mr. S.C. Agarwal had disappeared into the oblivion. I was puzzled, it would be unwise on my part to go back and ask somebody. I, therefore, moved slowly and cautiously peeping into each chamber, through the glass fitted in the doors. As I crossed chamber 26, I saw a fleeting glimpse of Mr. S.C. Agrawal sitting in the end of the room and discussing something to another middle aged gentleman. I opened the door and slowly and cautiously walked into the chamber, which unlike 20A had a strong spring closure to close it, on its own silently. 
    As the door opened, Mr. S.C. Agrawal looked up as if he had forgotten that I was following him and continued the discussions with the gentleman. With a gesture he asked me to take a chair on a large black conference table, with a glass top on the left of the entrance. Every inch of both the walls on both the sides of the chamber was covered with books and books, text books on the right and English Law Reports on the left, a great place to be in. I could spend hours and hours here and satisfy my insatiable desire to read and read more, to learn and learn more, to know and know more. Slowly as I sat down and watched the discussion, I felt the existence of a very powerful personality like my father in front of Mr. S.C. Agarwal. Both Mr. S.C. Agrawal and the gentleman had thick brown folders in their hands. Mr. S.C. Agrawal was telling some facts to the gentleman, who continued to ask questions and make notes on the first page, of the thick brown folder, called brief. The gentleman told Mr. Agrawal about some judgments and Mr. Agrawal continued to give the citations of the judgments out of his memory, which the gentleman continued to write on his brief. Soon they finished holding the conference on all the four briefs. 
   After the conference was over and Mr. S.C. Agrawal was about to get up, he looked up at me and then at the gentleman and said “This is Aruneshwar from Jodhpur, son of Justice D.P. Gupta of Rajasthan, one of the 13 judges of High Court in MISA case. Aruneshwar, Garg Sahib”. Mr. Garg looked at me with a smile, Mr. S.C. Agrawal got up and left the room. I also got up as Mr. S.C. Agarwal left the room and continued to look at Mr. R.K. Garg for I expected him to say something. Mr. Garg had a pile of books on the table in front of him, some of them were in Urdu and others in English and he continued to make some notes on the brief. After sometime Mr. R.K. Garg closed the brief in hand and looked up straight at me and said:
    “So you are 26 years late in the profession, young man”.
  “But, I was born that way” said I not correctly understanding the basis and reasoning of his statement.
   “Supreme Court started in 1950 and you have come in 1976, how you think you will understand what Supreme Court is doing. There is only one way young man, if you are really serious in the profession, start reading 1950 onwards and 1976 backwards and continue to make notes. After you have read at least 10 years each side and continue to update with what is going on, you will have some idea of what Supreme Court is doing. Supreme Court has to lay down law for the entire country and you have to know what law is as interpreted by Supreme Court, what the basis of that law is and what law has to be laid down, if you do not know the direction of law, the way Supreme Court thinks, how can you assist the Supreme Court in performing its duties and if that doesn’t happen the institution will collapse. So read, write, analyse and discuss and see what is happening here”. It was a perfect statement, an articulate exposition, every word made sense, there was not a word that was out of context. Logic, direction and experience all clearly stated in the minimal possible words.
   “I will do it to the best of my ability,Sir” said I, feeling elevated and looking forward for the cherished task at hand and the presence of a powerful personality in action. I said “Good Day, Sir” and left the room as I realised that Mr. Garg had picked up a book and had got engrossed in the same. I came out of the chamber and saw the name plate, Mr. R.K. Garg on one side of the door and Ramamurthy & Co on the other side. I wondered who would be Mr. Ramamurthy and I saw chamber no. 27 right in front of chamber no. 26 with the name M.K. Ramamurthy. Someday I will know it all, thought I and walked back to the chamber no. 20 A.
   When I came back to 20A Lawyers Chambers, I realised that some other Advocate was sitting on the chair on which I was sitting earlier and talking to a client sitting in front of him. Mr. Francis looked at me and smiled, as if saying – “Look I had told you.” I took the seat in front of Mr. Francis, picked up 1950 SCR and started reading it. 
    Around 6.30 pm the activities in the chamber were over, everybody had left. I requested Mr. Sikka, if can sit over in the chamber late and that if I could get a duplicate key of the chamber, for I would be reaching at 9.00 am the next morning and would like to stay late for I had seen my father working late night till 2 am during my 18 yrs. of conscious life with him at Jodhpur (1958 – 1976). Mr. Sikka, looked at me, smiled and said that it would be possible for him the next day to give me a duplicate key of the chamber, though it was very unusual request, never made by any advocate yet and that the chambers in Supreme Court would finally close at 9 pm. I came back to Humayun Road, took a bath and walked on Shahaajahan Road till India Gate to have a feel of air of Delhi and the surroundings. Akhsay Sanghi told me that he was going to Chelmsford Club for squash and that behind Humanyun Road was Khan Market. I did not understand much, for I was neither a club goer nor market hunter. 
    I have come to take up law as the calling of my life and have to live a life with dignity in which market and clubs had no place. Though, I have not the remotest idea of what will unfold in time. Time will unfold all that has to come and I have the blessings of my grandfather and support of the divine…