This article has been submitted by Mohit Negi for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
He was very young and energetic with a little spark in his eyes when he entered the compound of the district court for the first time. Wearing a stripped blue shirt with his sleeves rolled up till his elbow, the little boy held onto his backpack but before he could come face to face with his dream, he was stopped at the main gate.
Slowly, he lowered his eyes towards the policeman who searched his pockets while another policeman opened the bag to see the contents which the young boy had dumped inside the bag, earlier this morning when he hurriedly packed up a charger, a novel and his earphones for the metro ride.
The policeman was scanning through the book when a nicely dressed boy, probably the same age swiftly went past the security check up without being touched. He smiled at the policeman and went back to reading the lone file that he had in his hand. The little boy protested, but soon got a reply ‘ Prem sahab ka beta hai woh, bohot bade aadmi hai.’ Replied the policeman, as he handed over the bag to the little boy.
That spark was gone; however he tried forgetting the little insult that he just faced. ‘Today, I’ll get to see the court finally.’ He reminded himself.
It didn’t take him much time to realize that the disappointment won’t end at the gate. The complex was not as he had imagined. The corridor was filled with the hustle bustle created by the footsteps and chatter of the general public, with a sudden laughter or a fight breaking out in every two minutes. There were people selling and tea and pepsi to the public waiting for their lawyers.. It seemed like a picnic spot, far from being the court that he had imagined.
Lawyers weren’t the same as his imaginations. All he could see were people in their black coats running from one room to another. They wouldn’t stop to talk to anyone except for their rich clients whom they would give assurance for a win in the case, often followed by a fake smile and would go on running in different directions.
And now the excitement had died. The terrorized little boy had lost his way, he was supposed to meet his lawyer in room 229 where as he was surrounded with double digits. So he asked this really ugly looking middle aged fat guy. You could see he was half bald but combed his hair in a fashion to hide his empty head. The half a century old guy gave him a stare and then mumbled something under his breath with arrogance, before the little boy could request him to repeat what he had said, the fat guy entered the court room no. 26 and gracefully bowed towards the judge.
The little boy was amazed, as the room was very different from the corridor. No one was in a hurry, nobody was talking. Everybody patiently waited for the judge to call his or her name and listened to what he had to say. What shocked him more was that it didn’t matter If you were young or old, rich or poor. But as long as you were infront of the judge you were always humble to him.
Infact the fat middle aged guy left the court with his head bowed down after the judge slammed him for being irregular at the court proceeding. Even though he yelled at his juniors outside but a man like him showed respect to the judge.
Next day, the court proceedings went the same way and the little boy got slightly scared everyday as to how he will be treated by his fellow lawyers. His seniors told him, if you think being a good lawyer depends on how good you are then you are wrong. Extremely wrong.
A few years later, Prem Sahab and his son were appearing in a case in front of a newly appointed judge. The judge was already known for his fast disposal of cases. Hence most of the senior lawyers assumed he had lots of attitude problem as he refused to extend dates. Prem sahib had filed an application and was shouting at the top of his voice, the newly appointed judge asked him to keep quiet as the other party was not yet finished with their side of the argument.
Prem sahab’s son, now a fresh graduate and working with his father, yelled at the judge as he thought the newly appointed judge was being impolite. He however lowered down his voice when Prem Sahab snapped at his own son for being rude to the judge. The newly appointed judge ignored the ruckus created in the courtroom and listened to both sides of the argument and dismissed the admission of the application. The son protested again, this time the judge was quick to respond and ordered silence in the court; he also warned the son that any such act in the future would amount to contempt of court. Everyone in the room was staring at fighting advocates and you could see they started wisphering.The Father Son duo apologized and excused themselves from the courtroom.
The judge turned to a little quote that he had pasted on the side of the table which read ‘It takes family background, contacts, money to be a great advocate. But it takes Sheer Intelligence to be a judge.’
The newly appointed judge smiled the way he did when he had entered the court for the first time. The little boy found the spark in the eye that he had lost few years back. Now he waited for the fat middle aged man.