How a small town lawyer reached Supreme Court- My Story & Our ills of Legal Profession Part 3 of 3

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The purpose of writing these three short parts was to indicate to small town junior advocates that even if there is no lawyer in their family, without any support, they can climb from small town court up to Supreme Court.

Even if there is only one lawyer in family, it helps a lot to those who enter field of law.

But without any lawyer in family, without support of anyone in field, it is really very hard to settle in practice of law.

To find a job for a new lawyer in small town, is also a difficult task. In big cities they now get immediate jobs in LLP or other outsourcing firms.

But there is joy of a bird flying on it’s own wing for those who join profession of law and start independent practice of law.

1) DISILLUSION FIRST

The road to Supreme Court is not paved with bricks of gold. It is paved with broken dreams of disillusioned young legal talents.

The Bollywood attracts handsome boys and beautiful girls. But all of them do not make it. Most finish as working as ‘Extra’ on low wages in films. Some even don’t get that also.

Same is about practicing law in Supreme Court.

All that glitters is not gold. All you read in newspapers about Supreme Court is not true.

Supreme Court is covered with a curtain of glittering illusions. When you push hard, you can enter through this curtain. And then you are disillusioned.

The practice in High Court and Trial Court is the real practice of law.

Here, you can make bungalows of marbles and can still upkeep your ethics and character.

But, when I was in High Court, I did not listen to anyone.

The wiser advocates in High Court, advised me not to shift to practice in Supreme Court.

They pointed me examples of a number of advocates who had shifted to practice in Supreme Court and who had returned back to High Court in three years.

I ignored them. My eyes were blinded with illusions. I did not listen to them.

And today, you may not listen to me and you may want me to just show you how to get entry in palace of Supreme Court.

Well, you have right to choose your destiny. So far as I am concerned here goes my story.

2) SCOPE OF THIS ARTICLE

After writing part 1 and 2, I paused for few days.

How much can I write without hurting feeling of anyone and without hurting great image of Supreme Court. I have learned a lot here. I worship this institution.

I will write as much as necessary to discourage you from coming to Supreme Court.

I really do not want you to come and start practicing in Supreme Court.

As I will go further in narration, you may understand why I do not want you to come and to start practicing in Supreme Court.

….

I first came to Ghaziabad and started commuting to Supreme Court from there.

My clients in Central Jail, Sabaramati, Ahmedabad were shocked to read my new address.

They immediately, wrote to me that there are lots of crime and I should not live there.

I used to keep a beard at that time.

At boarder of Delhi, police used to stop me, assuming that I may be a terrorist. I used to show them my pass as Supreme Court Advocate. They used to check and let me pass.

This was year 1990.

I removed my beard. This was my first requirement to practice in Supreme Court.

Continued – 5/3/2013

Chapter 3

4) SURVEYING PROSPECT OF SHIFTING TO SUPREME COURT FROM HIGH COURT

1989

Ambition was there since 1982 to shift to Supreme Court. I was very much impressed by judgements of Justice P N Bhagwati, Justice A N Ray. It was dream to practice before such great judges of Supreme Court.

First Case- a non event.

A tenant has lost a case in all Courts below. He gave me Rs.2000/- to try his case in Supreme Court.

I remember only this much. In Supreme Court Compound there is Post Office. Someone there pick pocketed and took away Rs.2000/- paid by client.

Second Case is more memorable. It was based on Lebowitz, an American lawyer’s style. It boost up my confidence.

A poor man in Ahmedabad had lost in High Court. For two years, he kept showing his case papers to about 50 advocates in Ahmedabad. All said nothing can be done in his case.

Someone gave him my name. I saw a point in his case. We came to Delhi to argue his case.

Here, I tried principle of Lebowitz, a lawyer of US. I had read his book.

He was a District Court trial lawyer. Once he had to appear before federal Supreme court of US.

He was told that in Supreme Court, you cannot show evidence. You have to argue only law.

It was his case that in Jury List, only white people’s were listed. Black people were not listed. Therefore discrimination.

He lost in all courts below and Courts found that Black people were also listed in Jury Duty list and there was no Discrimination.

In Supreme Court, before 9 judge bench, he offered to show jury list to judges. Though it was against rules, judges allowed him to show list. And one by one, nine judges glanced at list.

In list, only white people were listed. At end a line was drawn. Then above the line and below last name of white jury, in small space, name of a black person was inserted to make it look that black men were listed in each list.

The manipulation in lists was clearly visible. In 5 minute, he won case.

I used same method in case of this poor man. When case come up, judges said, ‘you have lost in all case. There is nothing in your case’.

I said, Yes. But my client’s heart is still burning. So I have come to show your lordship a photograph. I hold out in my hand a 1945 photograph. It was not part of evidence in court below.

Judges said, how can we see photographs in Supreme Court? Then they asked, What is in photograph?

This opened argument. Case went for two hours. I partly won case and returned to Ahmedabad. I decided that I can shift to Supreme Court. ( Somewhere else in this blog, I have written about this case as ‘Are our Supreme Court Judges better than British Judges?)

The question was still about taking consent of wife before shifting to Supreme Court. She insisted on seeing things for herself. We came to Delhi. We studied various risks. Then she agreed.

I took advise of friends. Then I heard that some senior advocate had shifted to Supreme Court a month ago, and a private farewell party was was given to him by top lawyers of HC.

I conveyed to President of Bar, that I want to give Ice Cream Party at my expanses to all the about 2000 members of Bar since I am shifting to Supreme Court.

Ice cream came. Everyone who got free ice cream asked, “Why this free ice cream?” Someone told them that Mr. And Mrs. Raichura are shifting to Supreme Court.

When Ice cream was sent to chambers of HC judges, one judge raised a question, can we eat ice cream offered by a lawyer?

Other judge pacified him, it is only an ice cream and we are not going to give him any discretionary order in return. Secondly he is leaving High Court, so no harm in eating ice cream.

The point is, in one day, it was known to whole Bar that, I was shifting to Supreme Court and they can refer me briefs if they choose.

Continued 6/3/2013

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