As soon as I got off the car and walked into the premises of the district courts, it felt as if I had arrived at a flea market. Black coats rushing from one end to the other, the corridors of the building buzzing with the non stop chatting of advocates with lay clients. They were so many of them and then I realised while making my way towards the court room that the district bar association elections were coming up in a few days. No wonder the charming red brick building was full of posters of advocates running for elections, who looked more like desi Mafioso then members of the legal profession. Perhaps that was the attraction of advocates for lay clients. They had to consider who was the roughest and toughest of the advocates to fight their case – and who had the most ‘back’.
“Whatcha thinkin Pappu?” said Giggles, who also had a hearing fixed today in the district court.
“Huh?! O nothing, just thinking of ‘back'” I said.
“That’s quite disgusting,” said Giggles. “Besides I don’t see any members of the opposite sex passing by, so please tell me you’re joking or I’ll be seriously worried.”
“O nooo no! Not the ‘baby got back’ kind,” I said. “I was thinking of backup, and how its very important for the advocates in the district courts.”
“What sort of backup?” asked Giggles.
“Other advocates, in case one of them gets in to a fight,” I said.
“Why would that be important for lawyers?!!” asked Giggles.
“Well, I heard that that’s how the advocates in the district courts win their cases,” I said. “On the date of hearing, they bring along their back – a large number of black coats and they all stand before the court, to create an effect.”
“You mean to intimidate the judge?” asked Giggles.
“Precisely!” I said.
“I find that hard to believe,” said Giggles. “I don’t think the members of the bar would behave like that.”
“Chaudhary Ali Chaudhary ba naam SARKAAAR!!!! [English translation: Chaudhary Ali Chaudhary versus the State!!!]” shouted the list reader of the court.
“Ok, that’s my case,” I said.
“I’m coming along. You might need back!” giggled Giggles.
As I approached the judge to appear before him, he suddenly got up and left for his chambers.
“Judge aaj aur case nahin sunain gai [English translation: The judge won’t be hearing any more cases for today],” said the Reader of the Court.
“Kyon jee? [English translation: Why jee?]” I asked.
“@$#*^%*$%#$&%^&,” said the Reader, which I didn’t understand at all so I asked my clerk.
“What are they saying Pappu?” asked Giggles from me.
“It appears Giggles that the judge has refused to hear cases in protest of a group of advocates beating up a judge in another court room today for not granting an application,” I said.
“WHAT?!!” Giggles was shocked. “I’m sorry Pappu, I can’t be your back any more. I’m not fit for the job.”