PATIALA HOUSE DAIRIES – PART II

My internship comes to an end tomorrow. I noticed quite a lot of this things not only about courts but also about Delhi. There are many things that you notice in a courthouse, if you have to go there every day after an exhausting journey of 1 and a half hour – yes, I take the metro- no, I do not get down at earlier stations so I don’t have to change at the junctions – yes, even then it is ONE and a HALF HOUR away. So quite a lot of interesting work but not that will interest all of you all… But the point is, many of you might wonder, real courts are very different from the courts we see in movies at least in India especially Patiala House Court. Disclaimer: The following post is just based on the court houses in and around Delhi.

Firstly, space. The last bollywood court room I saw was in Oh My God! starring Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar. The courtroom was so huge… I guess an actual courtroom of that size is something that I have only seen in the court of the Chief Justice of India i.e. in the Supreme Court of India. That one is actually quite big which huge arches, beautiful chandeliers and intricate work on the ceiling and the walls. The actual courtrooms are not any bigger than a matchbox, the witnesses are brought in the court by holding their hands like a kid, sometimes they are tried using ropes, but that is kinda it.

Second, the court rooms are not really that noisy and “Tareekh pe tareekh style”. This is not to say that that does not happen, it does but not always. Mostly lawyers just come in and ask for further dates for their cases. Interestingly, the judges do oblige them every time. Once I remember, when asking for another date the advocate told the judge, this actually happened believe you me, gave the judge a time slot in which he could give time to the matter at hand and thus wanted a date only in that period. If I remember correctly it was late August to early September. Also now that I think he did say that the client was going out of India and would in the country only during that period but still, the common people do not and should not dictate how the court works.

Third, nobody really picks up the Gita, Quran or Bible before giving their evidence in the courtroom. They actually just swear by their religion and state that they will say the truth and frankly nobody actually takes the oath seriously. It is administered by the nearest court official. This time I actually understood the meaning of ‘dasti’. The thing is that there is a Kashmiri word spelled and pronounced in the exact same way which means fast. So I used to guess the meaning as providing some document quickly. But turns out it means service by hand, things like notices, summons etc are not posted by the court to the person rather, the other party states that we will give it to them by hand.

Another very interesting thing I noticed, not related to the court but the DTC bus. Recently, I have started taking a bus from Khan Market to Patiala House which leaves me right outside the court. Takes me 5 bucks and 5 minutes, so kinda convenient. You can actually see this that the men take the seats that are reserved for women very seriously. If a woman is standing and a man is sitting on the reserved seat, they will immediately get up and offer the seat. This is not something that you see in the normal metro coaches because I guess, men have become so used to understanding the fact that women’s coach is the place where women should be.

Another interesting thing was…. God the newer buses run by the Delhi Government are so much cooler. Today I took the older DTC buses. I don’t understand why was it allowed to be a bus. all the lights were hanging out of their sockets. All you could hold to maintain your balance were straight iron circular bars running across the length of the bus. Every time the bus started after stopping at say the red light or the stop, the entire bus shook. You were so high above the ground and given the condition of the bus, I was kinda sure the bus will trip and not be able to maintain its balance.

 I will add more to the list as and when I remember, but I hope you like about this much. (the post’s idea came about thanks to The Horseman Hits Again)

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