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Category Archives: Legal

Whimsies at the Courts and Other BS

I feel I should write. Maybe there’s something in the air late Saturday nights when I should really be sleeping seeing as I have things to do the next day. Things like get up at 7 am and jog. Things like meeting college friends for the first time in the holidays. Things like buy stuff. More on these trivial details later. I have important things to get to. To the whimsy-creator machine, Batman! I approve of the fact that MS Word recognizes Batman as a noun.

I have recently started interning under a lawyer who practices, among other things (debauchery, witchcraft, just kidding) criminal law. This is the second time I’m interning with a criminal lawyer in the lower courts, which is where in my expert opinion, any law is just a little bit more exciting. The first time was about 2 years ago and she was pretty awesome, but very different from this guy. He’s very… Alan Shore? No. More like Denny Crane in his court-room manners and style. He’s not like either of them in the looks department, before any of those who know my liking for older men start thinking all inappropriate like. But yeah, here’s what happened today. The opposing counsel got a bit defensive over a witness the as-of-now boss was crossing. The counsel said something mildly, very mildly, threatening to the boss. Not really threatening, just something along the lines of “I’ll teach you to be aggressive”. The following paragraph is the boss’ reply, with expletives that I took poetic to add. I took the license from Bill FTW Shakespeare. You can check.

“You don’t fucking threaten me, you motherfucking piece of shit. You know who I fucking am, asshole? I’ve faced down pansy-ass threats all up in my face! I fucking defended the *insert famous criminal case here* guy despite getting threats! I’ll fucking show you aggressive, you wait and see motherfucker. I know people you ain’t even thought of.”

I stood there, leaning against the witness stand (literally. Real Indian courts involve everyone crowded into one corner of the courtroom leaning against whatever they find) with no expression on my face whilst getting my mind blown. I figured that at that moment in time, the only skill I could contribute was a stellar poker face. And apparently, the whole shouting match thing is something the boss does often just to distract from the issue and get his way, especially during cross-examinations.

And the strange thing is, unlike most of the cases where men in Delhi say “Tu jaanta nahi hai main kisko jaanta hoon”, he wasn’t exaggerating. He has defended above-not-really-mentioned murderer despite getting threats. He has also defended serial killers. Rather prolific ones. I Googled that shit up. Yeah.

Two years ago, I would have asked this guy to be my Yoda. Imagine that. Deserves a defense, even a cold-blooded non-psychotic serial killer does. And today, the only reason I don’t want to be Luke is that I’m not that passionate about law any more. If I do regain said passion, this will very likely not be my style. I suspect I will be more of the dissecting every detail in a precise and clear manner in as calm a manner as I can summon kind of shark.

However, this difference in disposition does not take away from the awe. Its all awe up in here.

Incidentally, this is the one thing that law school inadvertently gives one that I really appreciate. The ability to reason in a particular manner even in every day discussions. I find it impossible to speak about any issue without knowing enough about it. Coffee table conversations are no longer my cup of tea (hehe) unless I have to refute a blatantly incorrect statement. And what most lawyers (at least the competent ones), including this boss, really do is make assertions after knowing all the facts. Apart from friends and the general good times, this is why I am glad for law school.

In the Narcotics Court, we have some bail matters to present. As we enter, I note that some of the policemen are rather movie police-men-y. And by that I mean, they don’t look like the policeman from Wasseypur. They look like the policeman you’ll get if Policeman Abhay Deol’s jattness was more obvious. Some of them are actually kind of really cute. They’re not Chulbul Pandey, and thank god for that. They don’t have gynecomastia (the medical term for man boobs) parading as pecs. They don’t have bulges all over the place. They’re fit in a lean kind of way. So that, ladies, is the appeal in the Jatt. I finally get it. They are the Jayne Cobb of India, except not as big.

Further into the Court room, I am afraid we have accidentally been transported via portal to one of the North-Eastern states. There are entirely too many… err… people from the North-East there. I mean every third accused hails from the North-East. I like to call them chinky, but that would be racist. Just like saying ‘them’ in the previous sentence is racist. I clearly need some time with the guidance counselor. Damn you, PC-culture-especially-prevelant-these-days-due-to-shitty-incidents! *shakes fist at non-existent god* So lets just say… East Indians? Though the damage is already done, and I refuse to edit it.

Seriously, there were a lot of East Indians (for the record, I really think saying ‘chinky’ is better than saying East Indians the way I’m saying it in my head. Its time the word got reclaimed) in the Narc courts. Their lawyers were also mostly East Indians.

Man they have really shitty facial hair. Its like wisps of the stuff. I could grow a better moustache if I let myself – just saying. Despite some lies I may have had to concoct a while ago, I suspect I will not be feeling amorous towards Oriental/Mongoloid men in the near future because of this. I went all forensic anthropological over there. The shit I do for you racist assholes.

Also, there is a lot of mention of Nigerian defendants, none of whom are present in court. Apparently, they have a tendency of absconding once you give them bail. Said the judge, not me. Sometimes I hate how stereotypes (like that of African drug dealers) have a smidgeon of fact as the basis.

Next, there’s an interesting discussion about how one medically determines the age a person may be. I shall be asking Hank Green about that some time in the future. They mention some test, the name of which was exceptionally medical sounding.

In the middle of this, the judge mentions how the extensive facial hair on the accused would generally be considered a sign of a certain age, but this may not always be the case. At which point, the accused is brought into the court. Because of the whole no-handcuffs-except-in-extreme-cases scene, the policeman bringing him in has locked hands with him. In another setting, this would be an “aww” moment. The guy is a Muslim (or a Jew. Which is more likely in India is anybody’s guess) with quite a load of facial hair.

The judge discusses whether Mohammedans could be inclined to have more facial hair than most people at a younger age. True story. The Doctor clarifies that it depends on genetics, which at this point, has no connection to the guy being a Mohammedan. You can imagine my outrage at such callous and bigoted statements coming from a Judge. How dare she try to say that men with facial hair cannot claim to be under 18? Why would any decent petty criminal grow a beard if this logic is applied? And then where will I turn to for my guilty pleasure of taking petty criminals with facial hair for the ride of their lives? Whores.

Sitting in the Narc Court and then the CBI court, I also get to wondering about men from my father’s generation as I see so many of the lawyers are of that demographic. Most of them are very unappealing to look at, and being quite the detective (one of my oldest childhood career choices) I set out to find out why.

I noticed that most North Indian men have this weird profile that does them no favors.

This is a drawing I put some effort into, so appreciate it. Note the prominent overbite coupled with the utterly scrunched up yet weak chin. No wonder so many of them have moustaches. I think once someone has a moustache, that is the only detail of their face that you remember. This is true of both men and women.

With women, this is not to their advantage because while it draws attention, it unflatteringly accentuates the areas of their face which in conventional terms, most determine feminine beauty, i.e. the lips and the nose. With men its different, because once its thick enough, the moustache completely overshadows said parts of the face, thus effectively obliterating any evidence of their terrible bone structure.

Which brings me back to the North-East men. Perhaps the reason their facial hair is so terrible is because it does to their faces what facial hair does to women’s faces. We can only speculate since very little research has been done on the subject.

ME: This is what you signed up for, people who subscribe to this blog. A study of ugly faces. I look forward to your Unsubscribe.

In other news, I finished Moab is My Washpot. It was awesome. Line – “Sex without smiling is as sickly and base as vodka and tonic without ice.”

Also finished The Fifth Elephant – “Sex bore some resemblance to cookery: it fascinated people, they sometimes bought books full of complicated recipes and interesting pictures, and sometimes when they were really hungry they created vast banquets in their imagination – but at the end of the day they’d settle quite happily for egg and chips. If it was well done and maybe had a slice of tomato.”

Also finished The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole – Aged 13 ¾ – “I am a committed radical. I am against nearly everything.”

Also from Adrian Mole – “Us intellectuals keep anti-social hours. It does us good.”

I will be proceeding to A Brave New World. I hope its not one of the dull good books. I hate it when that happens. I will also be re-reading Romeo and Juliet because John Green will be discussing that in the next Crash Course and the last time I read it was at least 7 years ago.

I have successfully jogged 5 days this past week as promised in previous post. I skipped the morning after Diwali, using my lungs and their safety as the excuse. I also skipped the day after that because I felt like skipping another day. I will hopefully not skip this week.

I am seriously looking forward to Talaash, Chakravyuh and Lincoln. Especially Lincoln because I read Team of Rivals last semester and it proved to me that sometimes people are believably amazing. Also, Daniel Day Lewis is hot. Really. Once you watch The Unbearable Lightness of Being (I confess I have not read a single Kundera), Daniel Day Lewis will never again be pictured as the guy from Gangs of New York in your mind’s photo album.

 

That’s all.

–        Billy


 

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Posted by on November 17, 2012 in Bakchodi, Legal, NALSAR

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Since I wrote that one post, I have had a lot of time to think about what exactly I could possibly write about. But in the words of Patrick Maitland, one doesn’t always get around to it. But yesterday or day before or somewhere around that very narrow spectrum of time, I had a sort of brain-wave. I will write about the truth. That’s something right? It won’t be necessarily about important world events or even national events. It will be about anything and everything. It will be my opinion, and this is important for me, I will only ever say the truth. It’s important because somehow or the other I always seem to be skipping the Truth especially if certain subjects come up. I’ve begun already, seeing as I’m admitting for one of the first and very rare times, that I actually lie.

One of the things I’m supposed to be doing other than writing on my pointless, but hopefully-soon-to-be-full-of-points blog is to be reading a certain article on Family Law about the restitution of conjugal rights. For those of you who are not in law school (very few most probably) the restitution of conjugal rights is a provision given in the Hindu Marriage Act wherein if in a marriage, if one party (it could be the husband or the wife) leaves without any “Reasonable excuse”, then the other person can go to Court and demand for Restitution of Conjugal Rights. Basically, the Court will serve an order to the leaving, escaping or abandoning party (whichever way you want to look at it. Being a cynic I prefer the last one generally) asking them to come live with their abandoned spouses, or else.

Well, or else what? Basically, or else, according to a certain Order 21 Rule 32 of the Civil Procedure Code, the Court takes away any property of the leaving party and holds it for a certain period of time wherein said party is supposed to see sense and go back to the abandoned spouse. If he or she does not do that, then his or her property is left at the hands of the Court. The Court then, like a shmarty, sell off whatever property it is, and give most of the acquired money to the abandoned spouse, as a compensation for not having been able to bring them back their abandoning spouse to them. A certain amount of the said money acquired – a balance – goes to the abandoning spouse too. There’s a Rule 33 of the same Order which is specifically for men. In this one, the Court after a period of time in which the husband has to come back to his wife (after the court has ordered him to do so) if the husband in fact does not return, then the Court can order the husband to pay the wife a certain amount of money at periodic intervals.

Overall, not such a bad law. I will never deny that there is in fact a great need for such a law, even if it is a colonial hangover law. What with more than 70% of the women in India still completely dependent on their husbands in one way or the other, there has to be some mechanism wherein they can get their way to a decent living, if not a sort of strange justice that sadly has to involve them begging their abandoning husband’s to come back to them. It is disgraceful that this is the only remedy available to a woman, but it is. There is nothing else the average, rural, lower middle class or lower class woman can do except to ask for her husband to be returned to her, or for some sort of compensation instead of his person. At least as of now, that is the case.

But what really worries me is something about this institution called marriage. The most cynical person would say it is one of the only ways two people can have sex in any society without any form of condemnation from anybody, and so people who can see that they like each other enough to try and have sex only with each other for the rest of their lives exchange a certain no. of vows in order to have said sex on a regular basis, albeit with the same person every time. A normal, practical person would say it is a bond of sorts two people who are mutually attracted to each other and love each other make in order to commit themselves in the eyes of society, and to declare that they at some level or the other belong to each other. Well, that I think sums up the general world view on the institution of marriage, at least as far as a reasonable person is concerned.

What worries me is simply that marriage as I see it in India is very different from that broad definition. Marriage is not between two people, it is between two families. It is not a choice made by the said two people; it is more often than not, one made by their families. Any sort of attraction, let alone a shared mutual attraction between the guy and the girl is hardly of any concern. And let us not even get into the subject of love being of any importance as far as the Great Indian Marriage is concerned.

What a marriage should ideally be is a business between two people alone. Whether they love each other, or if they ever fuck, or if they want to have little monsters, anything at all is the business only of those two people and no one else.

Strangely enough, as modern as we are “accused” of being too modern for our own good, my generation seems to be largely apathetic to this point of view. Sure, we fuck around, we do what we want, especially the guys since they don’t have their hymens to lose, we have as many “relationships” as we want, and somewhere, we may even fall in love. But the question to ask is how many of us stick it out when the going gets tough? Especially when the toughness is the creation of one’s family? How many of us actually stick to our convictions and marry those we love, and how many decide finally, that our parents know us better than we do. That their experience can tell us something more about us than we can find out ourselves? Sadly, very few. When things get tough, when either or both the families disapprove, someone usually ends up giving up, and the other gets left in the dust.

Speaking of which, the whole deal about marriage is something I just do not understand. Back in the days when I had considered being a psychologist, I used to frequently listen to radio shows giving advice, read the agony aunt columns, and all the rest, just to see how sucky reality was. A frequent question was- I am married to a person I don’t love. I loved and still love someone else. This person still loves me, and we talk often. We couldn’t get married because of “certain circumstances”. What should I do? The usual reply is – you are married, and that’s a fact. So stick it out.

At first glance, it seems like a proper response. If you are actually stupid enough to marry someone you don’t love, then honey, it’s your problem. Till here, it makes sense. But the question is, is that marriage sullied where the parties to the marriage, or one of the parties, let go of it? Or is that marriage sullied, where either one does not like the other, does not love the other, and is not happy with the other?

For all practical purposes, in India, sticking it out would perhaps be better, considering the legal problems, the sullying of the “family name”, and all the whispers that will eventually and inevitably follow you. But at the end of the day, all of these are in fact, concerning the rest of the world. Not considering the two separate individuals who are party to the marriage. Again, we come back to the question, should anything but the way these two feel about each other matter in a marriage? All the things which constitute a marriage, living together, making decisions together, having sex, and making little monsters are all things which should be of any concern to these two alone.

Sure, there are those who feel that love is not a necessity for marriage. I am inclined to agree with them, but if they wish to apply that to themselves, they should have the insight to not fall for someone else, an when they do, then that is a problem that can have a thousand different solutions- mutual extra-marital affairs, divorce, a single extra-marital affair, plain boredom and sadness in married life. Resigning to something less than what you wanted, and/ or the rarely seen result of suicide. Take your pick. As bhai keeps saying – whatever makes you happy.

It ends only in this- which marriage is sacred? The one that is based on everything but compatibility, mutual respect and/or love? Or the one based on nothing but compatibility, mutual respect and/or love? Good luck answering that.