Friday 26 September 2014

An excerpt from my forthcoming book ' Whither Indian Judiciary ? '

The decision in Rajendra Singh (Dead) thru. Lrs. & Ors.   Vs.  Prem Mai, which was decided by a Bench of the Supreme Court of which I was a member, was a case which took 50 years to decide finally,since it was instituted in the trial court in 1957, and was finally decided on appeal in 2007 by the Supreme Court.

This  decision observed  :

“10. We may quote a passage from the novel 'Bleak House' written in Charles Dickens' inimitable style :-
              Jarndyce vs.Jarndyce drones on.  This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated, that no man alive knows what it means.  The parties to it understand it least; but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes, without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises.
  Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it.  Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce, without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendry hatreds with the suit.  The little plaintiff or defendant, who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce should be settled, has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world.  Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality.
 There are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps, since old Tom  Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless."

Is this not descriptive of the situation prevailing in India today?

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