DailyPost 2733

The live telecast of the proceedings of the Union Legislature made the country experience what actually goes inside the parliament. For all the hype behind it, the nature of viewership it commands; what the country learns from it or the awareness it creates, remains suspect. Presumably it strengthens the roots of Indian democracy. One thing is for sure that not even a single voter would have been enamoured by whatever goes in our parliament, on the contrary he would have serious doubts or have questions on many basic democratic processes and conventions. In a similar vein we can see the proceeding of the Supreme Court and some High Courts live.

We work on the open court system and anybody can watch the court proceedings in any courtroom anywhere in the country. It was very rare that any person but for interested parties every attended the courtroom. With generally only interested parties the courtroom, the proceedings are watched with in terms of how a lawyer has performed for a party and how the court responded. It did not bring lawyers any direct acclaim or criticism in the public domain. A good lawyer having got a reputation could keep building on it, by word of mouth, without many having getting the chance to evaluate his courtroom performance.

The great effort of the judges and their acumen generally didn’t come to light but for some pathbreaking excerpts of a judgement being quoted in the print media. Super lawyers emerged who could catch the law by its tail and get the results the desired out of a courtroom battle. Or that is what was made out to be. Live courtroom and video recordings available in the public domain, puts the spotlight of the lawyers and judge in perpetuity. They can be evaluated on their performance, demeanour and cool. The attitude also becomes visibly clear. What they are fed upon and to what level they are conversant with the real nitty gritty of issues they defend also comes out in a conspicuous manner. Whether he has any level of understanding of the related field of case is also visible.

At times the court and lawyers are led astray by facts provided by the party that cannot be substantiated. How can it be verified instantaneously if the requisite expertise and urge both are not there? How effective are even the most highly placed government law officers in the country? The electoral bonds case been a test case and more so the recent hearings. The super hyped super lawyers were having a tough time. Some of the super lawyers were not even cogent in their expression. The knowledge of banking, accounting and data were visibly seen to be broken. Legal persuasiveness was missing and it was persuasiveness of a different kind. The broken preparation even led to embarrassment at times. The party in question even tried to take all on a wild goose chase. The conviction of the lawyers in the facts / narrative of the case, also needs to be there. The fallacy is that super lawyers can make a case out of anything. The courts legal intervention, interpretation and direction, gave a nature of clarity and comprehensiveness, which at least some of the super lawyers could have also displayed. Can super lawyers run on a reputation once created in every case?

Sanjay Sahay

Have a nice evening.

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