Katju and Indira Jaising

I have always enjoyed reading judgements and other writing of certain judges. Lord Denning’s books, CJ MC Chagla’s autobiography ‘Roses in December’ are my favourite readings. I have also read Justice Markandeya Katju’s judgements with such interests.

I recall that when at Allahabad High Court he once gave a judgement applying principles of ‘Mimansa.’ A well written judgement by a brilliant judge like Mr. Katju is a treat for a student of law. People think that judgements are written in a way a common man will not understand easily. Lord Denning’s writes in short sentences and without making it unintelligible. Katju too writes well, more or less in the same mould.

Contrast this with judgements of Krishna Iyer who undoubtedly was a great judge, but wrote very verbose judgements with very long sentences and often archaic expressions, that made it difficult to understand.

Justice Mr. Katju unfortunately made news for wrong reasons. He used the words ‘one night stand’ and ‘keep’ in his latest judgement in a case involving ‘live in relationship.’

Ms. Indira Jaising, Additional Solicitor General, well known for her firebrand speeches, objected to it and has sought to expunge the words. The word ‘Keep’ shows gender insensitivity and lowers the image of the Supreme Court.

Well, no quarrel with what she has said. I just feel that a good point has been made with unnecessary disdainful scoff and that the press in its inimitable style has played it up too much.

But lost in the storm it created is an otherwise excellent judgement [Ms Jaising was quick to add that she agreed with the ‘ratio’ of the decision], very well written [you may access it at Scibd.com] that discusses law on Live in relationship as developed in USA where the incedence of live-in relationship is [presumably] more common. Added to our vocabulary, as a result of reading this judgement, is a new word ‘palimony.’

And those who are interested in the kind of problems ‘one night stand’ poses, they may want to read the famous case of Boris Becker, the great tennis player, who indulged in such indiscretion. Read his story HERE.