ndsharma's blog

How to circumvent law without bribing or killing the judge

Posted on: December 17, 2017

Here is how law can be circumvented without offering a bribe of Rs 100 crore or inducing heart attack to the trial judge.

A doctor, specialist in his field, was the Head of Department in an eminent Government hospital in Delhi. He was allotted a big bungalow not far away from the hospital. For some reason, he resigned from his hospital job and decided to concentrate on the construction of his own nursing home for which he had already purchased land. This was in the 1970s.

After relinquishing his Government job, he could retain the bungalow for a certain period at the concessional rent and for another few months by paying market rent. After that period was over, the Estate Officer sent him a notice asking him to vacate the bungalow as he was no more eligible to stay in that.

The doctor consulted his lawyer (who had later on become a judge of Delhi High Court). The lawyer asked him how much time he wanted. On the doctor’s saying ‘till the nursing home was completed’, the lawyer said, ‘not vague but give a specific period.’ The doctor said, ‘maybe 3-4 years.’

On the lawyer’s advice, the doctor wrote to the Estate Officer asking for some time so that he could produce documents in support of his claim to retain the bungalow for some more time. The Estate Officer refused saying he (the doctor) was only resorting to delaying tactics as there could not be any documents which he wanted to present in support of his case.

The doctor’s lawyer then moved an appeal in the District Court against the Estate Officer’s order refusing the doctor to give an opportunity to submit documents in support of his case. The District Judge asked the doctor to bring the documents, if he had any, before the District Judge for his perusal.

The lawyer then moved Delhi High Court on a point of law whether the appellate court could usurp the role of trial court. (The Estate Officer had certain quasi-judicial powers and his office was thus the trial court).

The petition was admitted for hearing. The lawyer told the doctor, ‘it will take around seven years for Delhi High Court to decide the law point; you go ahead with the construction of your nursing home without any worry.’


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December 2017
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Justice should not be cloistered

Justice is not a cloistered virtue: she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful, even though outspoken, comments of ordinary men.

— Lord Atkin in a contempt case in 1936


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