Thursday, May 14, 2009


Passed first year. I am now 20% lawyer. 4 years to go.

Been a rather uneventful two weeks, minus having beef for the first time in my life and quite liking it. Been to CP a couple of times for the quintessential Delhi experience.

Flying to Bombay tomorrow. 9 days: Food, Alcohol, more food, more alcohol. Old Friends. All I could possibly want.

Life is a funny bitch.

Jean-Paul Sartre still survives. So does Charles Baudelaire.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Bada Kaske Gale Lagata Hai
Dhadkan Ki Dhun Sunata Hai
Iske Baayen Taraf Bhi Dil Hai, Iske Daayen Taraf Bhi Dil Hai
Haan, Yeh Shaher Nahin Mehfil Hai

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A Case Comment on K. Subbharao v. State of Andhra Pradesh

Freaky title(especially for my batchmates). My sincere apologies to those who intend to bask in blissful ignorance of the law till 15th June.
The judgment in the case of Koppisetti Subbharao v. State of Andhra Pradesh was delivered on 29th April 2009 by Justices (Dr.) Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly.
The main issue in the case was whether a presumption of marriage, rather disregard of a contravention of the idea of 'legally wedded', could be entertained by the Court when the matter dealt with socially relevant issues.
In the instant case, the husband was charged for demanding dowry from his wife, an act that constituted an offence within the meaning of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. The husband contended that he was not guilty under Section 498A and to substantiate this claim, asserted that the woman was not his 'legally wedded' wife, as understood by Hindu laws.

Justice's Pasayat's response was like a stream of light at the end of a dark tunnel of positivist judgments:
"The concept of marriage to constitute the relationship of ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ may require strict interpretation where claims for civil rights, right to property etc. may follow or flow and a liberal approach and different perception cannot be an
anatheme when the question of curbing a social evil is concerned".

In the past, the judgments in Bhaurao Lokhande v. State of Maharashtra and Surjit Kaur v. Garja Singh, have laid down that a man may not be prosecuted for bigamy under Sections 494 and 495 of the IPC, if his second marriage wasn't duly solemnized.
To put it in absolutely naive and caustic language, they gave a man in India a carte blanche to marry as many women as he wished, by purposely defaulting on some essential ceremony. These women were women sans any rights of inheritance and maintenance. The children were deemed to be illegitimate. This approach of the Court seems like a first year answering a Family Law-I paper: Apply law. Get right answer. Come out. Discuss with friends. "2nd wife fucked; won't get any maintenance; bache haraami honge (the issue will be illegitimate)". Forget about it.

The judgment in K. Subbharao's case may be distinguished to make it inoperative as precedent in cases pertaining strictly to civil matters. Rather, his observation on 'strict interpretations in matters of property rights' may be construed to support and proliferate bad law. However, it my ardent hope that the lacuna in the law, manifested in the travesties that 2nd wives and their children have to undergo at the hands of the colossally twisted system of law, be recognized and remedied by future decisions of the apex Court. So that women, who have fulfilled all their obligations as wives, are not stripped of all rights that a wife may enjoy, due to the fact that their marriage was solemnized with 6.5 steps around the sacred fire and not 7.