How I got an adjournment

When I was a lawyer in Allahabad High Court there was a Judge in the High Court called Justice Mushtaq Ahmad. He was very strict, and never granted a request for adjournment in any case listed before him.

It so happened that an important case of mine was listed before him, but on the same day an even more important case of mine was also listed in the Patna High Court ( where I was sometimes engaged by litigants ).

I was in a quandary, and did not know what to do. So I went to Girish Verma, the Jt Registrar of the High Court in charge of listing of cases, and told him my predicament. I had become friendly with him, as both of us were fond of Urdu poetry, and often attended mushairas ( Urdu poetry sessions ) together.

Girish told me that I should not worry and go to Patna on that day, and he would manage an adjournment before Justice Mushtaq Ahmad.

Relying on him I went to Patna. On my return to Allahabad I learnt that my case before Justice Mushtaq Ahmad had indeed been adjourned to some other date.

I wondered how this could have possibly happened, since Justice Ahmad never adjourned cases. So I went to Girish Verma’s office, and enquired about it from him.

He smiled, and then told me the secret, making me promise not to tell it to anyone.

On the morning of the day when my case was listed, Verma went to the residence of Justice Mushtaq Ahmad, looking very glum. The Judge enquired why he was so dejected ?

At first Verma said ” My Lord I would not like to talk about it ”. But when Justice Ahmad insisted, Verma told him that some mischievous lawyers of the High Court had bribed the type setter who prepared the cause list, and got Justice Mushtaq Ahmad’s name printed in the cause list as Justice Mushtaq Ahmaq (the word ‘ahmaq’ in Urdu means a fool ). After all, they told the type setter, it would only require substitution of a single letter ‘d’ to ‘q’, and so if asked about it he could explain that it was an innocent typing mistake.

Girish told Justice Ahmad that the mischievous lawyers had planned to peep into his court room from the door window and enjoy the fun.

At this Justice Ahmad was furious, and said he would not be going to court that day at all, and he informed the Registry about it.

And that was how I got an adjournment.


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