Records seem to indicate that in 2006, No. 13 was skipped while assigning numbers to courtrooms in a newly inaugurated Kerala High Court Complex. One Mr. N.K. Chandramohan filed Writ Petition No. 4268 of 2006, wherein it was alleged that the Triskaidekaphobia had arisen out of a belief that the “Guest 13” at the Last Supper was Judas and such a belief surely violated the secular principles that the Kerala High Court was ordained to uphold. The High Court dismissed the Writ Petition with costs and held that there was “no religious tinge” behind not allocating the number; the decision was purely an administrative recommendation. On an appeal to the SC [Civil Appeal No. 5138 of 2006], a 3-Judge Bench is said to have commented, however: “The High Court is an institution. It should not be allowed to encourage this sort of superstition”. In 2006, Hon’ble Justice Kurian Joseph was a Sitting Judge of the Kerala High Court and the eventual Chairman of the Kerala High Court Legal Services Committee. It shall indeed be indicative to enquire which side of the controversy did he fall in This Day; That Year. And what did Hon’ble Justice Dattu have to say when he arrived at the High Court, as its Chief Justice, in 2007. My curiosity borders on being voyeuristic. But then, no controversy is without its fair share of history.
'The Last Word' seeks to include not only wise and witty sayings of the judges but also curiosities of lawyers and the law. This blog is not of obligation but of delight. I frankly confess my ignorance of much that ought to be included from overseas jurisdictions; and I utter a gentle prayer that those who know better would lighten my darkness. I am confident that I am not alone in my refusal to believe that the law is tedious or that Indians really like all their law dull. For all that has escaped these percipient eyes, mea culpa maxima. History, after all, has many cunning passages, contrived corridors and issues.