It was a very rare but highly applaudable move by Bombay High Court judge Shahrukh J Kathawalla when he presided over courtroom proceedings till 3:30 AM to finish pending matters.
It was a very rare but highly applaudable move by a Bombay High Court judge when he presided over courtroom proceedings till 3:30 AM (you heard that right) to finish pending matters. While most judges in the Bombay High Court tried to wrap up the pending matters and urgent hearings by 5 pm on Friday, Justice Shahrukh J Kathawalla presided over a packed courtroom till 3.30 am, hearing arguments and passing orders on petitions. Friday was the last working day before the summer break, and Justice Kathawalla presided over his court until the wee hours, hearing pleas that sought urgent interim reliefs.
“The courtroom was packed with senior counsels, lawyers and litigants, whose matters were being heard. There were over 100 civil petitions that had sought urgent interim reliefs,” a senior counsel, who was present in the court till the judge rose from his seat, said.
Justice Kathwalla has reportedly been hearing cases till early hours in the morning since the last one week to finish pending matters before the month-long summer break. While his courtroom number 20 was functioning till midnight over the last one week, on Friday, it broke all the records as the room was packed till 3:30 am with litigants and advocates.
“Justice Kathawalla, even at that hour (3.30 am), was as fresh as one would be in the morning. My matter was one of the last ones to be heard. Even then the judge heard our arguments patiently and passed orders,” another senior counsel, Praveen Samdani was quoted as saying.
Justice Kathawalla often begins the court proceedings at 10 am, an hour earlier than the other judges, and hears matters beyond 5 pm, when the court shuts for the day. A staff member of the courtroom said despite hearing the matters till so late, the judge was back in his chambers this morning to finish pending work.
Justice Shahrukh J Kathawalla graduated from Wilson College in Bombay. He completed his LL.B. from Government Law College, Bombay. He was sworn in as an additional judge at the High Court in 2009 and became permanent judge in July 2011.