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The hallmark of a true judge

My grandfather late Dr KN Katju was a top lawyer of the Allahabad High Court ( he later high political posts ). He was also a freedom fighter, and was in jail for over an year during the Quit India Movement ( 1942-43 ).

On being released from jail he went to the bar library of the High Court and showed a judgment of a British Court to a senior lawyer. He asked the senior lawyer what was the most important thing in the judgment ? The lawyer read the judgment and started explaining the facts and law points in it as best as he could understand.

” No, no ” said Dr Katju ” Look at the date of the judgment. That is the most important thing in it “

The date of the judgment was of September 1940, when the German blitz was taking place, and the German Luftwaffe was spreading widespread devastation from the air all over London.

Dr Katju pointed out that though German bombs were falling all around the British judge, he was coolly and without being perturbed, writing the judgment explaining in it the difference between value and price.

Dr Katju explained that this detachment is the quality of a true judge.


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