Friday, July 31, 2015


Yakub Menon - picture courtesy Wikipedia
Yesterday, on my way to the Supreme Court, my driver asked me a question, echoing the popular sentiment―should the lawyers do what they did to save the life of Yakub Menon, a terrorist. Here is my take on this. 

Saturday, July 04, 2015


Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a shy Oxford don in Mathematics, loved children; especially Alice, the one with the haunting eyes. On a summer afternoon in 1862, he took her and her two sisters for a rowboat ride. They quipped 'what is a rowboat ride without a story' and  Dodgson told them a story about a young girl, who falls through a rabbit hole into wonderland. This young girl was Alice herself. 

On insistence of Alice, Dodgson penned it down and illustrated it titling 'Alice's Adventures Under Ground'. It was presented to her on 24 November 1964 as a Christmas present, dedicating it as 'A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child in Memory of a Summer's Day'. 

This week in 1865, a  hundred and fifty years ago, the story was published by Macmillan under pen name of Lewis Carroll with the title 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' (commonly shortened to 'Alice in Wonderland'). It sold 160,000 copies and provided Dodgson with such a comfortable living that he asked Christ Church to reduce his salary. 

The original manuscript by Dodgson was auctioned by Alice in 1928 for 15,400 pounds ($75,000 US) to an American collector, who resold it for $150,000.  In 1946, it was auctioned again and was purchased by the Library of Congress and was presented back to British people and is now kept in the British Museum. 

The novel is not only most quoted book in the business world but in the legal world as well. Lord Atkin referred to conversation between Alice  and Humpty-Dumpty from the book in his classic dissent in Liversidge Vs Anderson  1941 (3) ALLER 338 (the Liversidge case). This annoyed Lord Simon, the then Chancellor. The article below is about this case; it also mention how Lord Atkin had used the conversation, what heart burning it produced, and answer of Lord Atkin to Lord Simon.

The majority opinion was heavily relied uppon in ADM Jabalpur Vs Shiv Kant Shukla AIR 1976 SC 1207 : (1976)2 scc 521: 1976 UJ (SC) 610: 1976 Cr LR (SC) 303: 1976 CrL J 1945 (SC) (the Habeas Corpus case), where majority of our Supreme Court wrongly held that writ of Habeas Corpus was not maintainable during emergency.
This is a painting by William H Bond National Gepgraphic Creative. It is taken from the this page, where more details as to how book was written can be read. 

STEPHEN HAWKING: Courage personified

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