ERRORS AND REGRETS
In a major embarrassment to Chief Minister (CM) Prithviraj Chavan’s office, it had to retract a condolence message it had issued, following the death of Kannada writer and Padma Bhushan U R Ananthamurthy on Friday. The message had to be withdrawn because it was issued before Ananthamurthy’s death was confirmed. In a mail asking media organisations to ignore the condolence message earlier sent by the CM’s office at 4.14 pm, the CM’s chief PRO sent out another email at 4.48 pm that read, “Please ignore condolence message mailed to you earlier. It was based on news given by some news channels, online newspapers and news SMS services. Our sincere apologies to him and his family. We wish Shri U R Ananthamurthy long and healthy life.”
LET THERE BE LIGHTS
Faced with long and winding arguments of a lawyer, Justice V M Kanade last week narrated an incident in court. He said that when Lord H K Woolf, a judge from UK, attended the sesquicentennial celebrations in the Bombay High Court in 2012, he told the leading judge how judges in the UK curtailed arguments of lawyers. “He (Woolf) said that they have three lights — green, amber and red. When the light is green, the advocate can argue all he wants, when the light turns amber he has to know that he has to complete fast and when the light turns red, even if his sentence is incomplete, the advocate has to sit down,” Justice Kanade said. Justice Kanade rued, “Unfortunately, we don’t have any such system.”
Arvind Sawant, Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South parliamentary constituency, not only inaugurated the longest foot overbridge on Indian Railways at CST recently but also seized the opportunity to address a conference, generally held by railway authorities for briefing the media on immediate plans for commuters. In the conference, the MP went on to even pledge funds for railway related works. When asked whether the sudden shift in focus was due to its ally BJP’s slogan of “Acche din” the Shiv Sena politician said, “My interest in railways is not because of BJP. The BJP anyway creates problems for us (Shiv Sena).” He was refering to the MPs of BJP who repeatedly raise railway issues to get voter’s attention in Mumbai. With Modi and BJP MPs focusing on the development of railways for the past few months, it is only left to be seen how far their feuding ally, the Shiv Sena, will succeed in stealing the show in the coming months before Maharashtra goes to poll.
FROM JAPAN WITH LOVE
Dahi Handi celebrations in Mumbai and Thane have taken a global flavour in the past few years. While teams from Spain have been participating in NCP leader Jitendra Awhad’s mandal for a few years, Congress corporator in Ghatkopar Pravin Chheda had unexpected visitors at his mandal at M G Road Market in Ghatkopar (West). While groups of Govindas lined up one over the other and got sprayed with water on being successful, a Japanese couple unexpectedly clambered on to the stage where Chheda was seated. Excited, they waved to the Govindas. “We are from Japan and we love what you are doing,” they said. After taking part in the celebrations and taking photos, they went on their way.
ROOM FOR HUMOUR
A man arguing his PIL in person (without a lawyer), was asked to be present before a division bench of the Bombay High Court at 3 pm last Tuesday. The man showed up at 4.30 pm requesting the judges to hear him. “I was going to be present in court, sir but I got a call from the Anti-Corruption Bureau so I had to go there,” he told the judges. The court reprimanded the man. “If this court gives you a time to be here, you have to be here and not somewhere else. We asked you to come at 3 pm because you asked for it,” the judges told the man. The man continued to give a series of reasons justifying his absence at 3 pm. The presiding judge, seemingly irritated, interrupted him and said, “Alright. On September 11.” Noting down the next date of hearing, the man read aloud as he wrote on a piece of paper, “Alright. On September 11.” The judges, who were earlier seething with anger, were forced to break into a smile and the whole courtroom laughed.
SHOW OF WEALTH
Earlier last week, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) inaugurated the renovated hall that will be used for the standing committee meetings of the civic body every week, much to the delight of politicians who were ready to take digs at the BMC again. Looking at the grandeur of the large, majestic hall, equipped with fire sprinklers, attractive lamps and Victorian-style stained glass, one of the corporators said that the civic body has finally raised its brand image to being a cash-rich corporation instead of the image of a decrepit, dilapidated building as reflected from the smaller hall where the meetings were held earlier.