It is easy to write about M.L. Sharma. It is even easier to dismiss him – for truth be told – M.L. Sharma is nobody. I shall invite you to fight a stronger villian, Apar – someone more suitable to your intelligence and passion. And he is none other than Mr. Ram Jethmalani. Ram Jethmalani’s interview with Karan Thapar is still not forgotten history. Mr. Jethmalani had said, “I will not do anything..but EVERYTHING to defend my client” – even if it be at the cost of casting aspersions on a murdered victim’s moral fibre. Dear Apar, while you may contemplate “distancing yourself” from M.L. Sharma as a possible solution – tell me while you are it – how do I distance myself from Mr. Ram Jethmalani, the towering old dirty man of the Indian Legal System? How best can I convince all to never brief him again? Your solution is immature. And it works best for the reason of what I just stated: M.L. Sharma is nobody.
It is true that it is the duty of the Judge, and not the Advocate, to decide according to the law. Sir George Jessel, Master of the Rolls, illuminated us on this long ago. “Disbarring a lawyer for a personal opinion” indeed cannot be a Rule. But can an Advocate always, and without exception, demand the privilege of calibrating his opinion as “personal”?
X: What do you think of the weather, Sir?
Senior Advocate: Well, it is perfect for a murder!
X: I don’t quite understand!
Senior Advocate: You are quite young, you know. Under 30!
X: Do indulge me!
Senior Advocate: When it is cloudy and you murder, it goes with the mood. You perform better.
Senior Advocate (smiling): If you do try, choose a day like this.
Few Days Later…
Bar Council: We heard you like murdering when it is cloudy?
Senior Advocate: Yes, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Bar Council: Meatballs?
Senior Advocate: You lack the intellect clearly.
Bar Council: We saw you advising young X to murder when it is cloudy?
Senior Advocate: Only if he wanted to try.
Bar Council: He tried.
Senior Advocate: Bullshit.
Bar Council: What if he did?
Senior Advocate: Don’t waste my time with a “what if”!
Bar Council: What is it that you believe in? We are confused.
Senior Advocate: I believe in free speech.
Bar Council: And what about murdering on cloudy days?
Senior Advocates: Only if there are meatballs, after.
Bar Council: Sorry?
Senior Advocate: Murders if committed should be committed on cloudy days! Happy?
Bar Council: So you believe in murdering?
Senior Advocate: Only when it is cloudy.
It would not be “cynical” or a “contrived result” to disbar M.L. Sharma, if he were to behave similarly while showing cause. Procedure remains the eternal mistress of justice. But indeed M.L. Sharma, in the long run, will return unscathed. And nobody will ever write on Mr. Ram Jethmalani. We choose who we fight, very very carefully.
But I will watch out for him. Lose the vanity, brother.