Snippets from Memory
"For vain tribute of a smile"
Advocate, High Court, Allahabad
I RETIRED from the High Court Bar in 1944. I have not even seen the growing edifice and the massive cadre of Judges.
The District Courts at Allahabad, that I found, had dirty, unventilated, dingy rooms, with chairs creaking with long use, some - without seats. The roads, in passing, from the Collectorate to the Civil Courts, gave a dusty lather to one's shoes. No court-room, except the Sessions Judge's, was worth the name. The income to the State, from the law suits in the local lower courts, was more than one-third of the entire revenue and yet the court buildings, flanked by the Muir Central College and the Senate Hall, and under the very nose. of the High Court with its massive structural beauty, were hovelish-looking.
With a sigh of relief I left the District Courts. It was like an awarkening from a horrid dream. I joined the High Court on the 4th of April, 1914. It was then being held in the high stone colonnaded building on the Queen's Road, now in the occupation of the Education Department.  
The only person who gave a semblance of welcome to me was the late Pt. Uma Shankar Bajpai, later a Judge of the High Court. He advised me to attend the court of the Application Judge and very kindly showed me that Court-room also.
Exactly at 10 a.m., a figure appeared from behind the high-backed chair-a portly figure with Santa Clausian beard flowing down his chest and a fat red chilly nose, and occupied the chair. It was Sir George Knox, doing Order 41, rule II case~. He took his seat, a case was called. He took the brief, looked at the findings of the appellate court; but a few minutes after the counsel started arguments, he dozed off. As soon as the counsel stopped, the Judge opened his eyes and dismissed the appeal as concluded by a finding of fact. I thought, at first, that it was the cool atmosphere and the whizzing of the fan that had lulled him to sleep. But later I realised that just as you wake up when a running train stops and the rhythm is broken, counsel's argument had lulled him to sleep and no sooner it stopped, he opened his eyes. Sir George, however, went on, merrily, disposing of Order 4 I, rule II cases and, as English Judge, dispensing Munsifship till Sir Grimwood Mears became the Chief Justice.
When I joined the High Court Bar, the Hon'ble Sir Henry Richards was Chief Justice. Sir George Edward Knox, Sir Pramoda Charan Banerji, William Tudball, Edward Maynard Des Chamier Syed Mohammad Rafiq and Theodore Caro Piggott were the Judges. Knox, Tudball and Piggott belonged to the I. C. S. cadre.
Sir Henry Richards was a man of uncommon intelligence, quick in grasping facts and anticipating counsel's argument; but he was not obstructive. Two years before his retirement, he had some head trouble but he never took a single day's leave and continued to attend the Court. He heard arguments, holding his head with his left hand. ' Sir Pramoda Charan Banerji, though senior to the Chief Justice, sat as a puisne Judge. He was deeply versed in law and had an unruffled temper. He would make no comments until he had heard the counsel in full. It was a treat to argue before him.The Chief Justice always consulted him before making up his mind on fact or on law. But it was a pity that Sir Pramoda Charan seldom sat singly.
William Tudball was a typical I. C. S., with brown moustaches, cut to disclose his upper lips, and keen penetrating eyes. He was the maker of preemption laws which were, later, given statutory shape by Dr. Asthana. Tudball was well-versed with local conditions, practices and customs. He was not very learned but was intelligent and had a highly-developed commonsense. He was keen to pick holes in the arguments of counsel and gloat over these holes. If one, unfortunately, presented a criminal revision on the ground of severity of sentence, Tudball's favourite remark was: "If you were beaten with shoes with no mark of injury on your person, what sentence would you pass?" With this remark, he would dismiss the revision.
Mohammad Rafique was dark-skinned, with a well-built body and a pair of Nawab Chhalari moustaches. He would make up his mind, within a few minutes of questions by him and answers by the counsel. He would then sit mum without interfering with the arguments of the counsel. If this was not enough to stop the arguments, he would tilt his chair and gaze on the blank walls. This practice he adopted towards his brother Judge also, when he disagreed with his views; but he never gave a dissenting judgment all through his career. 
Chamier and Piggott, like two inseparable brothers, always sat continued to head with his together. Chamier was intelligent and had a quick anticipation of arguments; while Piggott, though more learned, was patient and painstaking and would not make up his mind until he had heard the counsel in full. This, at times, fretted Chamier, but Piggott remained adamant, with the result that he was generally asked to deliver judgment. This he did slowly and in a well-punctuated voice. The judgment-writer had no difficulty in taking down the judgment, which was always a long-drawn one.
Chief Justice Richards was succeeded by Sir Grimwood Mears. Sir Grimwood can be said to be the one Chief Justice, during the long annals of the High Court, who was conscious not only of the independence of the Judiciary but also of its dignity. He once communicated to the Governor of U.P. that the Judges would not attend any function during his visits to Allahabad unless the Governor made a call at the High Court. After some exchange of letters the Governor agreed. He came, received a welcome in full Court and then followed a dinner.
Sir Grimwood Mears was a dignified, conscientious and an alert Judge. He would, everyday, bow with a grave courtesy to the Bar before he took his seat. This practice was followed by other Judges also. I wonder if that decorum is still continuing.
Sir Grimwood came to know of Sir George's habit of snoring on the Bench. To put a stop to it, he asked Sir George to sit on the Division Bench with him. The 65-years old Sir George saw the ruse of the Chief Justice. But habit is second nature. When arguments started, habit re-asserted itself and Sir George dozed off. Sir Grimwood looked at him now and then, while taking notes of arguments. As soon as arguments had concluded, Sir George, 2S usual, opened his eyes, and Sir Grimwood, to baffle him, asked him to deliver the judgment. Sir George had the paper-book before him. He took it up, gave, succinctly, the allegations in the plaint, the relief sought, the substance of the written statement, the issues and findings of the lower court on those issues, and then whispered to the Chief Justice that he agreed with the court below. The Chief Justice was so flabbergasted that he did not care to dissent.
This went on till Friday. From Monday next, Sir George again started doing Order 41, rule II cases. But Sir Grimwood, it is said, exercised some pressure, and Sir George took leave on grounds of health; but he continued to work as English Judge for sometime more and then retired.
Mr. Justice B.J. Dalal of the Indian Civil Service was clever, quick and able. Almost throughout his tenure in the High Court, he was the Application Judge, though, previously, applications were heard by all Judges in rotation. He would himself write the orders on the applications; and, with a big thump of the blotter on the table to dry the ink, he would throw the paper below to be collected by the judgment-writer. Fresh applications and other miscellaneous matters were disposed of in half an hour after which he would be joined by his brother Judge.
Faced with appalling arrears of First Appeals, Sir Grimwood decided to apply the procedure of Order 41, rule II, C. P. C. to them as well. He constituted a Bench, of which Mr. Justice Dalal was a member. The Counsel, lulled by the practice of arguing with printed paper books, could not do justice to these First Appeals with the result that three-fourths of the appeals on the list were dismissed under Order 41, rule 11. This continued for another day. Sir Tej, at the insistence of the members of the Bar, approached Sir Grimwood and it was agreed that only First Appeals' of the valuation below Rs.10,000 would be put up for hearing under Order. 41, rule 11.
Mr. Justice Dalal had won the universal respect of the Bar for his quick understanding and marvellous grasp of facts and at his retirement the Bar gave a hearty send off to him and with many At Homes and Dinners in his honour. 
Mr. Justice Yorke, from the service, was intelligent, with a sense of devotion to duty, almost unparalleled. Sitting on a Division Bench, while the Second World War was continuing, he got a telegram from the War Office that his son had been killed. He quietly put the telegram in his pocket, not mentioning it his colleague, and continued to work till the rising of the Court. It was only the next day that the death of his son became known. He retired very soon after.
Mr. Justice E. Bennett was an I. C. S. of Tudball type; but he burnt the midnight oil and was up to date in local laws. He utilised his knowledge for flouting the counsel and jeering at their ignorance. He could be depended upon to take the unexpected view and provide a ray of hope in a hopeless case.
Bennett, like G.W. Dillon, was a Shikari. Once, when the rumble of Trucks and Traffic had not yet scared the wild life away, he went across Phaphamau for a hunt. He sighted and shot at a leopard but failed to hit him. The leopard pounced upon him and the great Shikari climbed up a Babul tree. It was like a Greek meeting a Greek. He was rescued by villagers. His trousers were torn; but, fortunately; the only scars he had were of the Bahul thorns.
Sir Grimwood Mears was succeeded by an intellectual' giant-Sir Shah Mohammad Sulaiman, the first Indian to become Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court. With a brilliant educational career, a first class first of the Allahabad University, he luckily did not succeed in the Indian Civil Service Examination in London. He went to Dublin, obtained a doctorate, returned and started practice at Jaunpur, the place of his birth, and then shifted to the High Court. He shot up like a meteor, went to the top of the profession, was raised to the Bench, was knighted, became Chief Justice and then a Judge of the Federal Court. He was a great mathematician and took cudgels with Einstein on certain aspects of the Theory of Relativity. He had several wooden balls and other accessories, and, with their help, would, painstakingly, explain to us how Einstein was wrong, but none of US could follow him. He had communicated his researches to England and intended to go overseas to explain his theory; but fate decreed otherwise and he died before he could do so. 
Before his Chief Justiceship, the High Court worked all through the summer months and would then close for ten weeks. The British Judges preferred to go home when the sea was calmer from July' onwards. It was Sir Sulaiman who, when he became Chief Justice, persuaded the members of the Vakils' Association and Bar Library to agree to the change of time of vacation to the summer months so that they could go to the hills with their children.
Mr. Justice Young was a pugilist in his younger days and perhaps this made him look younger, true to his name. He had a robust constitution and an optimistic outlook on life. 
Once, a member of the Bar, perhaps Munshi Ambika Prasad, requested for a case to be sent to the bottom of the List, as he was fasting that day. Justice Young smiled and said, "I fast every month and take only soda and water and I feel better and with great pleasure work in the court." His jovial temperament and unobtrusive ways had made him dear to the members of the Bar and they were sorry when he left this Court for the Chief Justiceship of the Punjab High Court.
There appears to be something in the English blood that makes Englishmen love rs of flowers. They are keen to beautify their residence even though they are conscious that their stay in the country would be short-lived. In Chief Justice Tom's bungalow, which is now in the occupation of ex-Chief Justice Desai, stands the stone-carved Kolbu (sugarcane press). Tom got it from some village; and a walk round it was paved with irregular shaped stone slabs. In this Kolhu, he used to plant annuals so skilful1y that the Kolhu looked like a fairy abode.
Mr. Justice Kish had an enviable rockery, so natural that birds had made nests and lived there. He carried home some precious plants when he retired. Each of them, namely, Young, Tom and Kish, secured prizes at the annual Flower shows .in pot culture.
Mr. Justice Kendal was also a great lover of flowers. He had made a maze of Ingadulc is seven feet high. If you entered it, you could not come out unless you shouted for help, which the Judge, with a smiling face, would readily give you.
Mr. Justice Boys, from the English Bar, was of Justice Bennett type, but was not as learned. He had been a criminal lawyer and was at sixes and sevens in civil law. He, therefore, used to take heavy notes of arguments by counsel. If a ruling was cited, he would stop the counsel, read the ruling and then discuss it with him. Thus, he hardly decided even one Second Appeal a day. His book on Criminal Procedure Code was neatly printed and was very elucidating. Rulings were not indiscriminately cited. The book brought him a good dividend.
The Gymkhana Club, of which Justice Boys was President, was reserved, exclusively, for Europeans. The Club wanted to liquidate itself because of its dwindling income. A proposal to sell the goodwill of the Club evoked an offer from the late Pandit K. D. Malaviya, Mr. Krishna Ram Dave and some others. A date was fixed for a meeting in the Mayo Hall for considering the offer; and Justice Boys enquired as to who was prepared to take over the Club and run the All-India Tennis Tournament, which was only six weeks away. I had led the delegation, as Pandit K. D. Malaviya was ill with an asthematic attack, and stood up to show our preparedness; but Justice Boys wanted to know, if we could steer a steamship, if suddenly called upon to do so. I pointed out to him that the illustration was not apt and a tournament was not a steamship. In his usual gruff voice he yielded reluctantly but wanted a pass book of the Allahabad Bank showing Rs.2,000 to the credit of the venture. The amount was collected next day, the pass-book was shown and the Gymkhana Club taken over at the next meeting. The All-India Tennis Tournament was run better than in the previous years, by providing, for the first time, gallery seats with facilities of reservation and amenities, like tea stalls, and so on; and we made money on the tournament.
Pandit Uma Shankar Bajpai, a first class first in English of the Allahabad University, started life as the writer of notes on books prescribed for Matriculation and Intermediate Examinations. He later passed the High Court Legal Practitioners' Examination-there being no LL.B. Examination at the University then. This was an examination conducted by the High Court. To prevent leakage of papers, the examiners, appointed by the High Court from the Bar, would set questions at night, go to the Government Press next morning, have the paper printed there, bring it themselves and distribute the same to the examinees at 10 a. m. Examinees were provided quill pens free.
Pandit Uma Shankar Bajpai, when I joined the High Court, was, as I have already told, the first man to welcome me. Later on, this meeting grew into an intimacy and I used to call him bhaiya (brother). After the death of G. W. Dillon and when Mr. Lalit Mohan Banerji went to the Bench, he was made the Government Advocate and later a Judge of the High Court. Bajpai ji had a great command over English language, though he had to study law before delivering judgment in important cases.
He was a brilliant conversationalist and so was invited to dinner practically every evening. He could not refuse, as he liked dainties and, in spite of Doctor's warning, did not cry a halt. He had chronic renal trouble which brought about his untimely demise and the Court lost a genial, patient and- amiable Judge adored by the Bar.
Mr. P. L. Banerji, Pt. U. S. Bajpai and myself were friends in the real sense of the word. All the three of us resided in George Town and had our respective conveyances; but only one conveyance was used, by all of us, in weekly turns. And "quips and cranks in wanton wiles" went on, while going to and returning from t;he High Court. When I think of those golden days of our life, my heart sinks that I am the last Mariner in the sea of life.
In order to complete the picture I should mention some of the stalwarts of the Bar. Jogendra Nath Chaudhari, whose advocacy and literary flavour in the arguments was matchless, had ceased to come to Court daily, perhaps to make a place for his son. Sarat Chandra Chaudhari, who, in spite of his erudite scholarship, failed in advocacy and thus joined the Law Department of the University and, in time, became the Head of the Law Department.
Sir Charles Ross Alston, the leader of the criminal side of the Bar, was an admirable case winner. His engagement meant an acquittal. His master technique was to put the Bench in good humour and then only to put his strongest point which he would drive home.
T. N. Chaddha, Bar-at-Law, had been convicted of some Municipal offence. He had filed a Criminal Revision and Sir Charles appeared for him. As soon as he got up to argue the case, he told the Judges that he confessed that a few months in jail would be good for his client and then asked Chaddha sitting behind to get up. Chaddha, ponderous like Jaganandan Lal, stood up quickly; hut, as soon as he got up, the Judges started smiling. Sir Ross by his advocacy belittled the offence and got an acquittal. The case is reported in the Allahabad Law Journal.
If a Judge asked a question about the evidence of a witness, which in all cases Alston never knew, he would turn round and, in a loud voice ask his Munshi what the evidence was. Munshi Ram Lal, who knew every bit of the evidence and always stood behind Sir Ross, would give the relevant piece of evidence, which Sir Ross, not abashed of his unpreparedness but rather proud of it, would repeat to the Judge.
Mr. C.C. Dillon was on the top of civil practice, when he gave up the Bar, perhaps to allow his son, G.W. Dillon, to have a chance. This proved to be a shortsighted policy; because the son never cared for civil work and devoted himself exclusively to criminal practice. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the vacancy caused by C. C. Dillon was soon filled up by O'Conner.
Mr. O'Conner and Pandit Sunder Lal had monopolised the entire First Appeal practice and were always in opposite camps. Both of them were master of their facts; they never interrupted each other in arguments. Pt. Sunder Lal knew case-law, which was on the tips of his finger, better than O'Conner.
O'Conner's presentation of the case was incisive, the facts well-marshalled. Sunder Lal spoke correct English and was never in want of words. His winning technique was never to ruffle the Judges. If the Judge made an adverse remark, Pt. Sunder Lal would say, "Your Lordship is absolutely correct; but" . . . His 'But' was spoken in capitals and became a famous 'But'. And after this 'But', he put his battery of facts quietly, effectively and forcefully in such a manner that he scored his point. Both these, Sunder Lal and O'Conner, never swerved from correct statement of facts and thus never gave the opposite side an occasion to interrupt.
Both were great believers in economy. O'Conner, being a bachelor, never kept a house. He would start a little early and take his breakfast. in a hotel, and so his dinner.
Pandit Sunder Lal was extremely orthodox. He would not take a drop of water in court even in summer months. He was a strict vegetarian, and after the court he would take Kakris (cucumbers), oranges or bananas but not the expensive pomegranate or grapes. His parsemoneous ways, his great interest in economy and his profound knowledge of accounts must have been great assets, when he became the treasurer of the Allahabad University and later of the Banaras Hindu University. Due to the efforts of his brother, Pt. Baldeo Ram Dave, Pt. Sunder Lal had the finest library of Law books-even better than the High Court Bar Library. But, he would always sit out in the verandah where 15 or 20 clients sat waiting for him. He would attend to them in the order first come first served. This he did in the morning hours and again in the evenings, after court, till sunset and then he would go out for a drive in his phaeton driven by a pair of horses.
Once, when I had to go to instruct him in a case, I had to reach at 4 a.m., as he got up very early and started working over his briefs at that time. His memory was stupendous. He kept a thick bound book in which, in half a dozen lines, the names of parties, the district, the nature of the case, an indication of the party for whom he appeared and the lower court's decision were noted down. On some pages, rulings were also noted. With such scanty notes he would argue for days, even weeks.
Pt. Sunder Lal had very penetrating eyes and could measure a man's ability and capacity by looking at him. It was due to this talent that he got Brij Mohan Lal selected in the judicial service, who ultimately became an able Judge of the High Court.
To clear up the huge accumulated arrears of Second Appeals, Pandit Sunder Lal accepted, at great sacrifice, the offer of Chief Justice Richards to act as an Additional Judge for three months. He asked counsel to be ready in all the Single Judge cases in the Cause List of the week. About 30 appeals were listed each day. He got all appeals, so listed, at home and, there, after perusing them tagged notes on a small piece of paper to each case. He heard  arguments and silenced the counsel on wrong statement of law by referring him from the rich store house of his memory to decided cases. All the judgments were reserved and used to be dictated at home. They were then given to the Reader next day to enable the counsel to look into them. In three months' time he disposed of about 1,000 cases. Imagine the hard labour which Sir-Sunder Lal must have put in.
In Chief Justice Richards' time, judgments were mostly dictated in court as soon as the hearing was over. They were, however, written in long-hand. After taking down a few judgments, the judgment-writer would go away to fair them out for the signatures of the Judge or Judges. While the judgment writer was thus away the Judge would call a member of the Bar to take down judgments. Those, mostly called to do so, were Mr. Benoy Kumar Mukerji, who later became the Editor of Law Reports, Mr. P. L. Banerji, Mr. U. S. Bajpai and a few others, like Mr. Howard, who later became Government Advocate. If the judgments could not be faired out during court hours, they were brought the next day.
Pandit Moti Lal Nehru was a class by himself. Well-chiselled, his dress cut by Bond Street Tailors, with a smile that enlivened his lips, his appearance in a case always attracted the attention of the Judges. His persuasive methods won many unexpected victories for him. In a second appeal, from Gorakhpur, he had got the evidence printed. When the case was called, he gave the printed matter to the Reader. Pt. Sunder Lal, who was pitted against him, objected that the case was concluded by findings of fact, which, howsoever erroneous, he argued, could not be interfered with. But, Pandit Moti Lal's arguments were so persuasive that Chief Justice Richards and Sir P.C. Banerji themselves wanted to look into the evidence. They did so, and the appeal was allowed.
Later on, Pandit Moti Lal was so busy with the far more lucrative practice in the moffusil courts that his appearance in the High Court became infrequent. Comparisons are odious but Pandit Moti Lallooked like a prince among men and Pandit Sunder Lal, like a big Mahajan, a Jagat Seth.
Pandit Moti Lal Nehru had broken the shackles of orthodoxy very early in his life and was in bad odour with the members of the Kashmiri community, like Pandit Bishan Narain Dar. He had engaged Goenis and Mohammadan cooks. He was open-handed and openhearted and had an open board. His house was like a club, where the elite came to have a good time. In the evening, Judges of the High Court and English men in Allahabad came and had a good time with Scotch whisky and dainty dishes served in shining Hall-mark silver ware. None was invited but all were welcome.
Pandit Moti Lal Nehru was a class fellow of my father. They were great friends. In a case pending in Mirzapur courts, Pandit Moti Lal appeared for my father without charging a fee; only drinks had to be provided and Mojra which went on till midnight. He was so quick and intelligent that an hour's preparation in the morning was enough to win his point. At that time, I must have been only three or four years old; but I remember the delight with which I watched the merry-making.
Pandit Moti Lal Nehru, while he was in his city residence, had friends with whom he would play cards till late in the night. All through his life since I know him he never worked after sunset unless for a very urgent brief. Once I went to his house in the evening to engage him in a second appeal, which appeared hopeless, believing that he might prove an alchemist. He said to me, '''Narmadeshwar, give the papers to my clerk to keep it in the opinion file and come tomorrow between 8 and 8.30 a. m." I went the next morning. A short while after, Panditji appeared in a posh dressing gown with a lighted cigar in his hand, took his seat and, with a smile, said that it was a dead finding of fact and there was no use filing a second appeal. 
I had seen the huge bonfire of silks and foreign dresses at Swaraj Bhawan, when Panditji joined the national movement and the auctioning of the non-Indian furniture. I purchased two racks, which show his taste, and keep them as a sacred relic.
His son, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, a Bar-at-Law, who with his power of speech and thought rose to such towering and giddy heights of international fame, the man who was to become a monument of massive critical intellect and who wrote books, like the 'Discovery of India' and 'Glimpses of World History' which have become world classics, appeared to be a poor advocate and never impressed the Judges while arguing the briefs that he held for his father. No one could dream that the lisping young barrister was the legendry Promethean fire that would blaze the world from end to end and be the recipient of the homage of nations. It was impossible to foresee that the junior, with halting and diffident speech, would be the Chief Architect of India after Independence and give to the world a new concept of International relations by his Panchsheel and the policy of non-alignment, and would, by his sincerity, love and devotion, win the affection and reverence of his people and become the beloved Chacha of millions of children.
Satish Chander Banerji, the Prem Chand Roy Chandra scholar and author of the classic book on Specific Relief, was a rich storehouse of law and legal precedents. The slightest objection of a Judge on a point of law would bring from him, effortlessly, a battery of rulings that would silence the Judge. But, he lacked the gift of advocacy and would fail in many cases when pitted against the .advocacy and tenacity of Tej Bahadur Sapru.
Satish Chander Banerji's love for philosophy and literature was equalled only by his profound scholarship in these subjects. He ungrudgingly gave his time to any person interested in them. Feeling somewhat helpless, when my philosophy examination in M. A. approached and my teacher Dr. Ewing If the Christian College was leaving for America, I approached Dr. Satish. Whenever I reached him, after attending my law classes, he would leave his office work and sit in the drawing room and explain away my difficulties. Philosophy had become for some years an unpopular subject in M.A. because of the difficult and searching questions of Dr. Venis in viva voce. Dr. Satish gave me his book Sankbya Karika, to read and advised me to contend that the European philosophers were wrong; and, acting on his advice, I came out with flying colours.
Tej Bahadur Sapru was an advocate of outstanding ability. He was a master of Constitutional Law. He was delighted when a ticklish question of constitutional law was involved; and then Indian, English, American and Australian cases flowed in, in an unpassing array, sometimes to the discomfiture of the Judges. The books came from his own library which was not only up-to-date in law books but was a collection of some of the best books, ancient and modern, in the English language. The library was really a museum of books. His eminence in politics was as great as his eminence at the Bar. He played a notable part in pre-Independence politics. He was a Law Member of the Government of India and the first Indian to be a Privy Councilor.
Pandit Moti Lal's mantle of lavish entertainment of friends fell generously on Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru. Every evening, at his residence there used to be a Darbar and Sir Tej used to tell his friends incidents of his life in India and abroad. This went on till dinner time or even later and then his friends, never less than a dozen or two, sat by the marble table in two sections, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Menu was lavish. Those who wanted drinks were given Scotch but Sir Tej sat at the head of the table with lemon squash or some such thing and took it slowly, sip by sip, to keep company; and one who did not know would think that he was having, some hot drink. Prominent educationists, statesmen, politicians from overseas made a point to see Sir Tej and there was hardly a week when he had no guest to entertain. Sir Tej's politics was the golden mean and thus he was .a bridge between the Imperialist Government and the Nationalist Forces of India. He was great in politics and great at the Bar. 
He had a great liking for pan (betel leaves ); and I used to offer him the same from my Dahba (betel leaf case) at lunch time, which was very much appreciated by him. At times, he would tell me that I, with an income of about Rs. 500 per month, was much better than he, who had to pay-/14/6 income-tax to a rupee.
I knew Sir Tej since 1904 or 1905, when my father brought me from Mirzapur to take my Intermediate examination. Because of plague epidemic, he requested Sir Tej to give me a room in his house. At that time, Sir Tej was in a double-storeyed house, near the Anglo-Bengali School, belonging to one Sohan Lal. On the first floor I was housed; and every evening Sir Tej's father, who used to take opium would come and tell me the incidents of his Tehsildari life, not caring at all that I was an examinee and had to answer a paper next morning.
Sir Tej had a fund of Mark Twainian humour in him Luckily, he had a fellow conspirator in Babu Laxmi Saran, Advocate, who had a gift of the gab and could cajole an ass to make him think himself a lion.
The late Kartar Narain Agarwala failed twice in M. D. Examination of Madras University. But he still yearned to be an LL.D. Babu Laxmi Saran, egged on by Sir Tej, told Kartar Narain that Sir Tej, being a Privy Councillor, could confer an LL.D. degree on him but; for that end, he must gain his favour. He was so thick-skinned that he believed it to be true. In order to gain the favour of Sir Tej, Kartar Narain showed his prowess in a break through Ingadulecs hedge of Sir Tej's bungalow and got out with torn shirt and pants. His second feat was to stop a running car. It was so manipulated. that Kartar Narain with a rope round his waist was tied to the car of late Mr. Majid Ali. The car was then started. So far it was alright, Kartar Narain was looking askance at the onlookers; but no sooner the accelerator was pressed, he was dragged about five yards away and had his knees broken. Laxmi Saran applauded him for his 'grand achievement' and said that the time was ripe for the conferment of the LL.D. degree on him. A date was also fixed for the 'ceremony' and members of the High Court Bar and friends, about a hundred, were invited to witness the event. A red velvet carpet was spread to mark the occasion. Sir Tej acted as the Chancellor; and after repeating the solemn words charging him to prove worthy of the degree, he placed his own LL.D. degree gown over the shoulders of Kartar Narain, without allowing a smile to escape his lips. There was a loud applause followed by congratulatory speeches and recitation of praising verses. Then came a sumptuous dinner by Sir Tej; and the fake Doctor had his fill. Kartar Narain was a great gormandizer. It is said that he could take twenty eggs in the morning and the same number in the evening. Satya Chander Mukerji was a bigger edition of Jaganandan Lal and had a large mofussil criminal practice. He had an uncanny and stupendous memory. Like an astrologer he could give dates of the birth and death of famous people as well as. facts and incidents of their life. Whenever he returned from mofussil courts, there were dozens of clients waiting for him. He would read the judgments, write the grounds of appeal or revision himself and then present them to the Application Judge in a bunch of 10 or 15 at a time. As the reader called the name of the appellant or applicant, he would give the facts without a shred of paper in his hand, and would continue this process till his last case was over. I was amazed at this performance and, made it a point to enter the court-room whenever I noticed that Mr. Mukerji was arguing his cases. He had a very jovial face; and smile never left his lips.
Munshi Harbans Sahai, a scion of a reputed Rais family of Bihar, was the son of the Law Officer of Maharaja Dumraon. As the Maharaja owned properties in U. P., and a large number of appeals were pending in this High Court, he assigned the work to the father of M. Harbans Sahai who then migrated to U. P. and settled at Allahabad with his sons, the eldest being Munshi Harbans Sahai. Harbans Sahai got his M.A., LL.B. degrees here and started practice at Ghazipur, and two years later joined the High Court. He was tall, heavy built and had a smiling face. He had good knowledge of case-law and was an adept in revenue law. He had a very good Second Appeal practice. Where no one could find light, he would find many points of law. His grounds of appeal were never less than 12 in number. His fault was that all the grounds raised by him, he thought, were winning points and thus started from number one and went on to the last. After a certain limit is reached, numbness begins. So, Judges got tired after a time and then in a stage of numbness would come his best points, which the Judges would fail to appreciate; and thus he would lose the appeal. All the same, when he got up, members of the Bar thought that they could attend other courts as the case would take a few hours. He would always complain about the thick headedness of the Judges as they could not see his points of law.
He would not pay even two rupees in cash, and always gave a cheque even for small amounts. He had chronic gas trouble so he used to take a lot of saunf. He built a house in George Town and left his city' abode. He had no issues but treated his brother's sons as his own. The eldest of them, Sri Narain Sahai, became a Judge of the High Court in course of time. 
Munshi Harbans Sahai's Riasat (affluence) was evident from the lavish entertainment he offered to the revellers who visited him on the occasion of Holi festival. We had a lot of fried Pista, Tilauri and several home-made tasty sweets. This was followed by a dinner at night, which was always first class. This practice is continued by Sri Narain Sahai at the same scale.
Dr. Surendra Nath Sen was a Government Pleader at Azamgarh. He had talent and advocacy. It was but natural that he should have had higher aspirations. He came to Allahabad and realised that LL.D. degree was necessary to make his mark. For little over a year he devoted to the study of law and. got the coveted degree. Within a few months of my shifting to High Court in 1914, I joined the chamber of Dr. Sen as his junior. In about two years' time, I used to hold the briefs of 15 to 20 Second Appeals for Dr. Sen. On days he took about of whisky and soda, the excuse at times being a fine cloudy weather, sometimes foggy atmosphere and at others blistering 100. Now and again he came to Court in 'spirits', and from the exuberance of his expression one could see that he was well 'spirited'. 
But nothing like Sir Rash Bihari Ghosh of Calcutta who once came to argue a case in Court no. 4. Before entering the Courtroom, he took a peg or two; and then, what a torrential arguments followed! The Judges had to be alert all the time lest they missed some important point. After some time he would say "excuse me, my Lords". He would then come out and take another helping from his Chaprasi who was ready with another glass of whisky, daintily covered by a hanky. In one gulp he would take it and then resume the thread of his arguments. 
Later, some relation of Dr. Sen, one Mr. S. N. Gupta, came to work as his junior and I made myself scarce. By 1917 or 1918, B. Malik, Bar-at-Law, son of the Chief Judge, Benaras State, appeared on the scene. Within a few months, Dr. Sen was so impressed by his abilities that he even gave his First Appeals to him. On days he chose to enjoy whisky and soda and not attend to Court work. During such periods, B. Malik appeared for him and made his mark in a year's time and when Dr. Sen was persuaded by Sir Grimwood Mears to become a puisne Judge, Mr. Malik had the entire briefs of Dr. Sen, which helped him to come in the first rank of lawyers. Ultimately, he became the Chief Justice of the High Court. 
Dr. Sen's delivery was fast and his English Shaksperian which had a literary flourish in it. His knowledge of equity cases was collossal. Dr. Sen was short and slim like Sir Charles Alston and so was Sir Shah Sulaiman, whose Chaprasi always carried a thick cushion to place on his chair so as to increase his height.
We had another contemporary, Peary Lal Banerji, who was then at the top of Second Appeal practice. He commanded respect because of his "King's English" and arguments replete with Privy Council's classic phrases. He was up-to-date even in English Law Reports not to mention of I.L.R. He was calm and unruffled. His advocacy was unrivalled and a treat to listen, if you had heard the presentation of the facts at the outset.
In a case of contempt of court against the famous P. R. Das of Patna, he appeared for the contemner, and the crowded Bar heard him with rapt attention. In forty-five minutes, the Crown Counsel was called upon and P. R. Das was discharged. On his return from the High Court, Mr. P.R. Das wrote to Mr. Banerji that he had himself appeared in all the High Courts of India and had heard the top most lawyers of this country, but he would confess that he had never seen such a magnetic advocacy and profound knowledge of law. (I had seen this letter).
While citing an authority, English or Indian, Mr. Banerji would not read the entire report but would first give the facts of the case himself, 'and then read the relevant passage from the book.
Dr. Kailash Nath Katju brought with him the technique of interfering in his opponent's arguments. This upset Shyam Krishna Dar to such an extent that he would lose his balance and then his case. But, Mr. P.L. Banerji never cared for such interruptions and simply told the Judges that he would answer the objections after he had concluded his arguments.
Dr. Katju's legal acumen was great. He could simultaneously manage three First Appeals in three different courts. Out of respect, the Judges accommodated him in such a way that 'he could attend to all his cases turn by turn. He had ready wit and unruffled temper. Mr. Banerji used to say that whenever he was pitted against Dr. Katju, he had to be on his guard as he was sure that some nice question of law, not dreamt of by the court below, would be raised by Dr. Katju. (Sorry, that I am using the past tense with reference to him, as, happily, Dr. Katju is still with us). He had, however, taken to politics and) in due course, became the Minister of Justice, U.P. and then the Home Minister and Defence Minister of India. Later, he became the Governor of Bengal and thereafter the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh. He has since retired from politics and now keeps himself engrossed in writing this, that and the other for the press.
Dr. M.L. Agarwala, a member of the Bar Library, had secured LL. D. degree from London University. He was a very learned man; but had no advocacy and so he cut no ice at the Bar and made his pile by writing books. His Vade Mecum was a compendium of civil and criminal Acts with rules and comments; and the volumes were very serviceable to practitioners as well as to students. He was a Reader in the Law Department of the Allahabad University. His voice was so soft that only those who were very close to his desk, like the late Govind Ballabh Pant and Murli Manohar Advocate of Moradabad, could hear him. I personally could never follow him.
Babu Panna Lal hailed from Aligarh. He was an able lawyer of jovial temperament and a pastmaster in Mahajani Book Keeping. He, being a Vaish, attracted magnetically Vaish clientale. Very soon, he made a headway in the profession. His tenacity in arguments was marvellous "even when vanquished argued still"; but for, his English manner of speaking, which had a Bhojpuri stops, there was nothing wrong in him. The other fault was economy which is a virtue. But in his case it cost his life. He was given to understand that Shilajeet was a nectar in old age. He, instead of getting it from some recognized firms, asked some client of his from the hills; and he sent some unfiltered thing which he took and, after some time, like a slow poison, it worked and cost the life of such an able advocate. He was the Secretary of the Advocates' Association and died as such. 
Jamini Mohan Benerji, younger brother of Lalit Mohan Benerji, was a Barrister. He had the English twang like ex- Judge B. Mukerji, but more polished. He was a clever lawyer and would have succeeded at the Bar but for his untimely death.
Miss Lena Clarke was the pride of the Anglo-Indian community and took part in the shows organised by the late R. K. Sorabji, Principal, Law Department, with charming success. After passing L. T., she took a job in St. Anthony's School, but did not like the educational line. So, she passed the LL. B. Examination and joined the High Court. She was the first lady advocate and the Cynosure of neighbouring advocates. She had everything in her favour and argued a few briefs before Sir Grimwood Mears successfully. But she could not gain the confidence of the clients and so tried the matrimonial field and succeeded in marrying Rajani Mohan Banerji, the youngest son of Sir P.C. Banerji, who left a fortune for him, as he could not qualify for any calling on account of remaining engaged in nursing his father, Sir P.C. Banerji. 
But, wealth easily got is soon spent. The couple ran through the entire fortune of several lacs. "Wine is bright at the goblet's brim, though the poison lurks beneath". It was this poison that killed both of them. Lena died first; and then Rajani went to Dehra Dun after selling the beautiful mansion On the crossing of the Canning Road and the Kamla Nehru Road.
Munshi Harnandan Prasad came from a distinguished well-to do family of Benares. He was two years senior to me. He was a man of varied interests and in each he had a commendable success. He was an able lawyer as well as a social and public worker possessing equable and calm temper. His success at the Bar is evidenced by his big bungalow at the Malaviya Road. He was for some time Chairman of the Municipal Board and more than once the President of the Kayastha Pathshala Trust. He purchased, on behalf of the Trust, the building of the Zamindars' Association in which is now housed the C.M.P. Degree College, and also built an extensive hostel. "Ode to duty" he had imbibed and made a part of himself. When . he got a partial attack of paralysis and discontinued going to Court, he still devoted himself to the work of Kavastha Pathshala and that expedited his end.
I could add something more about Judges and Advocates but for the salutary principle "Present Company excepted". I do not therefore propose saying anything about Sir Iqbal Ahmad, K.K. Verma, B. Malik, S.K. Dar, Harish Chandra, Brij Mohan Lal, Mushtaq Ahmad and others among the Judges, and the Grand Old Man Dr. N.P. Asthana, K.L. Misra, G.S. Pathak, Jagdish Swarup and S.S. Shastri (the author of several law text books), among the Advocates.