A judge banging his gavel, blindfolded Lady Justice, arguments and counter-arguments by lawyers, and standing amidst all of this an exhausted and helpless litigant. A setting such as this one brings to mind the solemn image of a courtroom, and a famous saying in Marathi, "Wise men do not climb the steps of courts". The 223-page coffee-table tome, authored by father-son duo Vinay Thakur and Amogh Thakur, was Friday released by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi at the Indian International Centre here. Speaking at the book launch, the CJI said the book reminded him of the lines of famous poem 'Leisure' by poet WH Davies, "What is this life full of care, when we have no time top stop and stare". "If there is something common to the litigants, the judges and the lawyers it is this lack of leisure...the great merit of this work is that it forces one to stop and stare. It forces us to look at court buildings in all the grandeur and majesty.
The book, a sequel to Vinay's earlier book 'The Courts of India Past to Present' (2016), is not about photographs alone, and is replete with interesting trivia and anecdotes about the monumental buildings. "The book 'The Courts of India -- Past to Present' is a master piece on Indian judicial history. However, it was my dream to show the grandeur of theses magnificent buildings in their true perspectives in large fold out panoramas. Hence this statement coffee-table book of only images was thought of. Of course, the task of capturing all the courts in the country through a lens was never going to be an easy one. And the author, during the event, shared some of the challenges he had to face, like how in the absence of an aerial shoot permission he had to "go up 130 feet in the basket of a fire brigade snorkel to get aerial picture of the exterior of the SC which resembles the scales of justice".
"The shot was so appreciated that on 14 August, 2016 I was called back to take another shot when the building was illuminated," he added. Justice SA Bobde, who was head of the SC Editorial Committee that compiled 'The Courts of India Past to Present', said, "It is the only book which has the photographs of all the High Courts in the country and Vinay is the only man I think who has seen all the High Courts. "I don't know any other judge and lawyer who has seen all of the high courts," said Justice Bobde, who also accompanied Thakur on the eve of independence day in the fire brigade snorkel to click the picture of fully illuminated SC.