Justice Dhananjaya Chandrachud. (HT file photo)
Justice Dhananjaya Chandrachud. (HT file photo)

When Justice Chandrachud talked about his 4pm tea ritual

“Don’t you feel the urge for a cup of tea at 4pm?” he unfailingly ends up asking the lawyers before his court at that crucial time
PUBLISHED ON APR 28, 2021 09:27 AM IST

There is an unswerving distraction Justice Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud has when the clock hits four in the evening. “Don’t you feel the urge for a cup of tea at 4pm?” he unfailingly ends up asking the lawyers before his court at that crucial time.

Tuesday was no different. While senior lawyers Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Parag P Tripathi were engaged in a war of words over toll collection by a company, justice Chandrachud was wanting to get up for his cup of tea.

“I don’t know how you all can go on at 4pm without having the urge for a cup of tea? At least, I cannot. I must have my tea. That keeps me going for the rest of the day,” he told the senior lawyers.

Justice Chandrachud went on to share an anecdote from Mumbai where he first practised as a lawyer and then became a judge.

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“On the first floor of the Bombay high court, there is a courtroom in one corner next to which is the staff canteen. As a lawyer, I would go and have my tea in that canteen. But the problem occurred when I became a judge there and was sitting in the courtroom adjacent to this canteen. At 11 every morning, tea would start brewing in the canteen and I could smell fresh tea in my courtroom. But I was a judge and could not get up before 2pm, before the lunch break. And also, as a judge, I could not simply enter the canteen anymore,” reminisced the judge.

Justice Chandrachud added that he has an irresistible craving for tea at 4pm, which is also the time for the Supreme Court to wrap up its proceedings.

“Brother, don’t you feel the urge for tea in the evening?” he asked justice MR Shah, who was sharing the bench with him on Tuesday.

Justice MR Shah quipped that the word “tea” may mean something different for the senior lawyers who were willing to go on even as it was time to get up.

“But brother, I come from Gujarat where you get only tea and nothing else,” retorted justice Shah, leaving everyone in splits.

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