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Am I coming, or am I going?

October 4, 2011

A full bench of the High Court of Judicature at Madras (not Chennai, really) has delivered a judgment about the marriage of a minor girl, saying, inter alia, “The said marriage is not a valid marriage, but it is not invalid,” says a report in the New Indian Express today morning. Er, was I coming or was I going?

Decades ago, a humour magazine in Malayalam (Sanjayan, if you must know the name) had published a debate by readers on whether chathan (a mythical being, sometimes said to be a son of Lord Shiva) existed, was he real. The last published letter read: “Is there a chathan? Not so much that he exists; nor can he be said to be not real. Then is he real? No, not at all!” Or like a professor who once explained the Theory of Relativity to our class: “Although in fact the planets go round the sun, it could be equally true that the planets revolve around the sun, or that the sun goes round the planets.”

Well. I had laboured through the Law Merchant, Common Law, Customary Law, and all other such stuff and then thrown up my hands trying to understand the difference between void contracts and voidable contracts. To this day, the only thing I am sure about, after all this challenge to the limited inter-connections my synapses make, is that I can tell birds from flowers.

Tailpiece: The law, they say, is an ass. So this old man in the limerick got around it, and how!

There was an old man from Lyme,
Who kept three wives at a time.
When asked, “Why the third?”
He replied, “One’s absurd,
And bigamy, sir, is a crime.”

Illegal disclaimer (all stuff on the web need one, don’t they?): Notwithstanding anything contained hereinabove, and unless repugnant to the context and tenor, hereof, there is no intention either on the part of the author or of the contents of this blog post or both of them together, to bring disrepute to the Majesty of Law, and anyone who thinks otherwise is an ass.


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  1. balu permalink

    Ha ha , Soman.

    Reminds us of the Dubyaspeak, “Most of the imports into USA come from outside the country”. What about the remaining imports, they come from within USA ?

    By the way, void contracts are a nullity in law. They do not exist. Nobody needs to take steps to get it annulled. Voidable contracts, on the other hand, can be annulled if someone files a suit to get it cancelled. If nobody takes any step, he contract lives on!!

    • Also the Palin. But we all forget the great Spiro T. (why are all great wits those that take a liking to the higher echelons of US government?) :
      “I apologize for lying to you. I promise I won’t deceive you except in matters of this sort.”

      More to the point would be the late Goldwyn Meyer of MGM: “Include me out”

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