Notes on the Legal Acumen, Brilliance and Personality of Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Notes on the Legal Acumen, Brilliance and Personality of Muhammad Ali Jinnah
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Nasir Hussain

All those who know Quaid-i-Azam Ali Muhammad Ali Jinnah intimately, knew very well that he did never crack a joke merely for the sake of a laugh. He was too self-controlling and disciplined a man not to waste time on little things. One thing Jinnah valued most was time. He utilized every minute of his life as conscientiously as he wanted to. Punctuality, keeping appointments and never wasting a moment was his second nature.
He was [once] arguing an appeal afore the full bench of Bombay High Court. He argued the whole day. The working time was up to 5pm. The judges asked: “Mr. Jinnah, how much more time would you require culminating your side?” He replied: “My Lord, remotely 15 minutes.”Then the senior judge [on the bench] verbalized: “Could you perpetuate for a few minutes longer today and culminate your address?” Mundanely, when a High Court judge verbalizes so, no lawyer would decline. But , not so with Mohammad Ali Jinnah. “My Lord, I would dote to do so, but I have a very consequential appointment which I can just make in time if I leave the court at once.”The junior-most judge sitting on the left side of the chief equity whispered to him to insist that the case be culminated on the day. “That is all right, Mr. Jinnah. We withal have an appointment, but we relish to culminate this today so that judgment can be distributed on Monday.” Out came the replication from this great lawyer, shooting like a gun: “My Lords, the distinction between your Lordships and myself is that (raising his voice) I keep my appointments.”The three judges, Englishmen, went more red in their face than they already were. They all rose as if in a huff. Everybody got up and while the advocates bowed; the judges seemed only to nod. It was thought that the solicitor, who had authoritatively mandated Jinnah, felt that this may affect the result of the case. The next morning the judges appeared in a very good mood.
Mr. Jinnah was absolutely on the top of the vocation. Ergo, naturally many lawyers endeavored their best to be sanctioned to work with Mohammad Ali Jinnah but very few could be taken. Mr. Frank Mores, then Editor of Indian Express, once stated: “Watch him in the courtroom as he argues his case. Few lawyers can command a more attentive audience. No man is more adroit in presenting his case. If to achieve the maximum result with minimum effort is the hallmark of artistry, Mr. Jinnah is an artist in his craft. He relishes to get down to the bare bones of his brief in verbalizing the essentials of his case. His manner is masterly. The drab court rooms acquire an atmosphere as he verbalizes. Juniors crane their necks forward to follow every kineticism of his tall well-groomed figure. Senior counsel heedfully and aurally perceive proximately, the judge is all attention; such was the great status of this top lawyer.”
Once, a very proximate friend whose request Mr. Jinnah could not decline came with his son who had just returned from England as a full-fledged barrister. He verbalized: “Jinnah, please take my son in your chamber and make him a good lawyer.” “Of course, yes,” verbalized Jinnah. “He is welcome to work in my chambers. I will edify him all I can. But, I cannot transmit my brilliance to him”. Then, gradually he expanded: “He must make his own brilliance.” This went into the heart of the puerile barrister and he exerted himself so strenuously on the briefs and the law that one day he too became a great lawyer, but nowhere near the height of Mr. Jinnah.

— The author can be reached at: nasirhussain.in@gmail.com