Oh my god, you’re wanted in court

How powerful are judges in India? So powerful that they can get anyone to appear before them. Well,Ram_2
almost anyone.

A judge in India has summoned two Hindu gods, Ram and Hanuman, to help resolve a property dispute.

Judge Sunil Kumar Singh in the eastern state of
Jharkhand has issued adverts in newspapers asking the gods to "appear
before the court personally".

The gods have been asked to appear before the court on
Tuesday, after the judge said that letters addressed to them had gone
unanswered. [Link]

I wonder which newspapers he advertised in. Lord Ram and Hanuman wouldn’t read Times of India or Indian Express, but they might read The Hindu. Singh would probably be successful if he used his computer to summon the gods. But the computer might not function without RAM.

Judge Singh presides in a "fast track" court  – designed to resolve disputes quickly – in the city of Dhanbad.

The dispute is now 20 years old and revolves around the ownership of a 1.4 acre plot of land housing two temples.

The deities of Ram and Hanuman, the monkey god, are worshipped at the two temples on the land.

Temple priest Manmohan Pathak claims the land belongs to him. Locals say it belongs to the two deities.

The two sides first went to court in 1987.

A few years ago, the dispute was settled in favour of the locals. Then Mr Pathak challenged the verdict in a fast track court. [Link]

A fast track court? If it’s anything like the "fast track" at my local hospital, it’s going to take another 20 years.

Judge Singh  sent out two notices to the deities, but they were returned as the addresses were found to be "incomplete".

This prompted him to put out adverts in local newspapers summoning the gods.

"You failed to appear in court despite notices sent by a
peon and later through registered post. You are herby directed to
appear before the court personally", Judge Singh’s notice said.

Is that any way to speak to gods? More appropriate would be something like this: "You didn’t honor us with your presence, perhaps because our address was incomplete and India Post was incompetent. We therefore beseech you to grace the court with your presence, if you are not too busy answering prayers. You may come at any time you wish, as long as it isn’t an ungodly hour."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. I wonder why you do not get more comments Melvin – anyway, I do not know what to say beyond the seeming appearance of reality being stranger than fiction ever was: this is the stuff of a really bad comedy – come on! Were the gods given a deadline to appear? Will they issue a warrant for arrest? I cannot stop laughing here, its too sad that this story is true…

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