The Supreme Court's Registry, through a circular dated May 14 has declared that henceforth all urgent matters will have to be mentioned orally before the Chief Justice of India and that the practice of “listed mentioning” before the Deputy Registrar shall stand discontinued. The circular also stated that the aforementioned procedure will come in force from July 1.
However, the Supreme Court Bar Association made its representation to the Secretary General on discontinuation of 'Listed Mentioning' today. The representation reads “President and Members of the Executive Committee, as also Members of the Bar, are shocked and dismayed to see the circular dated 14.05.2015 issued by the Registry”.
It also added, “the long standing existing practice of 'Listed Mentioning' which has remained in force for the last several years, is based on uniform, set and specified parameters, on compliance of which, all urgent matters, including matters relating to personal liberty and other matters where urgent interim orders are prayed for, are accepted for Listed Mentioning.” and that the present system has enough safeguards.
The SCBA also expressed its disappointment that the circular released by the Registry was not done in consultation with the Bar and that “the SCBA strongly believes that to confine all urgent mentioning to one court alone would not only become an extremely cumbersome exercise, with mentioning queues already extending into long aisle up to the doors of Court hall No.1, it is bound to perpetrate chaos and frustration and does not augur well with settled fundamentals of dispensation of Justice. It is also humanly not possible for Hon'ble CJI to hear all urgent mentioning and for the lawyers to apprise him of their urgency in the extremely limited time period, that is available during oral mentioning at 10.30 am. The Bench does not have the benefit of a paperbook during oral mentioning and many a times, unless the paper book is there, it is difficult to demonstrate urgency.”
The Supreme Court Bar Association also highlighted the concerns of young lawyers and has written, “the problem is bound to be alarming for Young Lawyers, who are naturally not very confident and take a little time to articulate their submissions, as they would stand little chance to get their mattes listed and the litigants would be forced to engage Senior Counsels even for oral mentioning.” The representation also says, “The present practice allows Lawyers and AORs especially young ones, to get their matters listed in case of need. These Lawyers do not have large number of matters and so for them, listing by Regstry is crucial. It is unfair to expose them to the Court of Hon’ble the Chief Justice of India, as many lack skills and confidence to persuade the Honble Court unlike Seniors.”
Though the representation, the Bar Association has asked the Registry to take back the circular and “continue and restore the traditional and tried practice of Listed Mentioning, through open and transparent mechanism and give just and uniform opportunity to all matters so as to subserve the cause of Justice.”
The circular dated May 14 is available here.
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