"Important & Burning Issue" : BCI Supports Dushyant Dave's Statements On Lawyers' Grievances About Listing Of Cases
"Regarding the difficulties and delays in listing of cases, the Bar Council fully supports the views of Mr.Dave"
The Chairperson of the Bar Council of India, Senior Advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, has responded to the recent statements made by Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave in an interview to LiveLaw.Dave had said that the Chief Justice of India should not have any power to assign cases to benches as the "Master of Roster" and advocated a fully automated system for allocation of cases to obviate the element...
The Chairperson of the Bar Council of India, Senior Advocate Manan Kumar Mishra, has responded to the recent statements made by Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave in an interview to LiveLaw.
Dave had said that the Chief Justice of India should not have any power to assign cases to benches as the "Master of Roster" and advocated a fully automated system for allocation of cases to obviate the element of subjectivity. Dave had also highlighted the difficulties faced by the lawyers, especially the younger lawyers, in getting urgent listing of cases and called for an intervention by the judges to address the issues related to the Registry.
Regarding Dave's statements on "Master of Roster", the BCI Chairperson expressed disagreement. "..in the opinion of the Bar Council of India, only the Chief Justice of India is empowered to assign cases to the respective benches. It is a well settled law and a well established practice. There should be no change in this age-old tradition", the BCI Chairperson said.
Supports Dave on listing difficulties
"However, so far the statements of Mr.Dave about the grievances of Bar regarding the difficulties and delays in listing of cases, the Bar Council fully supports the views of Mr.Dave. The Chief Justice of India and the Judges should look into the seriousness of the matter and should taken immediate measures for listing of urgent matters, without difficulty to Advocates and the litigants. This is a very important and burning issue, which needs to be addressed and redressed by the Supreme Court, as also by some of the High Courts of the Country", the BCI Chairperson said.
He further stated that it is the duty of the Bar Council to safeguard the rights, privileges and interests of Advocates. "Therefore, the Bar Council of India proposes to convey the grievances of common lawyers practising in Supreme Court and some of the High Courts to the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India", the Chairperson said.
In the interview with LiveLaw, Dave had urged the Court to address the difficulties faced by lawyers in the Registry.
Dave's words are as follows :
"....in every High Court in the country, if you file a matter, it will be listed in 2-3-4 days. In most High Courts, like Gujarat, the matter would be listed the next day with urgent listing. And most matters will definitely come up on the notice returnable date, unless process fee is not paid in a given case.The courts have complete control over their boards in the High Court. The Supreme Court is singularly a failure, and these very judges who have come from High Courts, many of them have been Chief Justices of High Courts, yet are either not willing to take corrective measures or are completely wanting to ignore them. They know the problem. The young and not-so-successful members of the bar face huge problems. See, they have one or two briefs in a month. They must have access to get their matters listed in a day or two or three. Not some powerful advocate-on-record who files 50 matters in a month. These young men and women really need the support of the institution, their clients need justice. What can they show to the briefing lawyers from the states? What can they tell them? It is shocking that the registry officials are completely oblivious to this pain being suffered by young members of the bar or the not-so-successful members of the bar . And they just don't want to help them".
"People have such huge issues. Litigants need justice quickly. If you don't give them justice, what happens? If the system can work in the High Court, why can it not work here? The master of the roster, the Chief Justice, was also the master in the High Court. But he does not interfere so much. Highly sensitive matters, he might assign to himself, but otherwise things happen normally. There is a roster, there is a subject matter and automatically, the Registry sends it. Just walk 2 km across the road to the Delhi High Court, and it never happens.
Judges will have to seriously introspect on this issue. If they don't introspect, the Supreme Court will come under more and more criticism which is not good for the institution. It is a great institution and it needs to face its problems and solve them so that the respect which it is entitled to command, respect which it did command really continues to be commanded in times to come".
The video of Dushyant Dave's interview can be watched here.
BCI objects to Prashant Bhushan's statements
The BCI Chairperson also expressed objections to recent statements made by Advocate Prashant Bhushan at a Webinar hosted by Indo-American Muslim Council. He said that Bhushan "crossed all limits" and "used filthy, demeaning words for our Judges of Supreme Court".
"By making such statements, attacking our judiciary, persons like Mr.Prashant Bhushan think that they would succeed in terrorizing the Judges. It is for the Judges of the Supreme Court to think whether to encourage such malpractices"