4 Oct 2021 6:36 AM GMT
"Now the time has come to take cognizance of all such matters where meaningless litigation is being generated due to lawyers abstaining from work," observed Allahabad High Court recently while dismissing a plea seeking time-bound disposal of a case.The Bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla was hearing a writ petition filed by one Gurudeen seeking speedy disposal of a mutation case under Section...
"Now the time has come to take cognizance of all such matters where meaningless litigation is being generated due to lawyers abstaining from work," observed Allahabad High Court recently while dismissing a plea seeking time-bound disposal of a case.
The Bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla was hearing a writ petition filed by one Gurudeen seeking speedy disposal of a mutation case under Section 34 of the U.P. Land Revenue Act, within a stipulated period.
Significantly, the Court also highlighted that time has come when the Bar Council of the State, as well as the Bar Council of India, should deliberate on the issue of lawyers abstaining from work and pass appropriate resolution/ guidelines in this regard.
Submissions made before the Court
The counsel for the petitioner argued that several dates were fixed but the court below couldn't decide the case by complying with the order of the High Court passed in 2019 directing for speedy disposal of the case.
It was further submitted that the Presiding Officer was not present on several dates, and as such, the disposal of the case was being delayed hence a direction to dispose of the case within a time-bound period be issued.
The Court perused the order-sheet and found that a clear reason for being not present in the Court had been given that the Presiding Officer was busy due to administrative reasons.
Therefore, in this regard, the Court at the outset, observed thus:
"It is of common knowledge that the officers presiding over such courts are at times, required to attend various tasks by remaining present on the spot or being present in the office of the superior authorities, etc, in other words, by physically remaining out of their offices or busy for administrative reasons. Hence, the reason that Presiding Officer is busy due to administrative reason is broadly understandable, though it cannot be a ground for intentionally adjourning the matter."
Further, stressing that now the time has come to ascertain as to whether a substantial cause of delay was on the part of the lawyers or not by perusing the order sheet, the Court noted that after it passed an order (with regard to speedy disposal of the case), on 37 dates, the lawyers were not working and it was only on few dates they were present and proceedings were undertaken.
In this regard, referring to and reiterating its observations made in the case of Prafull Kumar v. State Of U.P And Another, the Court called it a glaring example of non-functioning of the lawyers at the revenue side.
"Lawyers cannot take the working of the Court for granted as on one hand, obviously, the lawyers must have charged their professional fee and thereafter, they are abstaining from work and on the other hand, they are seeking a direction to the Court concerned to decide the case within a specific period," the Court had observed in the Prafull Kumar.
"Lawyers Charge Professional Fee & Then Abstain From Work": Allahabad HC Refuses To Direct Time Bound Disposal Of A Case
Importantly, further noting that it is a case where even after obtaining the order from this Court, lawyers were abstaining from work and thereafter, again they approached the Court seeking for further direction, the Court remarked thus:
"At times contempt proceedings are initiated. Usually, experience of this Court in such matters is that initially the contempt petitions are also disposed of by giving one more opportunity to opposite party to decide the case/ comply the order of this Court. At times, again lawyers do not appear and second contempt petition is filed, whereon usually notices to Presiding Officers are issued. In such manner, the Advocates on the one hand, charge their professional fees and on the other hand, even after direction of this Court to argue the matter, they do not appear to argue the case on the ground of call for strike or resolution of the concerned Bar Association to refrain from work for any reason whatsoever. Hence, meaningless litigation is generated before this Court without there being any fruitful relief granted to the litigant."
Lastly, the Court issued the following directions to the Registry of the Court to send a copy of the order to:
Case title - Gurudeen v. State Of U.P. And 2 Others
Click Here To Download Order