14 Dec 2022 2:04 PM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, expressed disapproval of the practice in Odisha of suspending the whole day's work for condolence meetings at District Courts and High Court.While the Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka were hearing the plea, inter alia, about lawyers' strike in Odisha, demanding a new High Court bench at Sambalpur, Senior Advocate, Mr. Arvind Datar...
The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, expressed disapproval of the practice in Odisha of suspending the whole day's work for condolence meetings at District Courts and High Court.
While the Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and A.S. Oka were hearing the plea, inter alia, about lawyers' strike in Odisha, demanding a new High Court bench at Sambalpur, Senior Advocate, Mr. Arvind Datar apprised it about a peculiar problem that District Court and High Courts in Odisha are facing. He submitted that whenever a lawyer of the District Court passes away, the Bar Association calls for a meeting in the morning session, at 11AM. He alleged the same disrupts the functioning of the District Courts.
"This problem of holidays is happening again and again. One lawyer dies in the district court and they call a meeting at 11 o'clock and all the 60 judges of the District don't work. So some directions from the Supreme Court would be of great help."
The Bench emphasised that it is the duty of the legal fraternity to assist the litigant in providing redress to their grievance and not cause hindrance in the justice delivery process.
Considering the request of Mr. Datar to issue some directions with respect to condolence meetings, the Bench noted that the Supreme Court and most of the High call for a reference on a specific date. It encouraged the local Bar Associations in Odisha to determine the date on which the gathering can take place. However, the gathering can be once a month and in the afternoon session after 3PM.
"If there is an unfortunate demise of a lawyer, the work is called off in the morning itself, which disrupts the functioning of the Courts. While respecting the sentiments of the legal fraternity to pay their respects to any member of the Bar who may have passed away, the methodology adopted by the Supreme Court and almost all the High Courts is to have a reference or a gathering for the said purpose on specified dates, which the local Bar Association can determine. It should not be more than once a month and that too in the afternoon session after 3 PM so that the normal working is not disrupted, yet the sentiments which are certainly to be expressed are conveyed.
[Case Title: M/s. PLR Projects Pvt. Ltd. v. Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. And Ors. Diary No. 33859/2022]
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