14 Sep 2023 7:26 AM GMT
The Supreme Court today expressed its strong disapproval today when a junior counsel appeared before it unprepared and sought an adjournment. In a stern response, the Court levied costs on the Advocate-on-Record responsible for sending the ill-prepared junior, highlighting the adverse impact of such conduct on both the court's proceedings and the junior counsel's professional growth.The...
The Supreme Court today expressed its strong disapproval today when a junior counsel appeared before it unprepared and sought an adjournment. In a stern response, the Court levied costs on the Advocate-on-Record responsible for sending the ill-prepared junior, highlighting the adverse impact of such conduct on both the court's proceedings and the junior counsel's professional growth.
The incident unfolded during a routine hearing before a bench comprising CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice Manoj Misra, where a junior counsel requested an adjournment for his matter. CJI DY Chandrachud, presiding over the bench, urged the junior counsel to start arguing the case. However, to the astonishment of the court, the junior counsel confessed that he had no knowledge of the case's details.
When the lawyer said that he has no instructions to argue the case, CJI replied, "we are under instructions to hear the case from the Constitution".
CJI also emphasized the infrastructural costs involved in running the court and instructed the counsel to commence the argument. He said–
"There are infrastructural costs involved. Start arguing."
The flustered junior counsel reiterated his need for instructions and stated that he did not know what the matter was about. This prompted Justice Narasimha to interject, admonishing him for coming before the Supreme Court without even taking a briefing on the case. He said–
"You can't come before the Supreme Court without even taking a briefing."
The CJI, clearly irked by the unpreparedness of the counsel, emphasized that the court could not be taken for granted and instructed the Advocate on Record to appear before the bench. The CJI said–
"You cannot take this court for granted. Please call the advocate on record...ask him to appear before us."
Later in the day, the AoR appeared before the court and apologised for the issue that had arisen.
However, the CJI was not satisfied and questioned why a junior counsel had been sent without any preparation, describing it as an attempt to burden the court with unnecessary work. The CJI further inquired if this was the standard practice for training junior lawyers in the bar. He said–
"Why would you send a junior without any scrap of paper? You send unprepared juniors so that the court has to do all the hard work...Is this the way you train juniors in the bar? Send them without any papers?"
The AoR expressed sincere apologies, recognizing the gravity of the situation.
However, the CJI seemed unconvinced and ruled that the AoR must deposit cost of Rupees 2000 to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and provide a receipt as evidence of payment. In his concluding remarks, the CJI emphasized that sending an unprepared junior without any papers was detrimental both to the court's proceedings and the junior counsel's own professional development. Passing the order, he said–
"A junior was sent unprepared without any papers... Matters cannot be conducted in this manner. This is doing disservice both to court and to the junior who is made to appear without any papers. Advocate on Record shall deposit costs to SCBA and produce receipt of the same."
Case Title: Dr Gopinath Tiwari v. The State of Uttar Pradesh | Transfer Petition(s)(Criminal) No(s). 450/2022
Click Here To Read Order