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Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain PIL Seeking Uniformity In Filing Process & Nomenclatures Across All High Courts

Padmakshi Sharma
1 Sep 2022 1:27 PM GMT
Supreme Court Refuses To Entertain PIL Seeking Uniformity In Filing Process & Nomenclatures Across All High Courts
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The Supreme Court, on Thursday, refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation filed by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay seeking directions to High Courts to take appropriate steps to adopt a "Uniform Judicial Code". The matter was heard by bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat and was dismissed as withdrawn.The petition sought directions for a uniformity in procedure...

The Supreme Court, on Thursday, refused to entertain a Public Interest Litigation filed by lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay seeking directions to High Courts to take appropriate steps to adopt a "Uniform Judicial Code". The matter was heard by bench comprising Chief Justice U.U. Lalit and Justice Ravindra Bhat and was dismissed as withdrawn.

The petition sought directions for a uniformity in procedure for registration, usage of common judicial terms, phrases and abbreviations and court fee. As per the petition, huge differences in terminologies existed not only in High Courts of several states but also within the benches of the same High Court. The petition provided an example of the Rajasthan High Court which has two benches and both of them, Jodhpur Bench and Jaipur Bench have varied terminologies adopted. The petition stated that this caused injury to citizens because the court fees sought for similar types of matters was different. It submitted that judicial equality was a matter of constitutional right and differentiation based on the jurisdiction of courts violated the right to equality under Article 14 of the Indian Constitution. Further, the petitioner submitted that this promoted regionalism and hence violated Articles 14 and 15. 

At the outset, Justice Ravindra Bhat interjected the counsel on behalf of the petitioner, Senior Advocate Gopal Sankaranarayanan and stated–

"Is the petitioner aware that this very thing had engaged the attention of the Chief Justices' Conference about 13 to 14 years ago. Resolutions were made, some courts implemented it, other high courts refused to...This is an issue but how do we implement it through a 32 PIL? Mr. Sankaranarayanan, you know the scheme of the Constitution. Those in the High Courts also know. What can be done, what cannot be done or perhaps what should be done."

CJI Lalit also had similar issues with the petition and stated– "Can this be considered under Article 32? Have a roll call of all states here everyone will be summoned?

This was followed by Justice Bhat expressing his displeasure at long pleadings. He stated that–

"If you ask me what requires to be done urgently, is to cut down pleadings. Today, all of you present pleadings which run into, it is not A to Z, sometimes it is ZZZ. You have to curtail pleadings, our tendency to spread over multiple pages, questions of law, grounds...actually we need to do that. This is subsidiary. Going forward, can we agree on a page limit for SLPs? That list of dates should not be more than 4 pages. Synopsis should not be more than 3 paras. Can we make a judicial order?"

 With this the bench asked the petitioner to withdraw it. The PIL was accordingly dismissed as withdrawn. 

CASE TITLE: ASHWINI KUMAR UPADHYAY v. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS 

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