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'Time To Change Habits' : Supreme Court Sets Out Argument Time For Lawyers In Yatin Oza Case; Limits Judgment Citations

Srishti Ojha
28 July 2021 11:11 AM GMT
Time To Change Habits : Supreme Court Sets Out Argument Time For Lawyers In Yatin Oza Case; Limits Judgment Citations
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"Where in the world does hearings go on for hours and days together?", the bench exclaimed.

In the case related to the revocation of senior designation of Yatin Oza, the Supreme Court has laid out the exact number of minutes that the advocates would be allowed to argue for.A Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy has also set out the limit to the number of pages in the synopsis and number of judgements to be cited."Short synopsis to be filed in not more than...

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In the case related to the revocation of senior designation of Yatin Oza, the Supreme Court has laid out the exact number of minutes that the advocates would be allowed to argue for.

A Bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and R Subhash Reddy has also set out the limit to the number of pages in the synopsis and number of judgements to be cited.

"Short synopsis to be filed in not more than 3 pages each, and not more than one judgement cited per proposition", the Bench said.

While setting out the schedule of the hearing, the Bench stated that " Mr Datar and Dr Singhvi to take one hour between themselves. We have made it clear that we will not permit multiple companies to argue. Intervention application will be granted 15 minutes, and Mr Nikhil Goel 45 Minutes"

While deploring the practice of arguments going on for hours in a single case, Justice Kaul asked the lawyers present to enlighten him if there is any country that allows this practice.

Asking the Counsels to limit their arguments to the time limit set, Justice Kaul said  "We will read files and come and lawyers must understand this kind of a system of hearing. I wonder, I have been trying to see where in the world does hearing go on for hours together. Please inform me if you want where such a situation is permitted where people will argue for days together and hours together,I would like to be enlightened, certainly if you have some examples please give them to me. Otherwise time has come to change the habits."

The Bench further orally remarked that the arguments will have to be done in the given time or else the matter will be adjourned for a longer date, as that's the only some discipline can be brought.

"I'm left wondering, how do we dispose of an appeal pending for 10 years. How do we justify to a litigant that while suits that began 85 years ago are pending, some of the current matters are given priority and they go on for hours!" Justice Kaul said.

Justice Kaul added "I would like to be enlightened, I have searched for it I've not been able to find out, what is the structure in different countries . Even in England I haven't been able to find where such arguments can go on for ours. I would like to know if any system permits this".

"The synopsis have to be filed in advance, and we will confine you to your synopsis." the Bench said.

 "If you read the causelist, my causelist states that parties must file synopsis not more than 3 pages", Justice Kaul added.

"Many times we find 30 pages synopsis and 28 pages writ petition" Justice Reddy remarked .

While expressing concern over the large number precedents cited by the lawyers, the Bench also asked the Counsels to pick up one proposition and one judgement for each proposition, and not to put multiple judgements.

It may be noted that a Bench headed by Justice Kaul in its recent judgement in the Facebook-Delhi Assembly case had emphasised the need to restrict the time period for oral submissions by lawyers and to have 'more crisp, clear and precise' judgments which litigants can understand.

"Counsels must be clear on the contours of their submissions from the very inception of the arguments. This should be submitted as a brief synopsis by both sides and then strictly adhered to. Much as the legal fraternity would not want, restriction of time period for oral submissions is an aspect which must be brought into force. We really doubt whether any judicial forum anywhere in the world would allow such time periods to be taken for oral submissions and these be further supplemented by written synopsis thereafter. Instead of restricting oral arguments it has become a competing arena of who gets to argue for the longest time", Justice Kaul had observed in the judgment.

The present case is the appeal filed by Yatin Oza challenging the Gujarat High Court's decision to revoke his senior designation and to punish him for contempt of court over his social media comments against the Court.



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