An Advocate has written to the Secretary General of Supreme Court highlighting his grievance against working of the Top Court's registry alleging discrimination in terms of listing and basis of "urgency" of cases.
Advocate Reepak Kansal exemplifies his grievance by pointing out the immediate listing of Arnab Goswami's petition which was filed on Thursday night and got listed on Friday at 10.30 am, "without pointing out any defects / urgency letter etc. by ignoring the earlier list of pending matter" as being discriminatory.
Expressing strong discontent regarding this "unequal opportunity" in listing matters, the Advocate further earmarks in his letter that there is preferential treatment adopted by the registry vis-à-vis listing cases.
"It is routine in the Registry where some law firms / influenced advocates are given preference by the section officers/ registry. this is discrimination and against the equal opportunity" the letter reads.
In this backdrop, Kansal further adds that that a case filed by him on April 17, 2020 is still pending & no response has come from the Registry even though he has made incessant complaints to the Hon'ble Chief Justice of India and Secretary General, Supreme court. In light of this, he has requested the Registry to look into this practice of "pick and choose policy" and take appropriate steps in this regard.
On the night of April 23, 2020, Arnab Goswami's petition seeking quashing of FIRs filed against him alleging communcal statements and defamatory overtures against Congress Leader Sonia Gandhi was filed. It was listed for the following day, i.e. Friday, April 24, 2020 at 10.30 before a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud & MR Shah.
The Supreme Court on Friday granted Three weeks protection from arrest to Arnab Goswami, Editor-in-Chief of the Republic TV, on the basis of the FIRs filed against him in States of Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Jammu & Kashmir.
The Bench also directed the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai to give protection to Republic TV Office and Goswami.
In the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the Supreme Court had issued a notification directing that the functioning of the Court will be restricted to urgent matters with such number of Benches as may be found appropriate.
"On reviewing the advisory issued by the Government of India and in view of the opinion of public health experts including medical professionals and also considering the safety and welfare of all the visitors, litigants, lawyers, court staff, security, maintenance and support staff, student interns and media professionals, the Competent Authority has been pleased to direct that the functioning of the Courts shall be restricted to urgent matters with such number of Benches as may be found appropriate"