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Phl'Ill',' 23070;-,,f I. _:I()WIJ7L :::.H)70:')O.\ ;.1\; ',1m() IS!>
To
The Hon 'ble Chief Justicc of India
Supreme Court of InJia
New Delhi.
Date; llih Jllne, 2012
1\ly Lord.
As lcpresentalivc of the Supr':mc Court Bar and in my
capm:ilY thl: Pr,,'si(knt, SCAORA, I seck to bring the 1()llowing
mattl:l'S for yuur k; Ild consiu<:ratiun.
I ) Need for consultation with the representative of the Bar in
regurd to admini!'trative decisions or practice direction
As advocatl:s practicing in this Hon'blc Court. we are ant-eted
by many administrative decisions made by your goodsclves
and the Registry of this Hon'ble Court. Earlier it \\'a3 the
practice of this Ilon'ble Court to consult the representatives or
thc Bar. Their view in policy decisions which affect the
p.actice and procedure- in this Hon'ble Court was taken into
consideration. In my earlier tenure as President of SCAORA I
was consulted as a Member of the Rules Committee \\hen the
rule relating to fees payable to Amicus Curie and Supreme
Court Rules under Order XLVIII Rule 2 to destruction
of record werc amended. In fact my suggestion in the dran
Rtde was incorporated in Rule. Howcver, this healthy practice
seems to have been discontinued. At present large nUl11her of
pra::lice directions are isslIcd without con ;ulting til.: Hal. ()nl\
tllc oflieers or the Registry who unfortullately !lol
fully Ihmiliar with the difficulties of litignnh and Bar
nnd arc also not familiar with past practice and procedure
or the Suprenw Court which have been devclopccl in last
50-(l() years ,)1 Suprcmc Court voice their \'il'\\>.lh.' [3al
by their e:\perience cnn suggest better prnctical solution tn
"mious problems. It is submitted that any chnn!,!e in the
existing practice or procedure can be well impkmentcd if
it is done with active involvement and support from both
Registry and the Bar so that there is no o\'erbcarancl'
from either side. This can be achieved by allowing a
representative of the Bar Associations III the Ruks
COI1lIll ittee of this Hon'ble Court as was the practice earlier.
It is submitted that the Bar and Registry an: not warring
rather they are two wheels of the same cart.
Co.:>pcratioJ1 of both of them is essential smooth nnd
spr:cdy administration of justice in this Hon'blc Court. A
ster in this direction by Your Lordship would go a long
\Va) in betterment of justice adm inbtration in this Hon'ble
Court and in the improvement in the relationship between
the Registry and the Bar.
2) Need for bridging the communication gap:
In last two years members of Bar, with due respect have
the feeling that there is serious communication gap
between Your Lordships and tpe Bar at an institutional
level. It is well known that members of the Bench and the
Bar are two equal pillars of the judicial system. YOl,r
Lordship did not join a single function arranged by
Advocates-an-Record, though they are the backbone of
Supreme Court working. The members have observed
w:th dismay and due respect th..'t Your Lordship did not
stay ev('n lor a minute for tea Jfter finishing urthe function
or Farewell P... rties for retiring Judges. It is respectfully
suggested the Open interactIon on such cccasions where
there can be free interaction of ideas in the interest of the
institution Ileed not and ought not to be avoided. It may be
recalled that there has been a tradition in England, which
has been adopted in India to ,lave a free interaction
between the Bench and the Bar for llluLml interest of the
Inst illltion.
It is submitted that for a synergetil: relali0nshir hetween
the Bench and the Bar. it is necessary to have proper
commlJllicption on key The communication channel
should b-: clear, prompt and free from unnecessary
procedural formalities and hassles and it is to be in
inform,II setting. It is submitted that Bar should have an
oppoltunit)' of voicing their concerns belcm: Y 0ur
Lordship and routing this through the Registry sometimes
causes unnecessary delays and latches. Sometimes
grievances are against working of the Registry. which can't
b(> rUlItcd through Registry. In the past. two of the
employees of this Hon 'ble Court were trapped and caught
redhanded. Many a time the letters submitted to the
Registry for perusal of My Lord are not even
acknowledged by the Registry and no response in respect
of the same is given. Members of the Bar are left guessing
whether the letter at all had reached its destination. [n my
letter dated 4lh March, 2012 addressed to My Lord. I had
specifically pointed out the bottlenecks created by one
sid:.!d decisions by the Registry which has resulted in
tout ism and malpractices in some of the offices of the
Registry. However. the said letter has not been
acknowledged nor any action ir. respect of the same is
takt:ll.
With due respect, it is submitted that effectivt'
communication can also be established in informal settings
like seminars. parties/dinners organized by the Bar on
like rcl:citation 011 rctiremc'1l nf' <.1' !11I.'
Bench. These gettogethers serve as melting pots where
many key issues can be resolved in an informal and free
atmosphere. with the involvement and cooperation of all
concerned. Due to paucity of time My Lord have not been
able to attend many of these functions, dinners or get
togethers. [ make a humble request to my lord to take some
time out of your busy schedule and grace these occasions
so that the members of the Bar have an opportunity of
meeting my lords and expressing their concerns.
3) Need for adequate vacations and holidays:
The practice of listing regular hearing matters during
slimmer vacations started about 5-6 years back when Bar
was wnsulted. The Bar had agreed with the decision of the
erSTwhile Chief Justice on a clear assurance that only those
matte;'s "'ill be listed during vacation where advocates of
all tile parties to the petition have no objection. At that
time, only those matters were listed during vacation where
lawyers of both sides had nc objection, The said
continued and the vacation benches used to hear regular
matters only with the consent of both parties posted during
vacations. The advocates .vith mutual co .. operation also got
large number of matters listed during vacations thus
resulting in disposal of a sufficient number or matters
durin;,; vacation without any resentment from any party.
During my earlier tenure as President SCAORA. the
Registry wellt back on its assurance and tried tn list final
hearing matters during vacations without the consent orthe
respective advocates. The representation to the Registry
was of no avail. It was then that I as president of the
SCAORA along",ith the President SCBA met the erstwhile
Chief Justice of India. The erstwhile Hon'ble CJI on
representation, appreciated the issue and immediately
modified the circular and directed the Registry to list only
those matters where there was consent of both the parties.
It is felt that the Registry has again got the circular re
issued by My Lord without bringing to your lordships'
notice the difficulties faced by the Bar and the carlier
representation to the erstwhile Chief justice. Whell the
aforesaid circular was reissued by the Registry. I myself
and President of S.C.S.A. made representation. But
nothing concrete has come out of the said meeting, It is
submitted ~ h a t the aforesaid circular has resulted in
cOlllpkt.;;urtailll1cnt of vacation (If AORs \1 h' c:II1!111\
leave the matter in lurch. Also, in matters of gravity like
imprisonment, prevention of corruption etc. the clients
require assistance of highly skilled senior advocates. most
of whom are not available during the vacation. This results
in inconvenience to the clients as well. It is tht'rernre
prayed that the aforesaid circular may be withdrawll at the
carl il.'st su that it may not be repeated in future.
Thanking you.
./'
(SUSHIL KL AfrJAIN)
-?JU::SI DENT