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Cases of poor would go backstage, SC on mentioning of corporate cases

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New Delhi, Sep 27, 2021 – The Supreme Court on Monday pointed out the issue of frequent mentioning of corporate matters, where lawyers seek urgent listing, remarking that the cases in connection with the weaker sections and criminal matters would go backstage.

A bench, headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana, orally observed: “We are streamlining the system (the mentioning process) and here corporations want their matters to be listed first.”

The bench, also comprising Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli, made this observation when a senior advocate mentioned a corporate matter and requested the bench on priority listing for hearing.

Pointing out the criminal appeals, family disputes, and also the cases of poor people, which are pending for adjudication, the bench said: “There are pending criminal appeals, bail matters, and other cases of people of weaker sections too.” These are lagging, it added.

On August 11, the Supreme Court had said the reason for having a mentioning officer at the court was to ensure that senior advocates do not get priority, over junior colleagues, when it comes to mentioning of cases for urgent hearing.

A bench headed by the Chief Justice had said: “We do not want to give any special priority to the senior lawyers and deprive the junior lawyers of their opportunities.”

It added that this system was made, where all can make the mention before the mentioning registrar and added if requests are denied by the mentioning officer, lawyers could mention matters before it. Chief Justice Ramana said: “You can automatically mention if it is rejected. Present a specific case, I will look into it.”

He made this remark after advocate Prashant Bhushan, who was appearing on behalf of NGO Common Cause in connection with a PIL related to coal scam, said matters keep “languishing” for months despite being mentioned before the officers for urgent listing before benches.

The bench said the current mentioning process ensures that no lawyer gets the special priority. Chief Justice Ramana has discontinued the practice of allowing direct mentioning of cases for urgent listing before the benches, and instead, asked the lawyers to mention their cases before the designated official.  (Agency)

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