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CJI Ranjan Gogoi says no mentioning, urgent matters in Supreme Court till parameters are worked out

The newly-appointed Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi on Wednesday said that "parameters" will be worked out for urgent mentioning and hearing of cases and that "no urgent mentioning of cases will be allowed" till the parameters are fixed. "We will work out the parameters then we will see as to how mentioning will be done," he said. "If somebody is going to be hanged tomorrow, then we can understand (urgency)", the CJI said.

 CJI Ranjan Gogoi says no mentioning, urgent matters in Supreme Court till parameters are worked out

File photo of Justice Ranjan Gogoi. PTI

In Supreme Court, Gogoi said: "No mentioning! We are working out the parameters….if someone is being released today, then yes….if someone is being hanged today, then yes….if somebody is being evicted today, then yes….if there is a risk of demolition, yes….beyond that, No!"

In fact, when advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, while trying to mention a matter in the apex court, welcomed the newly-appointed CJI, Gogoi cut him short. Nedumpara reportedly said, "All the best as the captain of the ship," Gogoi said, "Mr Nedumpara, we don’t need this. You are here to mention? No mentioning till parameters are worked out." The new CJI also refused to pass over a case. “No pass over, argue your case," Gogoi remarked.

When a counsel attempted to make a mention saying that he has flown all the way from Mumbai on Wednesday morning, Gogoi said, “You may have flown in from anywhere."

Subsequently, advocate Prashant Bhushan also sought to mention a plea in the light of attempts to deport seven Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar. But Gogoi declined to grant an immediate listing without perusing the contents of the application. “We have already lost five minutes," Bar and Bench reported the CJI as saying.

Until now mentioning for — inter-alia early listing, tagging, filing interventions or replies — was done before the first court (since the Chief Justice of India is the administrative head of the Supreme Court) only at 10.30 am everyday and the same would take around 20 minutes of the court.

Earlier, during the tenure of Dipak Misra, the former CJI had put an end to the practice of lawyers mentioning urgent matters and had ordered for such cases to be mentioned before the top court's Registrar. However, the lawyers could approach the court of the CJI if they were aggrieved by the order of the Registrar.

In January 2018, , besides the advocates-on-record (AoRs), the court had allowed junior lawyers to also mention cases before it for out-of-turn listing and urgent hearing, reports said. Misra had at that time remarked, "It is essential that the junior advocates also learn the art of mentioning. So they may too be allowed to make mentions besides the AORs, subject to the condition that they be very accurate."

"Articulation and preparation are the two requests to junior counsels making mentions in the morning," he had urged.

However, it was in Misra's tenure when a notification was issued in 2017 asking lawyers and litigants not to orally mention fresh cases before any other Supreme Court judge except before the bench presided over by the Chief Justice of India.

It was Chief Justice MN Venkatachaliah who started the practice of barring senior advocates from mentioning. The tradition continued during the tenure of Chief Justice AM Ahmadi. However, the practice was diluted over the years and subsequently, CJI HL Dattu regulated it by introducing a queue system and allowing only one mentioning for one lawyer, a Bar and Bench report states.
But even before CJI Dattu, it was during the tenure of CJI RM Lodha that guidelines were issued for oral mentioning of cases. According to these guidelines, the Deputy Registrar (Mentioning) would first process the request of mentioning. The Supreme Court Bar Association had also come up with suggestions to disallow unlisted, out of turn mentioning by senior advocates in fresh matters. It had suggested that mentioning in pending matters be made only before the bench hearing the matter and that fresh unlisted mentioning should be placed before the first five benches of the court, the report said.

Meanwhile, CJI Gogoi also notified changes in the Supreme Court roster. While Public Interest Litigations (PILs) will still be heard by the CJI, some of would be listed before Justice MB Lokur as well, on directions by the CJI.

Here is the roster of the work for fresh cases in the Supreme Court:

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Updated Date: Oct 03, 2018 19:24:51 IST