NEW DELHI: The old practice of designated senior lawyers mentioning cases for out-of-turn listing and urgent hearing today came to an abrupt end, with the Supreme Court making it clear that from now on, only Advocates-on-Record (AoRs) can mention such matters.
The courtroom of the Chief Justice of India (CJI), where matters for out-of-turn hearing are mentioned, had yesterday witnessed noisy scenes after a lawyer complained that while his senior colleagues were being allowed to mention such cases, junior members of the bar were denied such opportunity.
"Only Advocates on Record will mention henceforth," CJI Dipak Misra thundered as soon as Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta started mentioning a matter for urgent hearing.
Deafening silence dawned in the otherwise chirpy and crowded courtroom, the moment the CJI made public the decision that lawyers, except AoRs, cannot mention matters for urgent hearing.
AoRs are the lawyers authorised by the apex court to file cases and pleadings before it. The apex court conducts examinations to designate a lawyer as an AoR.
The bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, had yesterday expressed annoyance when a lawyer had complained that junior members of the bar were not allowed to mention cases.
"We cannot spend the whole day and allow mentioning to go on like this," it had observed.
Yesterday, senior lawyers including former Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi and Anand Grover had mentioned their matters, following which the court had started hearing the already listed cases.
One of the lawyers, P V Dinesh who was in the queue, had then objected and alleged that senior advocates have been allowed to mention multiple cases, but others should also get at least a chance as all litigants cannot afford big advocates.
Some lawyers, who were also in the queue, supported their colleague, leading to noisy scenes in the packed courtroom.