NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday got irked when several lawyers simultaneously started arguing loudly during the hearing on a batch of pleas challenging the constitutionality of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
It was Attorney General KK Venugopal, representing the Centre, who first objected to the noisy arguments advanced simultaneously by several lawyers in the crowded courtroom presided over by Chief Justice SA Bobde. "Four people talk together," he told the bench which also comprised Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant.
The top law officer said that the same lawyers follow the rules when they appear in high courts and here they are arguing simultaneously. "In UK, only one lawyer can address the court at a time," the CJI observed, adding that the lawyers should not argue in this manner.
Venugopal then gave the illustration of Pakistan's Supreme Court and said that there one lawyer can address the court by standing at a podium made in the courtroom. "It is in Pakistan Supreme Court. I have been there. There is a lectern in the middle for the lawyer. We should have it here also," the law officer.
The mentioning of Pakistan led to a burst of wave laughter in the packed courtroom. The impugned law provides Indian citizenship rights to non-Muslim migrants of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The top court on Wednesday decided to examine the constitutional validity of the CAA but refused to stay its operation.