New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Attorney General K.K. Venugopal on Wednesday recommended the Supreme Court adopt a good practice from the Pakistan Supreme Court in connection with the order of arguments advanced in a case.
The AG reckoned the apex court can follow its Pakistan counterpart, at least on this aspect in bringing order during a hearing in the court.
The top law officer, who was appearing for the Centre in nearly 60 petitions challenging the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), said, if possible, a podium can be installed at the centre of the Chief Justice’s courtroom and then one lawyer be allowed at a time to argue their case.
The courtroom was jam-packed during the brief course of hearing.
Venugopal insisted he finds it utterly inappropriate when lawyers advance arguments simultaneously, instead of following an order to present their respective case.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justice B.R. Gavai and Surya Kant expressed agreement with the AG’s suggestion.
As the Chief Justice observed that he is unable to make out who is arguing what on the matter, Venugopal said: “People talk together and address the court. In Pakistan Supreme Court, where they have a podium, only one lawyer can come on it and speak. And here, many lawyers argue before the court at the same time and it is difficult to understand.”
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal commenced the arguments on the petitions challenging the Act, and after a few minutes, lawyers representing other petitioners started their own arguments.
At this, Chief Justice Bobde had to intervene and asked the lawyers to not speak out of turn.
As the AG said the Chief Justice’s courtroom is the only court where so many lawyers speak together, and insisted that the same practice does not happen in any other court, the Chief Justice responded: “We don’t know if it happens in any other court or not. But, it happens in this courtroom.”
The AG said that the practice of lawyers following order on advancing arguments is much better in various High Courts. “The same lawyers who argue in High Court are apparently more disciplined. But, when lawyers begin to argue in this courtroom, they speak at the same time,” he said.
The Chief Justice said he could not comment on adopting the procedures followed in the High Courts, but in this courtroom, he has been asking lawyers not to speak together while addressing the court. Appreciating the AG’s remarks, he left it for the lawyers to a cue from these observations.