NEW DELHI: It is the Supreme Court’s New Year’s gift for budding lawyers. Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Thursday allowed young lawyers to appear in his court to seek urgent hearing of cases, a practice that ended last September when the country’s top judge banned senior advocates from jumping the queue.
The Chief Justice had then ruled that only ‘Advocates on Record’ could queue up every morning when his court assembles to list urgent cases for out of turn hearing. The idea then was to ensure that senior advocates do not exhaust the time set apart by the court to listen to requests for urgent hearings.
But it left out the junior advocates, not yet entitled to appear for the court exam that earns them the privilege of being an Advocate on Record. A lawyer needs a minimum of four years’ experience and should have worked for another year under the guidance of an Advocate on Record to be entitled to write the exam
When the court assembled after the winter vacation on Thursday, Chief Justice Misra announced the change.
“Junior lawyers can also mention”, the top judge said, adding that the younger lawyers “should also learn” how to mention cases before the court.
The practice of lawyers requesting an urgent hearing is referred to as mentioning a case.During the tenure of the Justice SH Kapadia as then Chief Justice of India, this out-of-turn hearing was completely abolished.
Later, Justice RM Lodha during his period as Chief Justice of CJI stopped senior advocates seeking out-of-turn urgent hearings.