NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Wednesday said the new system of mentioning cases for urgent hearing before apex court officials instead of its benches directly has been put in place to ensure that senior lawyers are not given “special priority” over their junior colleagues.
“We do not want to give any special priority to the senior lawyers and deprive the junior lawyers of their opportunities. So this system was made, where all can make the mention before the mentioning Registrar”, a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana said when lawyer Prashant Bhushan raised the issue.
Bhushan, who was appearing on behalf of NGO ‘Common Cause’ in connection with a PIL related to coal scam, said matters keep ‘languishing’ for months despite being mentioned before the officers for urgent listing before benches.
“Even after urgent memos are filed, matters are languishing”, the lawyer said.
“First you go to the mentioning Registrar, and if it is disallowed, your right to mention before the bench is automatic,” the bench, also comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Surya Kant, said, adding that this practice ensures that no lawyer gets the special priority.
CJI Ramana has discontinued the practice of allowing direct mentioning of cases for urgent listing before the benches and has instead asked the lawyers to mention their cases before the designated official.
Bhushan said the rejection was not the issue, the point was even if the mentioning is allowed, the case does not get listed before the bench for hearing.
The CJI asked Bhushan to bring a specific case to his notice for necessary action.
“You can automatically mention it if it is rejected. Present a specific case I will look into it,” the CJI said.
Lawyer M L Sharma also raised the same issue of non-listing of cases despite mentioning before the designated court official.