New Delhi, Aug 25 : A two-judge bench on Tuesday got annoyed when a lawyer, appearing through video conferencing, did not open his mouth despite being called thrice for a response.
A bench headed by Justice R F Nariman and comprising Justice Navin Sinha said, “Despite the fact that the mike was on and despite the fact that he (lawyer) was told by the court at least three times that he should open his mouth, he purposely did not do so because he was waiting for a senior advocate.”
The bench observed that the advocate should have informed the top court that he was waiting for the senior advocate instead of indulging in tactics of this kind. “We strongly deprecate tactics of this kind. We do not want advocates to take advantage of a non-physical hearing system when it is working on both sides”, said the bench.
The top court noted that despite all this it still heard the lawyer.
“Counsel exhorted us to appoint a retired Judge instead of a senior advocate, which is what was done by the Bombay High Court. We do not think in the fitness of things that we should interfere given our discretionary jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution”, said the top court dismissing the special leave petition. The remarks from the bench came during the hearing of – Dilip Buildcon Ltd. Vs Topworth Infra Pvt Ltd.
Since March, the top court has been taking up matters through video conferencing. On August 19, the Supreme Court seven-judge committee led by Justice N.V. Ramana had asked court officials to prepare three big courtrooms to begin physical hearings within a week.
The Supreme Court in a communication to the president of Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association said, “On an experimental basis, and as a pilot scheme, three amongst the bigger courtrooms may be got prepared, within a week’s time through concerned agencies, strictly adhering to the prescribed distancing and other norms and as per medical advice with regard to physical infrastructure required in these courtrooms.”
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