CHENNAI: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Saturday urged lawyers to come prepared for their cases in a bid to curb the ‘disease of adjournment’. He said this during his address at the 125th anniversary celebrations of Madras High Court Heritage Buildings. Justice Misra emphasised the importance of ‘sitting on time’ and ‘maintaining punctuality’.
He called these “facets of rule of law” and said that anyone who did not follow this was violating the rule of law. “It is our obligation to sit on time as a judge (and) as lawyers to argue a case coming prepared,” Justice Misra said. “If a lawyer procrastinates, a judge doesn’t sit on time, both of them violate the rule of law. When you ask for an adjournment, you must understand you are being killed by allergy,” he said. He did not spare judges either. The CJI made it a point to add that judges should not succumb to what is famously called the ‘judges disease’ either.
He went on to add that even if judges call for adjournment, lawyers should politely inform the judge that they are ready to fight the case. “Not every case requires so much preparation. Please come prepared and don’t seek adjournment,” he said. Among the distinguished guests were Chief Minister ‘Edappadi’ K Palaniswami, who spoke on the magnificence of the building and its significance in our society even today. “The common man believes in the judiciary,” he said.
“The three main aspects that make this marvellous High Court are its judicial history, its beautiful architecture and traditional law implementation. Many a historic judgment has come from this building and the government pledges to continue providing the judicial department with anything that they require immediately.” The Chief Minister strongly advocated for the judiciary to be a separate entity.
“The legislative, executive and the judiciary must be independent and in Tamil Nadu, this has effectively been done.” Union Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad highlighted the need for speedy disposal of cases at the event. He particularly emphasised those that were pending for 10 years or more. He cited statistics ending December 31, 2016, that showed that the number of cases pending for over 10 years stood at 33,960 cases in the Madras High Court and 44,721 cases from all over the district.
“What I am trying to focus all over the country is that disposal of cases 10 years and above must be settled and adjudicated on a priority basis,” Prasad said. “May I request that we make a mission mode initiative to dispose of all the cases, which are more than 10 years old. That should be the benchmark and the commitment on this happy occasion…We want justice delivery to be a mass movement.” Chief Justice of Madras High Court Indira Banerjee, Attorney-General of India K K Venugopal and Advocate-General of Tamil Nadu Vijay Narayan and Supreme Court Judge R K Agrawal were among those who were present on the occasion.