6 July, 2020
Article 32 of the Constitution
The petitioner, who is an Advocate practicing in this Court, has filed the writ petition under Article 32 of the Constitution of India against various officers of the Registry of this Court and the Union of India. Prayer has been made to issue an appropriate Writ, Order or Direction in the nature of Mandamus directing the respondents not to give preference to the cases filed by influential lawyers/ petitioners, law firms, etc. Prayer has been made to direct the respondents to give equal treatment to the cases filed by ordinary lawyers/ petitioners and not to point out unnecessary defects, refund the excess court fee and other charges, and not to tag the cases without order or direction of the Court with other cases. It is averred in the petition that equal treatment has not been given to the ordinary lawyers/ litigants.They favour some law firms or Advocates for reasons best known to them.The petitioner's first instance is that a Writ Petition was filed by him on 16.4.2020. The Registry pointed out three defects, i.e. (1) Court Fee, (2) Documents to be placed as per index, and (3) Details given in index were incomplete and annexures were not filed. The petitioner had clarified that he had paid the court fee and there was no annexure with the petition. However, the petitioner was forced to pay more court fees to get the matter listed. Despite the letter of urgency, the Registry failed to register and list the writ petition. The second instance given by the petitioner is that a Writ Petition was filed on 12.5.2020, which has not been listed by the Registry till today. He was informed that there were no defects in the writ petition, but a copy of the writ petition was missing. The third instance given is about Writ Petition filed by the petitioner on 20.05.2020. The Dealing Assistant pointed out defects on 26.5.2020.The petitioner clarified that the signed documents were already uploaded. The matter was urgent, and he had uploaded them again along with signed documents on 26.5.2020. Again the defects were pointed out on 29.5.2020 by the Dealing Assistant .The petitioner cured the defects on 29.5.2020. After that, the Dealing Assistant did not recheck the matter. On 2.6.2020, the petitioner made a call and requested the Branch Officer concerned to direct the Dealing Assistant to recheck the matter and the matter was rechecked and numbered ,The case was verified and listed. The application for urgency was not considered. The petitioner was informed that the case was likely to be listed on 6.7.2020. He sent an email about the urgency. It is averred that on 23.4.2020, WP Arnab Ranjan Goswami v. UOI was filed at 8.07 p.m. without annexure. The Registry had chosen not to point out any defects, and a special supplementary list was uploaded on the same day. The category was not specified in the notification to be heard during a nationwide lockdown. No procedure was followed by the Registry for urgent hearing during the lockdown. The petitioner made a complaint to Secretary General against illegal activities of the Registry but the same is without response. We have heard the petitioner. Writ Petition was filed on 17.4.2020 during the nationwide lockdown, under Article 32 of the Constitution of India with a prayer for the One Nation One Ration Card Scheme. The Union of India was directed to examine whether it was feasible for it to implement the Scheme at this stage or not and take appropriate decision in this regard, keeping in view the present circumstances. Accordingly, the writ petition was disposed of. Although defects were noted, Writ was listed, heard,and finally decided on 27.4.2020. Concerning the second instance dairy which was filed by petitioner on 9.5.2020, the Registry has noted several defects on 14.5.2020. The petition is still lying with defects. Concerning the third instance the same was filed on 20.5.2020. Again, a defective petition and defects were pointed out by the Registry on 26.5.2020 that the whole index was blank. Petition, Affidavit, Vakalatnama, Memo of Appearance, and Application were allun signed with a deficit court fee, etc. The petitioner removed the defects. The matter was processed and listed on 9.6.2020 and was heard and dismissed on 12.6.2020 as other matters on the similar issues were pending as such the matter was not considered to be necessary.
The Bar Council has the power to discipline lawyers and maintain nobility of profession and that power imposes great responsibility. At the same time, a Judge has to guard the dignity of the Court and take action in contempt and in case of necessity to impose appropriate exemplary punishment too. A lawyer is supposed to be governed by professional ethics, professional etiquette and professional ethos which are a habitual mode of conduct.He is a privileged member of the community and a gentleman. The Bar Council of India under its supervisory control can implement good ideas as always done by it and would not lag behind in cleaning process so badly required. It is to make the profession more noble and it is absolutely necessary to remove the black sheeps from the profession to preserve the rich ideals of Bar and on which it struggled for the values of freedom. It is basically not for the Court to control the Bar. It is the statutory duty of Bar to make it more noble and also to protect the Judges and the legal system,not to destroy the Bar itself by inaction and the system which is important pillar of democracy.” The Registry is nothing but an arm of this Court and an extension of its dignity. Bar is equally respected and responsible part of the integral system, Registry is part and parcel of the system, and the system has to work in tandem and mutual reverence.We also expect from the Registry to work efficiently and effectively. At the same time, it is expected of the lawyers also to remove the defects effectively and not to unnecessarily cast aspersions on the system
We find no ground to entertain the petition. We expect the petitioner to be more careful and live up to the dignity of the profession which it enjoys. We dismiss the petition and impose cost of Rs.100/ (Rupees One Hundred only) on the petitioner as a token to remind his responsibility towards noble profession and that he ought not to have preferred such a petition.
Section 20(b)(ii)(B) of Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 (NDPS Act)
Clause 45.2 of the General Conditions of Contract, Orissa Sales Tax Act, 1947