A petition has been dismissed alleging adoption of a “pick and choose” policy by the Registry and of routinely giving preference to influential advocates in listings by Supreme Court.
Justice Arun Mishra headed the bench, dismissed petition filed by lawyer, Reepak Kansal, and imposed a fine of Rs 100 on him for filing the plea in which he had sought seeking a direction to its Secretary General & Registrar/officers in “not to give preferences to cases filed by influential lawyers/petitioners”.
“We are imposing a minimum cost of Rs 100 on you.”The Court
The allegations were that preferences have been given to some law firms and influential advocates by the Section officers and/or Registry of Supreme Court routinely for reasons “best known to them.”
On 19th June,the bench comprising of Justices Arun Mishra, Abdul Nazeer and M R Shah had heard the petition. Serious objections to the allegations raised by Advocate Reepak Kansal, who complained about the discrimination and undue preferences in the matter of listing of all cases in the SC Registry.
Observation by the Supreme court Bench
“How can you compare your Petition on One Nation One Ration Card to the plea of Arnab Goswami? What was the urgency? Why are you saying nonsensical things? All members of registry work day and night to make your life easier. You are demoralising them. How can you say such things?”
Objection made by Kansal
Kansal stated that the Section officers and/or Registry of Supreme Court routinely gave preferences to some law firms and influential advocates for reasons “best known to them”.
He also stated, “This is discrimination and against equal opportunity to get justice in this Hon’ble Court”.
“Because, the Respondent no. 2/ Filing Section take several days to check / point out the defects if, it is filed by an ordinary petitioner or lawyers and list the cases within few minutes by ignoring the defects / procedure if, it is filed by any influential lawyer or petitioner.There is no procedure was followed by the Registry i.e. filing application for urgent hearing or letter etc which was necessary for the urgent listing of the cases during nation lock down,”The plea contended
Contention was also made that, Kansal complained to Secretary General of the Apex Court via email but No response was given by the respondents, seeing the “discriminatory” practice adopted by the Registry and after failing to get his petition listed despite a letter of urgency on record annexed with the petition.