SC refuses plea for early hearing on petition against Justice Patel's transfer

SC refuses plea for early hearing on petition against Justice Patel's transfer
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused a plea for urgent hearing on a petition seeking declaration of transfer of Justice Jayant Patel from Karnataka to Allahabad High Court as unconstitutional.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra declined the request made by advocate Mathews J Nedumpara on the ground that he was not represented by an advocate-on-record.

Nedumpara made mentioning of the petition filed by A C Philip, a party-in-person, as secretary of the National Lawyers' Campaign for Judicial Transparency and Reforms. The bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, however, said the mentioning (request for early listing of the petitions) can only be made by the advocates on record.

“The Advocates Act entitled us to appear before any court in the country. In that case, the law has to be amended,” the counsel contended.

“Now, you are questioning Constitutional power of the Supreme Court to frame rules. Then senior advocates should also be allowed to do mentioning,” the bench shot back.

CJI Misra had on September 20 declared that no senior advocate would be allowed to make mentioning for urgent or out-of-turn hearing of the cases filed in the Supreme Court. He said in open court, “only 'advocates on record' (those entitled to file cases in the apex court) will mention henceforth.”

Nedumpara then contended that there should be no dynasty in legal profession and practice of designating senior advocates must go.

This, however, angered the apex court's bench, which asked the counsel, “please go!”.

Nedumpara with his organisation has been spearheading a campaign against the Collegium system for appointment of judges. He had earlier argued in the matter concerning former Calcutta High Court judge Justice C S Karnan, sentenced to six months in jail for contempt of court. He had also challenged the system of grant of senior advocates' designation to lawyers by the High Courts and the Supreme Court.


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