Lawyers should ensure that they do not suffer from the “disease of adjournment” and procrastinate the progress of cases, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra today said. In his address at the 125th anniversary celebrations of the Madras High Court Heritage Buildings, Justice Misra also said “punctuality is facet of rule of law”. “All of us, members of the bench and the assisting counsel, should clearly understand that it is our obligation to sit on time as a judge (and) as lawyers to argue a case coming prepared,” he said. “If a lawyer delays, procrastinates, a judge doesn’t sit on time, both of them violate the rule of law,” he said.
Justice Misra said no lawyer should suffer from “any kind of disease”. “I would say (that is the) disease of adjournment… When you ask for an adjournment, you must understand you are being killed by allergy…,” he said, adding judges should develop and antidote towards adjournment. Lawyers should keep in mind that “we should not procrastinate the cases,” he said, pointing out not all of them require preparation. “It is not that every case requires so much of preparation and all of you know it also… Please come prepared, don’t seek adjournment,” he said.
Even if a judge is inclined to grant adjournment, the lawyer should politely inform the former that he is ready with the case and that he could be heard. Union Minister of Law and Justice, Electronics and IT, Ravishankar Prasad said the government’s focus was on disposal of cases pending for 10 years and above. “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,” he said.Of the 2.97 lakh pending cases in Tamil Nadu, a little over 77,000 cases were over 10 years, Prasad noted, and called for a “mission-mode initiative” for their disposal.
Citing statistics ended December 31, 2016, he said the number of such cases at the Madras High Court was 33,960 while it was 44,721 in district and subordinate courts. “On the occasion of the 125 years’ erection of this magnificent building, this temple of justice, may I request that 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,” he said.