The restrictions on oral mentioning in the Supreme Court have been relaxed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
Aside from Advocates-on-Record (AoRs), junior lawyers can now mention matters.
“Junior counsel can also mention matters, but they should be prepared”, CJI Dipak Misra said, while wishing the Bar a Happy New Year.
Misra J also clarified that the mentioning lawyer need not be accompanied by the concerned AoR.
In September last year, Misra J had made it clear that only AoRs would be allowed to mention matters. This, after an advocate raised an objection to Senior Counsel mentioning out of turn, while juniors and other lawyers had to wait in line.
Previous Chief Justices of India have imposed different rules as regards the practice. While Chief Justices MN Venkatachaliah and AM Ahmadi disallowed Senior Advocates from mentioning, this rule was diluted during the tenure of Justice Altamas Kabir.
Then, Justice RM Lodha had introduced guidelines to govern oral mentioning, after which Justice HL Dattubrought in a queue system, allowing only one mentioning per lawyer. Dattu J had also sought the views of the Supreme Court Bar Association on how to prevent out of turn mentioning by Senior Advocates in fresh matters.
Judging by how Mondays and Fridays went during the tenure of Justice TS Thakur, mentioning took up a significant chunk of the Court’s time.