New Delhi, September 17
As India faces an uphill task of clearing a backlog of more than five crore cases, the Supreme Court has said the problem can’t be tackled if lawyers don’t cooperate.
“If the members of the Bar do not cooperate with the Trial Courts, it will be very difficult for our Courts to deal with the huge arrears,” a Bench led by Justice Abhay S Oka said.
The comments came from the Bench while deciding an appeal arising out of a Bombay High Court order staying the execution and operation of a decree passed by a district court on a suit filed by a firm engaged in selling country made liquor.
Noting that the trial court’s recording showed that one of the advocates had taken objections on every question during the cross-examination of a witness, it said, “We cannot refrain from recording certain disturbing features about the conduct of a member of the Bar while the trial was being conducted in this case.
“In the facts of the case, looking at the persistent objections raised by the learned advocate, the court was required to record a substantial part of the cross-examination in question and answer form which consumed a lot of time of the court, “ the top court said on Thursday.
As per data available on the National Judicial Data Grid, there is a huge pendency of suits in the trial courts in Maharashtra, it said.
“The members of the Bar must remember that fairness is a hallmark of great advocacy. If the advocates start objecting to every question asked in the cross-¬examination, the trial cannot go on smoothly. The trial gets delayed,” it said.
“While a trial is being conducted, the members of the Bar are expected to act as officers of the Court. They are expected to conduct themselves in a reasonable and fair manner,” it noted.
Dismissing the petition, the Bench said the high court was justified in granting stay pending final disposal of the appeal.
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