Civil Procedure Code (CPC)

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Case Background

  • The Uttarakhand High Court, in four cases, has passed some controversial comments against a senior practicing lawyer, in its order.
  • The lawyer had approached the Supreme Court seeking the removal of the said observations passed against him by the High Court.
  • The Supreme Court had appointed Mr. Amar Dave as the Amicus Curiae to assist the Court in this matter.
  • It was submitted that the Appellant-Lawyer has filed this suit, not to look into the merits of the case or the order, but to only request the Court to expunge the remarks against him.

The High Court’s Comments

Below are some of the dissenting comments against the conduct of the Appellant-lawyer that were highlighted by the Counsel for the Appellant as well as the Amicus Curiae in the case:

  • The counsel for the petitioner deliberately created a wrong example for the pious institution.
  • The counsel for the plaintiff/appellant was intentionally attempting to make a mountain of a mole, which this Court will not hesitate to re mark that was a brutal assassination of time for those other litigants, whose matters were pending consideration on the said date before this Court. It is further reflected that as if it was not an argument for the case but rather for the visitors’ gallery.
  • In order to avoid an argument at admission stage of the present Second Appeal before this Court, the Counsel for the Appellant submitted that in a prior proceedings which was held before this Court, since he had appeared as a counsel on behalf of the defendant/Appellant herein, an attempt was made at a later stage of arguments, to avoid to address of the Second Appeal on its merits before this Court.
  • The Learned Counsel intended to mislead the Court, or to avoid adjudication of the case on merits, or to pose difficulty to the Court.

Appellant’s Contentions

  • The Appellant’s advocate, Senior Counsel Mr. Mukul Rohatgi, submitted that the remarks made against the lawyer was irrelevant and unnecessary for the Court’s judgement in the concerned cases.
  • It was also submitted that the Counsel was not given any prior notice before the passing of such observations.
  • The adverse comments have affected the reputation of the lawyer, who is a member of the Bar for 17 years.
  • References and citations of several cases were made to strengthen the arguments for deleting the observations from the order.

Court’s Order

  • The Apex Court Bench ofJustices R. F. Nariman and Hrishikesh Roy observed that the comments made by the Learned High Court Judge were personal rather than being professional.
  • The Bench also accepted the arguments of the Appellant stating that such remarks were irrelevant to the case judgement.
  • It was also observed that the appellant was not given the reasonable opportunity to be heard, thereby, violating the natural justice principle of audi alter partem.
  • In light of these issues, the Court allowed the appeal, and ordered the observations to be expunged from the order.

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