“The advocates must not file adjournment slips unless it is for a very very important reason. There is no concept of adjournment slips in the High Courts.I have continued with the practice in the SC expecting cooperation from the lawyers. But I do not want the Supreme Court to be reduced to a ‘tarikh pe tarikh court’. It does not send a good image of the highest court to the public,” said theCJI referring to Sunny Deol’s angry outburst in the film ‘Damini’ over the sturbborn pattern of clients seeking adjournments and the courts, very often, granting the requests.
The CJI said with the help of two advocates bodies – SC Bar Association and SC Advocates on Record Association – the registry has been able to cut down the time between filing of a fresh case and its listing before a bench for hearing. But, the adjournment requests create a major hindrance in expeditious hearing of the pending cases.
Justice Chandrachud said between September 1 and November 3, advocates have sent in on an average 154 slips daily seeking adjournment of listed cases for Mondays and Fridays, when the court takes up fresh and after notice cases for hearing.
The ‘tarikh pe tarikh’ line from ‘Damini’ had hit a chord with the public because of the lived experience of court proceedings turning out to be a never-ending affair.
The perception has been fuelled by the long average life of civil and criminal cases in the trial courts as well as constitutional courts, where more than four crore cases are pending.