High Court judge walks out after 12 cases deferred

Updated - June 23, 2013 11:40 pm IST

Published - June 23, 2013 11:37 pm IST - Kochi:

A High Court judge who had to defer 12 cases one after the other walked out of the court in frustration here recently. Less than an hour after he began the session on Friday morning, Justice K. Vinod Chandran walked out after advocates from the Advocate General’s office repeatedly seemed unprepared to present the government’s cases.

Some of the cases were passed over on request from government pleaders who requested more time. The judge’s patience wore thin as an advocate asked for a case to be kept aside as the office of the AG had not passed on the files regarding the case. The files regarding each case have to be passed on to the pleader representing the State in that particular case. After adjourning 11 cases, Justice Chandran was told that the government pleader in the 12 case of the day also had not received files from the AG’s office.

The case, incidentally, has been deferred repeatedly for the last three years. In the case relating to a cooperative bank at Bharananganam, the Court had suo moto impleaded the cooperative’s secretary and asked them to file a counter affidavit within three months, way back in 2010. No reply has been filed yet and the case simply had to be deferred each time it came up before the Court.

Justice Chandran, fed up with the lawyers’ responses, said their conduct was hampering the justice system and delaying justice to those who had approached the Court. Terming it a criminal waste of the Court’s time, the judge walked out of the court hall in frustration. He later summoned Advocate General K.P. Dandapani and Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association president Babu Paul to his chamber. He expressed his displeasure at having to defer cases repeatedly owning to what appeared to be the disinterest of lawyers from the AG’s office. He said lawyers should cooperate to ensure that the courts worked smoothly.

Mr. Paul said Friday’s incident was a one-off case. “I was told that the cases were on the provisional list, which incidentally had to be called right away on the day,” he said. Meanwhile, there have been allegations that government pleaders, in some cases recently, did not argue the government’s case properly as they were under pressure to lose their case.

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