CJI concerned about lack of crowd management in Supreme Court

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde  

The court was chock-a-block during the hearing of over 144 petitions challenging Citizenship Amendment Act

Chief Justice of India Sharad A. Bobde expressed concern over the the noise and lack of crowd management in the Supreme Court. The CJI’s court was chock-a-block with lawyers and litigants, leaving hardly any space to stand, ahead of the hearing on 144 petitions challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act of 2019, on Wednesday.

This comes a day after an intern fainted during a Constitution Bench hearing before a Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana and had to be carried out of a similarly crowded courtroom for urgent medical attention.

Consultation with experts

Chief Justice Bobde said the court was in consultation with experts for a solution to the problems of crowd management and ventilation in the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice Bobde suggested that more room can be made in the middle aisle of the CJI court if lawyers waiting in queue for urgent mentioning of cases can be divided into two rows for entry and exit. The CJI said a lectern could be placed for lawyers in the middle to conveniently mention their cases.

Attorney General K.K. Venugopal said the problem of overcrowding was not just seen inside courtrooms but also out in the corridors of the Supreme Court, rendering it almost impossible for lawyers to reach the courts in time when their cases were called for hearing.

Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan suggested positioning court marshals and security personnel at vantage points to control the crowd.

“But how do we discipline advocates? Security can clear the crowd but if they push there will be trouble,” the CJI reacted.

When senior advocate Indira Jaising said women lawyers suffer being pushed around, the CJI said the situation was inhumane and the problem affected lawyers regardless of their gender.

Finally, the CJI suggested a meeting with senior lawyers to brainstorm likely solutions to the problem.

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Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 2:18:54 AM |

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