SCBA chief writes to top court, complains against ‘extraordinary listing’ of Arnab’s plea
The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) president has objected to the “extraordinary” listing of the petition filed by Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Manoranjan Goswami and has questioned the Supreme Court Secretary General to disclose whether any order or direction to list the matter was issued by the Chief Justice of India in this regard.
SCBA President and senior advocate Dushyant Dave in a communication dated Tuesday to Supreme Court Secretary General Sanjeev S Kalgaonkar said, “I address this letter to you (Secretary General) as the President of the SCBA to lodge strong protest with regard to the subject matter which has been listed for tomorrow (Wednesday)… I am not writing this letter to anyway interfere in with his (Goswami’s) rights to move the Supreme Court….The serious issue here is selective listing of matters that the Registry under your leadership is indulging in for last eight months during the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The communication (though not on official letterhead) said, “It is deeply disturbing as to how and why every time Mr Goswami approaches the Supreme Court, his matter gets listed instantly.” Dave complained that he received complaints from several advocates on record (AoR) that the “matters filed by them are not getting listed for weeks and months though very urgent and involving serious issues requiring the Court’s urgent intervention including Bail matters.”
Goswami had approached the apex court against an order of the Bombay High Court passed on Monday refusing interim bail in a 2018 abetment to suicide case. Dave stated, “The subject matter was filed yesterday, it got instant diary number, though not final, and it is listed tomorrow. This is a gross abuse of administrative power, whosoever has exercised it on the administrative side. It gives an impression that clients represented by certain lawyers are getting special treatment, which does not speak well of the great Institution, that the Supreme Court is.”
The letter goes on to say that “it is quite well known that such extraordinarily urgent listings of matters cannot and does not take place without specific orders from the Chief Justice of India,” as he wished to know whether any specific order was issued in this regard by CJI.
Without specifying which cases got listed in an extraordinary way, the SCBA President referred to the case involving the arrest of Congress leader P Chidambaram who could not get “similar speed listing” and had to spend long months in jail till the Supreme Court granted him bail. Dave questioned why this was happening despite the listing process being computerized. He also questioned how matters are getting circulated before few benches.
Dave demanded that till all matters filed by various AORs with urgent listing requests prior to November 10 are listed, Goswami’s matter should not be taken up and requested to put up this letter before the bench that will take up Goswami’s case on Wednesday.
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