Justice S Ravindra Bhat
Justice S Ravindra Bhat
Litigation News

"It is important to maintain quality in what you file", Justice Ravindra Bhat's advice to newly inducted AoRs

A lawyer entrusted with the responsibility of filing for a client must ensure that they do not lend their name for pleadings that are not up to the mark or are inconsistent, Justice Bhat advised the new batch of AoRs.

Shruti Mahajan

In a welcome workshop held for the newly inducted Advocates on Record this year, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, in his Presidential address, advised the young AoRs to ensure the maintenance of quality in their work.

While addressing the online welcome session held by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) for the newly inducted AoRs, the Supreme Court Judge said that for ensuring the legal and professional ethics, it is pertinent for filing lawyers to maintain quality in the pleas they file.

A lawyer entrusted with the responsibility of filing for a client must ensure that they do not lend their name for pleadings that are not up to the mark or are inconsistent, Justice Bhat advised the new batch of AoRs.

"Not only do you have to vet the pleadings before filing but also refuse to file them if there are inconsistencies. If you wish to make progress, you should be demanding regarding quality."
Justice Bhat told the inductees.
Justice Ravindra Bhat addressing the AOR Welcome Workshop
Justice Ravindra Bhat addressing the AOR Welcome Workshop

The institution of AoRs is one established for ensuring that responsibility and accountability can be fixed, Justice Bhat said. If every lawyer was allowed to file before the Supreme Court, there would be no way of ensuring accountability and responsibility.

When a case is taken up for hearing by the Supreme Court, the Court expects the AoR to be present, Justice Bhat said, emphasising that an AoR is a lawyer who is "on record" and "in that sense an officer of the Court"

"The Supreme Court expects an AoR to be present in Court and tell the Court what the case is about... and in that sense (AoR) is the officer of the Court."
Justice Bhat

The Judge also said that beyond filing, an AoR must also follow a method and a management system, complete with the maintenance of a register, maintenance of accounts, putting in writing updates, deadlines, and follow up notes as regards cases as well as understanding entered into with the client regarding fees.

It is also important for lawyers to be proactive with their work and ensure that pleadings and their filings have been completed well in advance so that there is no need for an adjournment to be sought. Moreover, another crucial aspect is to ensure all cases are regularly followed up on, Justice Bhat said.

The Judge also shed some light on the difficult times faced by everyone owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraged the new inductees to adapt to technology in these times and view these trying times as an opportunity.

Highlighting the difficulty faced by the young lawyers at a time like this when work is hard to come by due to the pandemic, the Judge also urged SCAORA to consider coming up with a mechanism where opportunities can be opened up for younger members of the Association, with senior and established AoRs assigning and outsourcing some drafting work to the newer lot of AoRs.

Justice Bhat ended his address with words of encouragement for the new AoRs.

"Be dedicated, be professional, and be sincere... You will be recognized for your work and continue to get encouragement."
Justice Bhat concluded.

In the first-ever online welcome workshop held by SCAORA, its President, Shivaji Jadhav, Secretary Joseph Aristotle, and Executive member Aman Hingorani delivered special addresses.

Joint Secretary Diksha Rai Goswami introduced Justice Bhat before his presidential address and the vote of thanks was delivered by Treasurer Nikhil Jain.

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