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Registry is part and parcel of SC, Not Subordinate: SC warns petitioner for making reckless allegations against Registry, Reserves Order

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today reserved its order on a plea filed by a lawyer who alleged partiality and favouristism in the Supreme Court registry in listing of matters.

The Court said that reckless allegations cannot be made against the Registry that is working hard to make the procedure smooth for lawyers and litigants. (Reepak Kansal vs Secretary General of Supreme Court of India)

The Court was hearing a writ petition filed by Advocate Reepak Kansal against the Secretary-General and the Registry of the Supreme Court alleging that the Registry gives preferential treatment to influential law firms and litigants while listing matters.

The Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazeer heard the plea that stressed before the Court that guidelines and directions are needed to stop the Registry from "discriminating against ordinary lawyers."

During the course of the hearing, the petitioner in person sought to argue that the plea filed by Editor in Chief of Republic TV Arnab Goswami was listed in an urgent manner by the Registry whereas Kansal's plea filed days before Goswami's took days to be listed before the Court.

Questioning Kansal regarding the defects in his plea owing to which the listing was deferred, the Court said that an unnecessary allegation was being made by Kansal.

You are unnecessarily blaming the registry. Documents were missing in the plea (filed by Kansal) on May 29.
Justice Arun Mishra said

Kansal's plea was one concerning "One nation, one ration card" which had not been listed by the registry due to defects in the same. This was compared by Kansal with the petition filed by Arnab Goswami challenging the multitude of FIRs registered against him in various States which was listed within a day's time and taken up for hearing by the Court.

You are unnecessarily dragging Arnab Goswami case. Why are you saying such nonsense?
Justice Arun Mishra
You cannot compare One nation one ration card plea with that of Goswami. What was the urgency in your plea. Why are you making such allegations. Be responsible
Justice S Abdul Nazeer

The Court batted for the Registries of the Supreme Court as well as the High Courts and said that the Registries were putting in a lot of hard work to ensure a smooth process for the lawyers and litigants. The petitioner should have been responsible before making such allegations, the Court observed.

All registry in Supreme Court and High Courts are working day and night to make your life easier. How can you demoralize them?
Justice S Abdul Nazeer

The Court noted that the Registry is a part and parcel of the Supreme Court and not subordinate to the Judicial side. Having said so, the Court went ahead to reserve its order on Kansal's plea.

In his plea, Kansal had stated that after he filed a writ petition on April 17, the Registry had pointed out two "false defects". These included non-payment of court fee and failure to file annexures. However, Kansal insists that he had already paid the court fee and that there were no annexures in the petition he had filed. The plea states,

"The petitioner was forced to pay more court fee to get listed his matter.

Petitioner had also filed application and letter for urgency. Petitioner made several requests to list the matter. But the Registry failed to register and list the said writ petition."

There are many petitioner/lawyers have been suffering by unequal treatment by the Registry as the cases filed by some law firms/influential lawyers are immediately listed by Registry ignoring the cases of ordinary petitioner/lawyers.

reads the plea

Kansal had earlier written a letter to the Secretary General highlighting the "discrimination practised by the Registry" while listing cases, on the same day Goswami's petition was listed.

[READ ORDER]

Reepak Kansal registry order.pdf
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