Supreme Court
Supreme Court

Plea in Supreme Court against Secretary General and Registry for allegedly favouring known lawyers and law firms while listing cases

Debayan Roy

A lawyer has moved a writ petition against the Secretary General and the Registry of the Supreme Court for allegedly giving preferential treatment to influential law firms and litigants while listing matters.

Petitioner-in-person Reepak Kansal has urged the Court that guidelines and directions are needed to stop the Registry from "discriminating against ordinary lawyers."

The plea, which is listed for hearing on June 18 before a Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra, states that a mechanism needs to be established so that litigants are not "humiliated" and that "equal treatment is given to all litigants by avoiding Pick and Choose Policy as adopted by respondents".

Kansal states 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."

In comparison, Kansal states, Arnab Goswami's plea seeking quashing of the FIRs against him was filed at 8:07 pm and was listed for hearing the next day, within one hour.

The plea further states that another petition by him filed on May 12 has yet to be uploaded by the Registry. This was followed by another on May 19, where again "defects were pointed out by the Registry."

The petitioner has also stated that there is no mechanism for redressal of the complaints "against the erring officers of the Registry who favor some law firms/advocate for reasons best know to them."

"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."

Plea filed in Supreme Court

On these grounds and others, the petitioner has sought that the Court direct the Registry not to give preferential treatment to influential lawyers and litigants when listing matters. It is also prayed that the Registry be directed not to "point out unnecessary defects" and to refund the excess court fee demanded.

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 Petition]

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