‘Here to Seek Midnight Hearing But Not When We Call You’: CJI Censures Senior Lawyers for No-show

New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Thursday expressed his displeasure at the no-show by senior advocates even after they are specifically called for by the Supreme Court.

“When they want urgent listing of the matter, midnight or 2am, they are always here. But when we call them, they cannot come,” lamented Justice Gogoi. The CJI said he did not want to say anything more when the senior advocates choose not to show up despite the court’s specific requests.

At this, senior lawyer Rajeev Dhavan, appearing in the matter relating to Karnataka political crisis, said: “Now my lord is embarrassing us.” “Yes, we are…,” retorted the chief, expressing his anguish.

The judge was unhappy about the absence of senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi in the court on Thursday again even though the bench had adjourned the matter a day ago, specifying it will wait for Rohatgi and senior lawyer AM Singhvi before passing final order.

Rohatgi had argued for the two independent MLAs from Karnataka, seeking the floor test, while Singhvi appeared for the Speaker of the assembly.

Since the trust vote took place on Tuesday, the MLAs wanted their petition withdrawn but the bench headed by the CJI had said on Wednesday it will pass orders only in the presence of the senior advocates. The court was informed that Rohatgi is not in town but it still decided to wait till Thursday for him to come back.

However, when the matter was called out on Thursday, the bench was informed that Rohatgi cannot make it. This displeased the bench as it commented upon how senior lawyers queue up every morning to get their matters listed on an urgent basis but do not show up when the court seeks their presence.

The bench finally allowed the petition to be withdrawn but not without certain strong observations on the lawyers’ no-show.