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Last Updated Wednesday November 15 2017 06:38 AM IST

Home work and speedy justice: Junior advocates can create a difference

Dr Rose Varghese
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Home work and speedy justice: Junior advocates can create a difference Junior advocates are more often tasked with seeking an adjournment of the case | Representative image

Courts of law are the last resort for the common man seeking justice yet cases are piling up in courts across India. Wrapped in those files are the hopes of thousands of people. A call from Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra for the advocates to desist from seeking adjournments should be read in this context.

The CJI said that advocates should come before a court only after preparing and studying the case at hand. If a court says it was postponing the hearing on a case, the advocate should be able to plead the judge to hear him out, the CJI said. We need collective effort to settle the cases. The reaction is a realization that the Indian judiciary can no longer afford a pile-up of cases.

Most often, junior advocates are tasked with seeking an adjournment of the case. Sometimes, the client may want it but in other situations, the adjournment is sought when the senior advocate is busy with some other case. The juniors should be able to present their case as well. The courts normally take a sympathetic stand when juniors try to present the case.

I had never gone to a court room without reading a case file in my seven years attached to the firm of S. Easwara Iyer. When judges such as Justice Subramaniam Potty and Justice Khalid held court, they were sure to ask about the nature of the case the moment you rose in the court hall. They were known to encourage junior advocates who could give a prompt reply. Many of the admission cases have been received in the file in this way.

A client’s life may be hanging by a thread in a case. You have to give a thought about the client’s situation in cases involving Fundamental Rights and human rights, public interest litigation, service matters and education affairs. How does a postponement affect their situation?

There are some clients who insist that only seniors argue their cases. Seniors should take their juniors into confidence and convince their clients. A junior can always ask for a case to be passed over for a short time if she thinks the senior’s presence is required in complicated cases.

Every profession demands 100 percent commitment, be it an advocate, doctor or teacher. Junior advocates should be able to make themselves an integral part of the firm they work with. Law students have to make hard work a habit right from their university days. Teachers should train them in hard work. Professional ethics and values are a part of this commitment.

It’s natural to think about earnings but that is always secondary.

(The writer is the vice-chancellor of the National University of Advanced Legal Studies)

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The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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