Supreme Court Shocked by Plea Challenging Articles 20 & 22


LI Network

Published on: October 31, 2023 at 14:56 IST

In a surprising turn of events, the Supreme Court expressed shock and disapproval at a writ petition filed to challenge the constitutionality of Articles 20 and 22 of the Constitution.

The Court pulled up the lawyers responsible for submitting such a petition, emphasizing that Advocates-on-Record (AoRs) should not be mere signing authorities who file petitions without carefully examining their contents.

The matter had been brought before the Court on October 20, and the lawyers were previously directed to appear in person. The Public Interest Litigation in question sought a declaration that Articles 20 and 22 were violative of Articles 19, 14, and 21.

During the recent hearing, the Bench, consisting of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia, expressed its deep concern regarding the PIL and went as far as to describe it as “atrocious.”

Justice Kaul expressed his disappointment with the practice of lawyers who serve as AoRs and raised questions about their responsibilities in scrutinizing the cases they file.

He asked the AoR involved in the case how they could file such a petition without careful consideration. Justice Kaul highlighted that being an AoR implies a certain level of familiarity with the law and procedures, and their role includes a preliminary review of the content of the petitions.

The Court firmly conveyed that it found the situation shocking and questioned the number of years of practice the lawyers had.

The response was “nine years.” Justice Kaul suggested that the Bar council licenses of all three individuals should be revoked, emphasizing that if such petitions are filed, the lawyers should not be allowed to continue practicing. The Court regarded the case as a serious matter, especially because it was an Article 32 petition in the highest court.

The bench not only expressed its dismay verbally but also dictated an order, stressing the seriousness of the matter. It directed the drafting counsel, the AoR, and the main counsel to submit affidavits explaining the circumstances under which the petition was filed. The Court was troubled by the fact that a recognized AoR had signed such a petition without thoroughly examining its content.

Furthermore, the bench expressed the need to establish a method to ensure that AoRs do not merely act as signing authorities and invited suggestions from the legal community. Justice Kaul emphasized that the aim was not to punish anyone but to maintain discipline in the legal profession.

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