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Lawyer is not just his client's mouthpiece; be responsible while making presentation to the court
Lal Bahadur Gautam Vs State of UP and Anr
CIVIL APPEAL NO(s). 4794 OF 2019
About/from the judgment:
"Time has come for these issues to be considered so that the citizen’s faith in the justice system is not lost."
Everyone has to be responsible and careful in what they present to the Court, said the Supreme Court while reiterating that a lawyer demeans himself if he acts merely as a mouthpiece of his client.
While defending the impugned High Court judgment which had dismissed the lecturer's writ petition, the counsel who appeared for the college relied on a Supreme Court judgment which the court found was not applicable in the facts of the case. The court said that the said judgment was based on an expressly repealed Act. The bench said:
"Notwithstanding the easy access to information technology for research today, as compared to the plethora of legal Digests which had to be studied earlier, reliance was placed upon a judgment based on an expressly repealed Act by the present Act, akin to relying on an overruled judgment. This has only resulted in a waste of judicial time of the Court, coupled with an onerous duty on the judges to do the necessary research. We would not be completely wrong in opining that though it may be negligence also, but the consequences could have been fatal by misleading the Court leading to an erroneous judgment."
The court observed that the litigants and their counsel have duty , to double check and verify before making any presentation to the Court.
"Considering that over the years, responsibility and care on this score has shown a decline, and so despite the fact that justice is so important for the Society, it is time that we took note of the problem, and considered such steps to remedy the problem. We reiterate the duty of the parties and their Counsel, at all levels, to double check and verify before making any presentation to the Court. The message must be sent out that everyone has to be responsible and careful in what they present to the Court. Time has come for these issues to be considered so that the citizen's faith in the justice system is not lost. It is also for the Courts at all levels to consider whether a particular presentation by a party or conduct by a party has occasioned unnecessary waste of court time, and if that be so, pass appropriate orders in that regard. After all court time is to be utilized for justice delivery and in the adversarial system, is not a licence for waste."
Reminding the duties of a lawyer, the bench, said:
"As a responsible officer of the Court and an important adjunct of the administration of justice, the lawyer undoubtedly owes a duty to the Court as well as to the opposite side. He has to be fair to ensure that justice is done. He demeans himself if he acts merely as a mouthpiece of his client."
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