In a recent case, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court expressed displeasure over the unpreparedness of the standing counsel representing the state government. The case involved Ram Verma v. State of U.P., and the court took note of the standing counsel’s lack of preparation after around 10 minutes of argument.
The standing counsel requested additional time to study the matter, prompting the court to grant a week’s adjournment. However, not pleased with the apparent wastage of judicial time, the court imposed an exemplary cost of ₹25,000 on the Uttar Pradesh Government.
The court’s order stated, “As the matter has been adjourned after hearing for around 10 minutes, a cost of ₹25,000/- is imposed upon the respondent State for its counsel having wasted precious judicial time of the Court.”
The court directed the state government to deposit the imposed cost before the High Court Legal Services Sub-Committee in Lucknow within a week. Additionally, the court mentioned that the cost should be recovered from the individuals responsible for the unpreparedness.
This decision serves as a reminder to all standing counsels about the importance of being punctual and adequately prepared for court hearings. Advocates are expected to arrive on time, fully equipped with necessary documents and arguments, to avoid any unnecessary delays in court proceedings. The case also highlights the need for states to consider appointing additional standing counsels to handle the substantial workload and avoid overburdening existing counsels.
FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT
Rejoinder affidavit filed today is taken on record.
After the matter has been argued for around 10 minutes, the Court had gone through the provisions of the Arms Act, 1959 as well as the judgements as cited by learned counsel for the petitioner and noted the arguments of learned counsel for the petitioner, learned Standing Counsel prays for some time to study the matter.
As such, on his request list this case after a week.
As the matter has been adjourned after hearing for around 10 minutes, a cost of Rs 25000/- is imposed upon the respondent State for its counsel having wasted precious judicial time of the Court in as much as a request for studying the matter could have been made by learned Standing Counsel as soon as the case was taken up and not when sufficient time has been spent by the Court and by learned counsel for the petitioner in the matter.
Let the cost be deposited before High Court Legal Services Sub-Committee, Lucknow within a week initially by the State Government to be recovered from the persons responsible for the aforesaid fiasco.