The Bombay High Court recently directed the advocate on record for the appellant to present a book called ‘The Indian Constitution : Cornerstone of a Nation by Granville Austin’ to his junior advocate. as he blamed her for not informing him about the matter listed on certain dates that resulted in dismissal of appeal.
The said book provides the history of the Indian Constituent Assembly which was formed to frame Indian Constitution.
The bench said that “it would be apposite that instead of granting costs in the conventional sense,” the advocate on record for the appellant gift the copy of the said book to the junior advocate, who was two-month old in the profession. It “would serve as a gesture of goodwill and erase any misunderstanding or ill will that may have occurred in the mind of the junior advocate.”
A division bench of Chief Justice Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Justice Arif S Doctor on August 19 was hearing an interim plea by a Co-operative Bank which sought restoration of the said appeal that was dismissed on December 15, 2022 as none appeared on its behalf.
The appellant stated that the junior advocate, who was entrusted with the work of checking the causelist- a list of cases to be heard, did not inform the appellant’s lawyer that the matter was listed on the weekly cause-list for period from December 15 to 16, last year.
“We find it most unfortunate that the Appellant’s advocate on record has sought to lay the blame for nonappearance at the hands of a junior Advocate, who had in fact enrolled as an Advocate less than two months before the date on which the said Appeal came to be dismissed. What is worse still is that the said junior Advocate has been made to file an affidavit stating that the inadvertence was at her end,” the bench observed.
After the court expressed its displeasure at the course of conduct, the lawyer appearing for the appellant immediately tendered an apology to the court.
He submitted that the appellant would immediately expunge the name of the junior lawyer from the record. He also argued that the appellant had always prosecuted said appeal diligently and therefore he should be granted one more chance and appeal be restored to the file “in the interest of justice and equity.”
After the bench asked the lawyer for the Bank to present the book to the junior lawyer, he readily agreed to the course of action proposed by the court. The bench allowed an interim plea to restore the appeal and disposed of the same.
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