Supreme Court constitutes committee of judges for preparing SOP on adjournments [28.12.2023]

The Supreme Court has constituted a committee of judges for preparing a standard operating procedure (SOP) for lawyers seeking adjournment of proceedings.

The panel has invited suggestions of the Bar and other stakeholders on the issue.

The development comes after the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association raised concern over circulars issued by the top court about discontinuation of the practice of circulation of adjournment slips.

The apex court had issued two circulars on December 5 and 22 regarding discontinuation of the practice.

"In order to accommodate the request of listing maximum number of cases in the interest of litigants and in view of the ensuing winter vacation, all stakeholders to note that the practice of circulating adjournment slips/letters is discontinued with immediate effect till December 15, 2023. In case of any genuine difficulty, a request for adjournment can be made before the Court concerned," the circular issued on December 5 had said.

After various bar bodies voiced their concern, the top court issued a circular on December 22 which said," In light of the request of SCBA and SCAORA with regard to continuation of circulation of adjournments slips, the Competent Authority has been pleased to constitute a Committee of Hon'ble Judges for preparing a Standard Operating Procedure after inviting suggestions of the Bar & all stakeholders and for working further modalities.

In the meanwhile, it said, the practice of circulation of adjournment slips stands discontinued till further orders.

The Supreme Court Bar Association has requested all its members to share their suggestions by January 2, 2024 regarding legitimate grounds for seeking adjournments.

Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud had earlier urged lawyers to not seek adjournments in fresh matters, saying he does not want the Supreme Court to become a 'tarikh-pe-tarikh' court as such deferment defeats the trust of citizens.

28 Dec 2023