From the reporter's diary: Strange case of the Standing Counsels for Madhya Pradesh

  • Thyagarajan Narendran
  • 09:58 AM, 10 Nov 2021

The Chief Justice of India (CJI) N.V.Ramana, today criticised the counsel representing the State of Madhya Pradesh for not assisting the court in a matter. He said “Your State is bad, neither do you assist the court nor do you appear! When you appear you seek adjournment.”

Unfortunately, this is not something new. It has been a recurring incident across all the courts in the Supreme Court. The counsels representing the State of Madhya Pradesh (MP) have been criticised for either not appearing before the court or constantly taking adjournments.

In Justice M.R.Shah’s court room:

On one occasion, Justice M.R.Shah was miffed by the counsels for the State of MP constantly seeking adjournments. He said “The only improvement I see among the counsels for MP is that you  used ask for adjournment by 3 weeks , now you ask for adjournment for 1 week. This is not professional.”

The counsel tried to justify his stand by telling the court that a new set of standing counsels have been appointed by the State and that they are still receiving instructions on cases. The court was however not happy with this explanation.

In the CJI’s courtroom:

On a miscellaneous day, nobody represented the State of Madhya Pradesh despite the court having served notice on them, a visibly upset bench adjourned the matter and moved on.

However, the court was surprised when a counsel appeared for the State in the matter that immediately came up after the above mentioned case. The CJI asked the counsel for the State as to how many members are empanelled with the State of Madhya Pradesh and if they are getting instructions from the State at all.  The counsel replied that she did not know how many people are empanelled with the State, however she said that the State gives them proper instruction. The CJI then advised them to appear in all the matters where the State is arrayed as party.


While one may not know what is causing such problems, it is clear that the standing counsels need to take the court's word seriously.

 

Thyagarajan Narendran in a Special Correspondent at Lawbeat. His observations from Court about the above his personal views.