Delhi High Court notes, "Lion's share of the Court's time," cannot be taken away by senior counsels

  • Gautam Mishra
  • 08:08 PM, 22 Dec 2021

The Delhi High Court has recently observed that "Just because senior counsels appear on either side – who are ready to fight till the last, they cannot take away Lion's share of the Court's time."

A division bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the counsels should relent once the Court has heard the submissions at some length and perused the impugned order and other relevant documents, and appreciated the relevant law prima facie, and convey the course of actions that the Court proposes to adopt.

"Unfortunately, that does not happen invariably. We implore the members of the Bar, particularly the Senior Counsels to keep the constraints of time of the Court in mind and to cooperate with the Court with a greater sense of responsibility," the bench added.

The bench not condemning the large amount of time taken for arguments by the senior counsels said, "We wish to observe that particularly in matters relating to Intellectual Property Rights, our experience has been that the matters are very vociferously contested and on the first date when the appeal is listed, in case the Court is not inclined to interfere with the impugned order (which invariably is under Order 39 Rule 1 & 2 CPC), the learned counsel for the appellant who invariably is a senior counsel, presses for arguing the matter till the Court agrees with him or her."

"Similarly, when the Court is inclined to stay the operation of the impugned order or any part of it, counsel for the respondent would like to argue the matter till the cows come home. This cannot be permitted," the Court added.

The bench further said, "Counsels should realise that the first date when the matter is listed, is the date for preliminary hearing, and the Court proceeds on a prima facie view of the matter. It is not a date for adjudication of the appeal on merits of the matter."

In addition to this the Court added that everyone need to be mindful of the fact that a large number of other matters are listed on the day when the appeal is listed for preliminary hearing.

The bench was hearing the plea filed challenging the order of the single bench wherein the appellant Hindustan Unilever Limited 'Domex' was directed to remove all references to the product of the plaintiff, i.e. 'Harpic' or the bottle in question, which was held to be deceptively similar to the registered mark of the plaintiff.

Cause Title: Hindustan Unilever Limited Vs. Reckitt Benckiser (India) Private Limited