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Madras writ hearing v foreign firms bogged down by court delays


The Chennai public interest litigation (PIL) against 31 foreign law firms that was scheduled for Government respondents' filing of replies on 8 April remains unheard to date owing to judicial delays.

The case was postponed for hearing on 9 April as item no 84 after post lunch matters were not taken up by the bench on the previous day.

The matter did not come up for hearing due to shortage of time on that day.

This Monday 12 April, after the weekend holidays no matters were listed before the concerned bench sitting in court number 1.

The last the cause list placed the case as number 86 on Tuesday 13 April.

14 April was a gazetted holiday and the courts were closed.

The hearing was not listed for today and did not show up for tomorrow, according to the Madras High Court causelist.

The lead petitioner of the writ petition A K Balaji told Legally India: "Delays have been caused because there are a lot of pending matters before the court."

"Only admissions are taken up but not adjourned admissions," he added, explaining that the Association of Indian Lawyers, which was formed for the purpose of filing the writ petition, was also waiting for the matter to be heard but did not know when this would happen.

The writ petition names 31 international firms and legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider Integreon as co-respondents for practising law illegally in India.

It is understood that respondents other than Government departments and statutory bodies would not be served with notices until after the matter has been admitted in a preliminary hearing.

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