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Supreme Court bans interns, students on misc. days to battle overcrowding

SC new intern working week: Tuesday - Thursday
SC new intern working week: Tuesday - Thursday

At the apparent request of lawyers upset with overcrowding, the Supreme Court (SC) has prohibited law students and interns who are not enrolled as advocates from entering the apex court on Mondays and Fridays – so-called miscellaneous days.

The SC registry issued a notice today, copied in to the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) and the Supreme Court Advocates-on-Record Association (SCAORA), stating:

“It is hereby notified for the information of all the concerned that from 02.09.2013 the law students and pre-enrollment interns shall not be issued passes on Miscellaneous days and also their entry to courts shall not be allowed on Miscellaneous days.”

It is understood that on 15 August SCBA president MN Krishnamani had told Chief Justice of India (CJI) P Sathasivam that the crowds in and around courtrooms on miscellaneous days were a hurdle to advocates needing entry to the courtrooms or in walking through the court corridors, and that lawyers in court felt that the situation was worsened with the additional presence of law students and interns.

The SC registry and Krishnamani could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press, but Krishnamani’s assistant confirmed the development.

Miscellaneous days – Mondays and Fridays at the Supreme Court of India – are the days that the SC has reserved for admission of matters. The pendency of matters in the SC at the end of July 2013 was 67,964 out of which 56 per cent were admission matters.

Legally India Supreme Court postcard writer Courtwitness has written how between 25 to 30 judges, spread over 12 to 14 courtrooms, attempt to dispose of 700 to 1,000 cases in about four to five hours of hearing on typical miscellaneous days.

In February seniors Shanti Bhushan and Rajeev Dhawan had also complained about overcrowding in the Supreme Court remarking that old lawyers stood to be “crushed to death” and that Dhawan had broken a leg because of the crowds.

Hat tip @SonyBhatt and @MohitSingh8

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