CJI Ramana asks senior lawyers not to shout in court while arguing matters

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The Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana on Wednesday asked senior lawyers not to shout in the court while arguing their cases. He said “I can understand if youngsters are shouting. I can understand their anxiety. Seniors should not shout in the court hall.”

The CJI first asked senior advocates Vikas Singh, Shyam Divan and Meenakshi Arora not to raise their voices as they were opposing each other in a matter. The CJI remarked, “It is unfortunate that seniors were raising their voices in the court.”

Shyam Divan, Sr. Adv, then told CJI that he was not raising his voice but putting across his point in an assertive manner. The bench also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and Krishna Murari issued notice in that matter and moved on with the list.

In a subsequent matter, a young counsel was pressing the court to pass orders for the release of certain amount deposited in the High Court in lieu of an arbitral award. The counsel pushed his point stating that his client will be constrained for funds if court does not order the release of certain amounts. To this, the bench warned the counsel not to raise his voice in the court, however, the counsel pushed his point forward.

A visibly miffed CJI said, “We will stay the arbitral award if you argued like this.” The bench then proceeded to adjourn the matter. The counsel then apologized to the bench and said he was appearing in the Supreme Court for the first time and he did not realise he had raised his voice. The CJI said, “You are welcome to appear in the court, but please don’t learn the shouting.”

When the next matter was called, senior counsel C.S.Vaidyanathan, Dushyant Dave and Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Manu Singhvi were on the opposing sides. The counsel for one side sought a pass over as Singhvi was on his legs before another court. 

C.S.Vaidyanathan, Sr. Adv, told the court that he might be given an accommodation as he is not available at a later point in time during the day. The CJI, at this point, asked the senior counsel not to shout in the court. He said, “It is not in my nature to shout back. Even as a High Court judge, I never shouted at counsel. But here in Delhi, I have been shouting quite a bit.”

The senior counsel agreed that it is not a norm to shout in the courts. The CJI said, “I understand the anxiety of young counsels, but the seniors should not shout.”