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Report No. 77

7.3. Lengthy arguments.-

There is a common complaint of lengthy arguments being addressed. It, may not be out of place to refer to the observations made in the Fourteenth Report of the, Law Commission1 which read as under:

"It is true that in many cases arguments are unduly prolix. Sometimes the arguments become lengthy because we court either from inexperience or for other reason is unable to control counsel. Some lawyers are longwinded; others are brief and to the point. Similarly some judges are unable to control the arguments white some are inclined not to hear any arguments at all and cut them very short. The Court which has heard the case from day-to-day should be familiar with the evidence and can if necessary go through the record of the case before the arguments are commenced to refresh its memory.

The presiding officer who has followed the evidence will be in a much better position to control arguments. The control of arguments is a matter which must pre-eminently be left to the capacity, experience and discretion of the judge and the good sense of the advocate. We do not think it is practicable to confer any special powers on the judge in this respect.

Very often, delay is occasioned by the postponement of arguments to a later date on the conclusion of the evidence. The law contemplates that arguments shall be heard immediately after the evidence is concluded. In many cases, however, arguments are postponed either because the lawyers are not ready or because the court has other work on hand. If the court's diary is methodically prepared in the manner already indicated, there will be fewer occasions for a judge to postpone the arguments on the conclusion of the evidence.

The Court must insist upon the lawyers appearing in the case presenting their arguments immediately on the conclusion of the evidence. Such a practice prevails on the original side of the High Court in Bombay, where however heavy the record, counsel never ask for time to prepare their arguments. In cases of exceptional difficulty, complexity and a heavy record, it may perhaps be reasonable to give a short adjournment to enable the lawyers to prepare their arguments but the normal rule should be to hear the arguments immediately on the conclusion of the evidence."

1. 14th Report, Vol. 1.

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