Report No. 99
2.4. Difference of views cutting across classes of persons.-
The difference of views, as mentioned above, seems to cut across professional and other boundaries. For example, of the retired Supreme Court Judges whose views on the question are available, one1 has commented on the situation of arguments going on with orality unlimited, while another is opposed to the fixation of suggested time limit on oral arguments. According to him, the length of time necessary for oral arguments depends on the nature of a particular case and no hard and fast rule can be laid down in this regard. He does not favour the "rationing of time in court proceedings."2
Coming, again, to the retired and sitting Judges of the High Courts, while these are some who favour a time limit,3 (though subject to relaxation in a particular case), there are others who regard it as highly impracticable.4 Again, coming to members of the bar, while Shri H.M. Seervai is very strongly opposed to the idea put forth in the question,5 there are a few members of the bar who think that some restrictions on the length of arguments might benefit the judicial system, though one may not be mathematical about it.6
Similarly, the United Lawyers' Association, New Delhi, agrees that oral arguments may be limited, if they supplement written arguments. However the Association is not certain if our Judges will be able to find time to carefully read, and digest the written arguments. Still, it considers the limiting of oral arguments (provided written arguments are allowed) as worth trying.7 In contrast, the Bar Council of Gujarat is of the view that while restricting oral arguments would lead to greater disposal of cases, it will cause injustice.8 Also, it appears that strong disapproval of the idea of limiting the time taken in oral arguments was expressed at a National Convention organised by the Bar Council of India Trust at Madras. The suggestion was regarded as misconceived and was likely to miscarriage of justice.9
1. Law Commission Collection No. 21/1.
2. Law Commission Collection No.
3. E.g. Law Commission Collection
4. E.g. Law Commission Collection
5. See Para. 2.7, infra.
6. Law Commission Collection No. 21/13, Law commission File, S. No. 107.
7. Law Commission Collection No. 21/13, Law commission File, S. No. 107.
8. Law Commission Collection No. 21/24, (top) Law commission File, S. No. 137.
9. Law Commission Collection No. 21/24, (bottom) Law commission File, S. No. 109.