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Report No. 99

2.8. Replies taking the middle position.-

As regards replies taking the middle position-i.e. replies which favour, in principle, limiting the time for oral arguments without committing themselves to specific rigid limits, we would like to quote the views expressed by Shri Narain Sinha, former Attorney-General of India,1 and by the State Law Commission of Madhya Pradesh.1 Shri Lal Narain Sinha, addressing himself to Questions 21 and 22 has expressed the following view:-

"A reform in this direction is extremely necessary".

The American practice of written briefs with estimated time for oral arguments would go a long way to cut down much avoidable repetition and irrelevant argument. The Madhya Pradesh State Law Commission in its reply to Q. 21, states:-

"The fixation of time-limits should be seasonable according to the complexity of the case".

The view of a retired Chief Justice of High Court also takes the middle position3:-

"I am strongly of the view that a limit should be imposed for arguments. But in such a case there should be written briefs. Young lawyers of ability may be asked to assist the Judges concerned (like the Law Clerks in the U.S. Supreme Court). They must he asked to take oath of secrecy and must be appointed purely on the basis of merit. I do not agree that any appeal should be disposed of without bearing oral arguments."

1. Law Commission Collection No. 21/17, Law Commission File, S. No. 116 (Shri Lal Narain Sinha).

2. Law Commission Collection No. 21/17, (bottom); Law Commission File, S. No. 115.

3. Law Commission Collection No. 21/25, Law Commission File, S. No. 126.

Oral and Written Arguments in the Higher Courts Back

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