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Report No. 99

3.13. Conclusion as to written briefs.-

On a consideration of all aspects of the matter, we have come to the conclusion that since there is a strong feeling that a requirement to file written briefs containing detailed arguments may defeat its purpose by reason of various difficulties and deficiencies, the stage has not come for insisting on filing such briefs. We must note that there has been a strong opposition to the idea, and as will appear from the views expressed at length opposition to the idea, and practical problems might arise by a mandatory requirement introducing a system of written arguments. In the first place, while a note of arguments for the appellant may be easy to prepare, the argument gets modified, qualified or enlarged in the course of oral hearing, either as a result of the questions from the Bench or, in some cases, as a result of objections from the other side.

Secondly, according to Shri Seervai, the Judges have generally no time to read notes as they are handed in, so that the object of submitting written arguments in advance is frustrated. Thirdly, as has been emphasised by Shri Seervai, a total or substantial reliance on written argument (as in the United States) postulates that Judges should sit only for four days in the week for a fortnight for hearing arguments (as in the United States, where for the next fortnight, they do not sit in the court.) Fourthly, as Shri Seervai has pointed out, written briefs in the United States are filed by big Law Corporations, with immense research facilities, including computerised facilities, available to them. Such facilities may not be available in India.

Oral and Written Arguments in the Higher Courts Back

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