Making grave allegations against the Gujarat High Court registry, the Gujarat High Court Advocates’ Association (GHCAA) has written to Chief Justice Vikram Nath pointing out that the registry is not circulating matters filed by junior advocates for several weeks, whereas billionaires and corporate companies are getting an urgent hearing within a few days of filing a petition.
In a 12 page letter, GHCAA president Yatin Oza has enumerated several instances citing the information obtained from the official website of the high court in which it is shown that petitions filed by corporate companies and influential people are immediately circulated for hearing. Oza said the concerned officials of the registry do not respond to the messages and queries of the junior lawyers and their matters are not circulated even after 20 days of filing.
The letter states: “The Registry, it appears, is held bend determined to fall prey to nepotism and favouritism. I will only give one example. A wife filed a bail application for and on behalf of her husband and a funny objection raised by the Registry was that the sex of the wife is not stated and for this reason, the matter was not circulated for ten days”.
The letter also mentions several lawyers whose petitions have not been circulated for a long time. The advocates include Gaurav Chudasma, Apurva Kapadia, Shrushti Thula, Babu Mangukiya, Kruti Shah, and Subhadra Patel among others.
The letter justifying the “heart-burnings, depression, and frustration” of lawyers has also enumerated several petitions moved by influential people, businessmen, and corporate companies which were listed for hearing within a few days of filing of the petitions.
The GHCAA president has also sought an appointment with the Chief Justice to showcase “five graver cases which were circulated within 24 hours or preponed without any note or CA”. The letter states that “three of the cases are of smugglers (according to Government of India) and two are by top industrial houses”.
Oza has also requested the Chief Justice to resume the physical functioning of the court rather than continuing with virtual hearings. He justified his request by claiming that health experts have already clarified that no vaccine for coronavirus will be available before six months and courts cannot continue to function by video conferencing indefinitely.