Can’t dismiss petitions like this: AG to CJI

New Delhi: Attorney General K K Venugopal (87), while appearing in a tax matter, on Monday mustered courage to tell Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that he can’t peremptorily dismiss petitions without according the petitioner an adequate opportunity to be heard.

“Clients come from far away, from thousands of miles away. They stand at the back as visitors and look at this court…as their counsel stands and you say “dismissed!” This is not the way….Your Lordships have to hear completely. Please see the other courts…” he submitted. “Okay. We take what you are saying in proper spirit…. Please argue,” CJI Gogoi reacted and later told the AG: “Please do not assume that we are not listening…we have done our reading.” (The judges go through the petitions the previous night and come prepared to nail the lawyers.)

The AG, however, vehemently responded that “if your Lordships have read it, you would have admitted it straight away as it involves public money.” He had earlier asked: “Why is your Lordships so reluctant to deal with a matter of such importance? It involves the state’s revenue.” On his plea not to issue notice but keep the SLP (special leave petition) pending, the Court agreed.The SLP of the Rajasthan government is pending before the Apex Court since 2015.

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