Supreme Court discourages challenges to adjournment orders made by high courts

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On Monday, the Supreme Court expressed its dissatisfaction with the lawyers who asked it to challenge the adjournment orders issued by the high courts. The Apex Court was troubled by the fact that it encountered four to five cases each day challenging the adjournment orders.

A bench comprising Judges L. Nageswara Rao and BV Nagarathna was hearing a challenge to the adjournment order issued by the Allahabad High Court in a case where the relevant Passport Authority had denied travel permission to Asif Idrees, who had been granted a scholarship to travel to Spain to continue their studies in MA

As counsel, Ms. Amiy Shukla, counsel for the petitioner, led by lead counsel, Mr. Colin Gonsalves, requested a Passover, Judge Rao noting that the challenge was for an adjournment order, informed her that if the case was remanded, the bench was inclined to dismiss it with a fee.

At Ms Shukla’s request, the case was adjourned and when it was subsequently heard, Mr Gonsalves said that –

“I represent the petitioner. This is a case concerning a student who had obtained a scholarship to go to Spain for his master’s degree. I just want to mention a few facts and a few dates.”

The panel advised counsel that it would ultimately dismiss the case with costs. He added that Mr. Gonsalves could go ahead with his observations if he chose to debate the matter at his own risk.

“We’re going to dismiss this with a cost. You’re running into an adjournment order and want to discuss all the facts and everything. Do so at your own risk.”

Mr. Colin asked the Court to consider the urgency of the case, due to the passage of time, the Applicant might lose the scholarship.

Recognizing that the Applicant might have relevant submissions on the merits, the Chamber was not willing to hear a challenge to an adjournment order.

“The High Court took up the case in December. If it is not taken up, you come back with the freedom to mention it.”

Lamenting that such challenges are becoming common practice, the bench discouraged the same –

“Don’t run into adjournment orders. Every day we have 4-5 cases against the adjournment order.”

In the alternative, Mr Gonsalves asked the bench to consider telling the High Court not to adopt any further adjournment orders and to resume the case for a final hearing at the next date.

“If Your Lordship only tells the Court to take up the case by that date, otherwise my scholarship will expire. I will be back, if Your Lordship can kindly tell the Court.”

At the request of Council, the Chamber requested the High Court to expedite the hearing –

“I would ask the High Court to expedite the hearing.”

He inquired, “What is this petition? What have you filed? »

Mr. Gonsalves informed the Court that the petition in the Allahabad High Court was a petition filed under Section 482 Cr.PC challenging the defendants’ order denying his client’s leave, thereby preventing his travel to Spain.

“My challenge to the order refusing to give me permission.”

[Case Title: Asif Idrees v. Union of India, SLP (Crl) No. 9971 of 2021]


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