Registry officers must know Supreme Court Rules like the back of one’s hand, the apex court has said while asking Registrar (Judicial) to issue instructions to officials that there is no need to file an application seeking exemption from surrendering when the order under challenge before the court is only one of cancellation of bail.
Justice P S Narasimha said that as per the Supreme Court Rules, such a requirement exists only for criminal appeals and special leave petitions (SLPs) where the petitioner is ‘sentenced to a term of imprisonment’.
The apex court’s observations came while dealing with applications for condonation of delay and restoration of the application for exemption from surrendering in a cheating case.
The counsel for the applicant said the apex court Registry insisted on filing an application seeking exemption from surrendering even when the order under challenge before the court is one of cancellation of bail.
When the apex court informed the counsel that the Rule applies only for Criminal Appeals or Special Leave Petitions where the petitioner is ‘sentenced to a term of imprisonment’ and not to SLP’s against cancellation of bail, some lawyers said that they file such applications instead of arguing with the Registry.
”The officers of the Registry must know the Supreme Court Rules like the back of one’s hand. Order XXII Rule 5, applies only to cases where the petitioner is ‘sentenced to a term of imprisonment’ and it cannot be confused with simple orders of cancellation of bail.
”What is disturbing is that a large number of such applications for exemptions are routinely filed when there is no need to adopt such a procedure at all. This has serious consequence of increasing the burden of lawyers, judges and even the Registry. This is apart from loss of respect for law,” the apex court said in a recent order.
The top court directed the Registrar (Judicial) to issue formal instructions to the concerned filing, scrutiny and numbering Sections with respect to matters in which Order XX, Rule 3 and Order XXII, Rule 5 will apply. Further, it was instructed not to insist on filing such applications in other cases While dealing with the case, the top court noted the petitioner was arrested for an offence under Section 420 (cheating) read with 34 (common intention) Indian Penal Code and was granted bail by the high court subject to payment of an amount.
When the petitioner failed to pay the amount, the high court recalled its order granting bail and ordered him to surrender, it noted.
The petitioner then filed an SLP in the Supreme Court against the order and along with it an application for exemption from surrendering was also filed.
The apex court said the advocate should have known that such an application was totally unnecessary.