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Plea to do away with nod for subsequent proceedings rejected
The Madras High Court has refused to concede to a plea which insisted that once any person is accorded permission by the relevant committee as per the Conduct of Proceedings by Party-in-Person Rules, 2019 of this Court, the same person need not obtain further permission for subsequent matters of public interest brought to court’s notice.
The first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice PD Audikesavalu, on noting that the plea is ‘clearly exceptionable,’ said “Though the committee does not possess judicial authority to adjudicate whether any element of public interest is involved, the desirability of the person seeking to appear in person and his ability to present the matter is also a relevant consideration before the Committee.”
“Say, for instance a matter of rocket science is the subject-matter of a public interest litigation sought to be carried forward by a person who may have no knowledge in such regard,” the bench cited. The bench also sought the committee to account for the actual performance of the person in a previous matter. “If the person who had obtained previous permission to pursue a matter in person had misbehaved in Court or had conducted the matter unbecoming of a person presenting a matter in Court or without adhering to a level of dignity or formality with which matters are to be conducted in Court, it would be a relevant consideration before according further permission to the same person to pursue a matter in person,” the bench stressed.
As regards, the principal grievance that when a public cause is sought to be espoused by an advocate, the advocate need not appear before the committee and obtain prior permission, the bench recorded that the issue has been addressed by an amendment.