New Delhi: Distressed over the "common practice" of trial courts granting long adjournments for minor reasons, the Supreme Court has asked its subordinate judiciary not to resort to such practice and be a "mute spectator" to the "whims and fancies" of lawyers.
A bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Dipak Misra said that trial court judges cannot abandon their responsibility by giving in to the demands of adjournments and become mute spectators to the way the proceedings are conducted.
"We hope and trust that trial courts shall keep in mind the statutory provisions and the interpretation placed by this court and not be guided by their own thinking or should not become mute spectators when a trial is being conducted by allowing the control to the counsel for the parties.
"They have their roles to perform. They are required to monitor. They cannot abandon their responsibility," the bench said.
The bench said that the justice system cannot be left to the whims and fancies of the parties or their counsel and trial courts should not grant unnecessary adjournments.
"The criminal justice system has to be placed on a proper pedestal and it cannot be left to the whims and fancies of the parties or their counsel. A trial judge cannot be a mute spectator to the trial being controlled by the parties..." the bench said.
The court also asked lawyers to not bring any kind of disrespect to the fairness of a trial "by taking recourse to subterfuges for procrastinating the same".
"It is apt to note here that this Court expressed its distress that it has become a common practice and regular occurrence that the trial Courts flout the legislative command with impunity," the bench said.