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Adjournment |

Adjournment

In Context

∙ The Supreme Court mentioned that it would not entertain letters of adjournment from lawyers in bail and anticipatory bail cases for which notice had been earlier issued by the court.

What is Adjournment?

∙ Letters of adjournment are last-minute requests by parties for postponement of cases listed before a Bench of the court. 

∙ The letters are filed in the Registry and circulated to the opposing parties. 

∙ The case, when called for hearing in the day, is usually adjourned if all the parties agree. 

New Guidelines As per the SC

∙ Adjournment letters would not be entertained in cases in which exemption from surrendering has already been granted; cases in which an interim order favouring the party seeking the adjournment is already in operation; and in matters in which suspension of sentence has been sought.

∙ This would mean that the parties must necessarily appear in court in these categories and the Bench would take a decision, in its own discretion, on whether to grant an adjournment.

∙ In other cases, request for adjournment of a case could be circulated till a day prior to the publication of the main list of cases.

∙ However, the request should contain the specific reason for seeking adjournment and the number of postponements sought earlier in the case.

∙ A party or counsel can only circulate an adjournment letter once in a case.

∙ The court would not allow consecutive adjournments, irrespective of which party in the case is making the request. 

∙ The SC made it clear that no letter would be permitted for adjourning fresh cases or regular hearing matters.

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