Use plain language in legal dealings, limit pleading time and paper use says plea in Supreme Court

New Delhi (ILNS): A petition in the Supreme Court wants the use of plain language in legal dealings. The petition says that this will benefit the common man. The petition also wants a page limit on pleadings, as well as a time limit on oral arguments before the court.

The petition has been filed by Dr. Subhash Vijayran, an advocate by profession, who has also urged the court to direct the Department of Justice to issue guides or handbooks in plain English and in vernacular which is easily understandable by the layman.

The petitioner also wants the use of plain language in drafting and issuing of all government rules, regulations, notifications, communications, etc., which are of interest to the general public.

The petitioner has also urged the court to direct the Bar Council of India to introduce a mandatory subject of “Legal Writing in Plain English” in 3- year and 5-year LL.B. courses in all Law Schools in India.

Stressing on the need to simplify the language used in the apex Court the petitioner has submitted that the legislature, too, should enact precise and unambiguous laws, and as far as possible, in plain language.

He has said: “It is time the standard of pleadings filed in the Supreme Court is mandated to be of the highest quality. Lawyers need to put in extra effort to make their pleadings clear, crisp, concise & accurate.”

Highlighting the need for a page limit for pleadings and time limit for oral arguments, the petitioner has suggested a 50-60 page limit for pleadings of the parties (excluding annexures/ exhibits, etc.) and a 20-30 page limit for replies to the pleadings of opposite parties.

He has also asked for a time limit of 5-10 minutes for applications, 20 minutes for short cases, 30 minutes for cases of moderate length, and 40-60 minutes for long cases. This, he said, would ensure speedy justice and reduce pendency in the Supreme Court.

-India Legal Bureau
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