Practice, Rules and Conventions

I was at the High Court waiting for our case (i.e. DaBoss’s case) to be called when I heard an interesting conversation between some advocates who had just stepped out of the Court room.

“The Judge should have recalled the Stay Order!” said AdvocateJawaan.

“You mean the injunction order,” said TechnoVakil.

“Stay, Injunction, same thing,” said AdvocateJawaan.

“No it’s not,” said TechnoVakil.

“Alright, alright, I know, stop getting all technical on me,” said AdvocateJawaan.

“WHY this Judge has not vacated the STAY!?!” said ASC-MalikSleazy.

“He should never have granted the Injunction in the first place without a representative of the Government being present,” said AdvocateJawaan. “Order 39, Rule 3 of the CPC makes it perfectly clear that the Judge is not to grant exparte injunctions left, right and centre without notice to the Government where the Government is involved.”

“My clerk told me that the Petitioner’s counsel got this Injunction day before yesterday through an urgent application,” said TechnoVakil. “He’s probably gone on vacation now, never to appear in this case again.”

“Oye, but why this Judge has not vacated the STAY in line with the JUSTICE when I submitted that this Stay is prejudiciary to my rights,” said ASC-MalikSleazy. “This Judge is C’RUPT!”

“What in the world is ‘prejuidiciary’?” said AdvocateJawaan.

“No such word,” said TechnoVakil.

At this point I was engaged in the discussion and thought I’d expand my knowledge of procedure by venturing a question.

“Excuse me gentlemen, I noted that you mentioned something about the filing of an urgent application,” I said. “I was wondering what provision provides for filing an urgent application because I couldn’t find it in the CPC?”

AdvocateJawaan and TechnoVakil looked at me with disgust and the former said “It’s in the Rules beta,” before they walked away.

Eager to find out more, I thought I’d direct my questions to ASC-MalikSleazy who was clearly more senior and therefore more knowledgeable I would’ve thought.

“Which Rules might these be sir?” I asked.

“These, are the rules of law which are not codified like the general rules – these are conventions – the non-written rules of practice in the courts,” said ASC-MalikSleazy.

“I thought conventions were non-legal and only the British Parliament or certain governments followed conventions in that sense,” I said. “Are you sure that the courts of Pakistan operate on rules that aren’t codified?” I asked unbelievingly.

“Yes man!” said ASC-MalikSleazy. “I am the Advocate Supreme Court, I have the knowledge!”

“Sir, your next case should come up in half an hour I think, there are 3 more cases to go in the cause list,” said AmreekanBibi, ASC-MalikSleazy’s junior.

“Get adjournment, tell the Judge I am busy in teaching the law classes,” said ASC-MalikSleazy.

After ASC-MalikSleazy had left, I asked AmreekanBibi, “How can you get an adjournment in the High Court on such a trivial basis like teaching ‘law classes’?”

“It’s a convention,” said AmreekanBibi.

(I later discovered that Urgent Applications were filed under the High Court Rules and not the Code of Civil Procedure.)

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