Greasy Cause List:
Waiting game for your case to be taken up
Barrister Moksadul Islam
Many of us should remember the sum describing a monkey climbing an oily bamboo. It climbs three feet up but slips one foot down. For many it was not an easy sum. Our Cause List in the Supreme Court is like that oily bamboo -- you simply cannot predict where your case will be in the next day's Cause List. Well, what is a Cause List? A cause list is a booklet published every day where you find the cases which are likely to be heard by different courts on a particular day. It has different sections. Usually it starts with a section called 'as to be mentioned'. Other common sections are application as motion (new application), for order, for judgement, for hearing, for framing of issues and other various and numerous sections. Some of the sections may also have branches as well, for example, applications under different sections of a particular area of law. Certainty to a junior lawyer it is a very complicated booklet.
A case is popularly called “item”. Practicing lawyers spend hours to browse through the Cause List every morning. Sometimes you have to watch an Item for months until it is taken up by the Court or gets lost. It gets lost for various reasons e.g. usually when there is a reconstitution of the Bench. It is even more frustrating when an item gets lost due to reconstitution of the Bench as you do not know when and where it may reappear again in the Cause List. An item can be brought at top by adopting unfair means e.g. by paying speed money and it's a known practice in courts. An Advocate may also mention before the Court praying to hear his Item quickly explaining its urgency. In a motion day other Items may not be considered by the Court depending on the number of motions. Hundreds of things happen in this Cause List. Clients get frustrated and one or the other always complains that his lawyer is not looking after his case professionally. However, most of the times these allegations are not fair on the conducting lawyer. We need to study and upgrade our listing arrangements in the Cause List. Unless we do so our cases will remain in the Cause List for ages and a lawyer will be waiting for his Item to be taken up by the Hon'ble Court for days.
The writer is practising in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh.