Supreme Court issues a new circular highlighting the procedure to circulate Adjournment letters

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The Supreme Court on February 14, 2024, issued a new circular highlighting the procedure/modalities relating to the circulation of Letters for adjournment of cases. According to the new circular, the letters for adjournment will not be entertained in some cases. The circular reads, “No letters for adjournment shall be entertained in cases:

  • relating to bail/anticipatory bail;
  • where exemption from surrendering has been granted;
  • where interim order is operating in favor of the party who seeks adjournment; and 
  • where suspension of sentence of sentence has been sought for.”

In other matters, letters for adjournment can be circulated till one day before the publication of the main list. Moreover, the requests for adjournment of cases should be submitted as per the prescribed format via email with the appropriate reason for seeking adjournment. The new guidelines mandate “to obtain consent/no objection of advocates/parties appearing on the other side/ Caveator before circulating the letter for adjournment.” The circular ensures that two consecutive adjournments will not be permitted without the matter being listed before the SC. Moreover, such letters can be circulated by one party/counsel to the case only once. Another guideline listed by the SC is “Matters so adjourned will be listed before the Court within an outer limit of four weeks with a specific date of listing and no mentioning for seeking preponement of the date in such matters is permitted.” Furthermore, the SC, in the new circular, has mandated that matters not listed according to schedule will be notified on the website of the Supreme Court if letters seeking adjournment are accepted. Also, it does not permit the circulation of letters for adjournments in fresh and regular hearing matters.