Today, a Bench led by Justice Bela M. Trivedi expressed concerns about the lack of preparedness among young lawyers appearing directly in the Supreme Court. Justice Trivedi emphasized that these young lawyers often lack the knowledge of etiquette to be followed in Court, how to properly address the Court, and understanding of legal procedures. She also pointed out that senior Lawyers often fail to mentor them adequately.

"The young lawyers according to me should not come directly to the Supreme Court. They don't know how to address Court, they don't know court mannerism, they don't know anything about the procedure, nothing. Seniors do nothing to tell them, that you have to do this, that. They just come here, stand here, and do whatever they like," Justice Trivedi remarked.

The Bench also comprising of Justice Pankaj Mithal made the remarks while it was about to take up the case of jailed TMC MLA Manik Bhattacharya's Bail plea in the case related to alleged irregularities in recruitment of primary school teachers in West Bengal. Bhattacharya, a former chairman of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on October 11 last year after night-long questioning.

The Court remarked thus after a young lawyer addressed the Court in the previous case seeking an adjournment and the Bench was disappointed that the young lawyer could not answer its questions.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Siddharth Luthra appeared for Bhattacharya. He said, "It's our fault, I completely understand."

To this, Justice Trivedi in a lighter vein clarified, "I am not going to stop myself from scolding people, till I am here. I will do it. Whether you people like it or not that is not my problem."

"No, it's very important," Luthra said.

Today, the Bench granted liberty to the TMC MLA to withdraw his Appeal before it which challenged his denial of Bail in the money laundering case after he sought to rely on newly produced documents that were not produced before the High Court. "The withdrawal is sought in light of placing additional documents before the High Court", it noted.

While allowing the withdrawal, the Court directed, "The Calcutta High Court may consider the Petition as filed by the Petitioner on merits and as expeditiously as possible. High Court may consider the matter afresh and in accordance with the law."

Pertinently, on April 18, the Court had granted time to Bhattacharya to bring on record some additional documents in support of his bail plea in a case.

On December 15, 2023, the top court had issued a notice to the ED on Bhattacharya's appeal against a November 16 Calcutta High Court order rejecting his bail application. "Having regard to the issue relating to which the investigation of the case is being continued, the number of victims... involved, and the accused person being an influential person, whose means, position are beyond question at the State administrative level as also the education department, his release, will have an impact at this stage of the investigation when an outer limit of 31st December 2023 has been fixed by the Hon'ble Division Bench to conclude the investigation, which is being carried on by the ED. Having regard to the aforesaid, particularly, with regard to the means, position, the standing of the present petitioner, the gravity of the offence as also the stage of the investigation which is at the final stage, I am of the view that this is not a fit case for the petitioner to be released on bail at this stage," the High Court had said in its order.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed Bhattacharya's plea against his arrest by the ED, observing that the agency's action was not illegal. The Apex Court, on February 16, granted bail to Bhattacharya's son Souvik in a money laundering case related to the West Bengal teachers' recruitment scam.

Cause Title: Manik Bhattacharya v. ED [SLP (Crl) No. 016087-2023]