The Supreme Court asked the petitioner, a law student, not to address the judges as “Your Honour” on Tuesday. Chief Justice S A Bobde reminded the law student that it is the way of addressing judges of the US Supreme Court. “At one point, the CJI politely intervened to say, “you are a law student, you say? We are not particular what you call us. But you must be having the U.S. Supreme Court in mind or the Magistrate Court when you address us as ‘Your Honour’… We are neither,” the CJI intervened.

The student, Shrikant Prasad, immediately apologised and said that he would address them as “My Lords”. To this, CJI said, “Whatever, but don’t use inappropriate terms”.

Shrikant Prasad’s plea seeks to strengthen the infrastructure and fill the vacant posts in the subordinate courts in a time-bound manner. The petition stated that one of the main reasons for the backlog of cases is the lack of judges and supporting staff in the lower judiciary. The bench then informed him that a matter is already pending in the Supreme Court for which the orders have been given.

Justice V. Ramasubramanian told the petitioner that the court had been monitoring the issue on a national level in the Malik Mazhar Sultan case. “You have not heard of this case? There is no mention of this in your petition,” Justice Ramasubramanian addressed Prasad. Chief Justice Bobde asked him to do the research.

“We are adjourning your case. You do your research,” Chief Justice Bobde told the student. As a result, the case was adjourned by four weeks.

For the unversed, in the pending case of Malik Mazhar Sultan versus UPSC, directions have been given to the Centre, state governments and High Courts to strengthen the infrastructure in the subordinate judiciary.