Parliamentary defence in litigation

Litigation is a war sans bloodshed and physical violence. Like all wars its initiative and defence often becomes a subject matter of legends in the future. Parliamentary defence is one such legendary defence. What is it?

Background of parliamentary defence.

Parliament is a place of debate and discussions in which through logic and reason, conclusions may be reached. Of course conclusions are drawn by majority which is Government. So how does opposition display that it is doing something for an issue?

First and constructive one is to enact law, to remedy the problem.

Second is to show that Government failed to remedy the situation and reserve it’s benefits to be reaped in next election or to gain cheap media attention over the issue. To achieve this end, it side-steps from discussion and keep demanding compliance of new conditions for debate followed by either walk out or to create ruckus to ensure adjournment. (Adjournment of upper house of Parliament today inspired this post. See picture below:)

Members in well of the Parliament of India

Ruckus in Parliament of India

Now this second approach is what we call parliamentary defence. It is also frequently resorted in litigation and unless the claimant has a rather honest and smart lawyer, litigants frequently fall for it.

Modalities of parliamentary defence in litigation.

Objective is simple. Do not let the suit proceed to trial. Seek one motion after another. Unfortunately India has no system (not at least in practice) of depositions or letter rogatory as in the USA and UK therefore every case has to go to trial. In criminal matters as well there is no probable cause hearing and often charges are framed due to non diligence of lawyers. Hence trial is imminent.

Pre-requisite of this defence in litigation.

The lawyer seeking to resort to this defence must be an expert on procedural laws. Idea of defence is to entangle the proceedings in procedural matters and cause delay thereby forcing the other party to compromise.

In all such matters, delay acts as pressure on the claiming party. Sometime the claimant do not realise the tactics and start fighting tooth nail to every motion.

Voila, it is lawyers’ paradise. All roses made of green bills, fun and frolic.

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