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Demarcate how amicus curiae can help: SG tells top court

Topics Covered: Separation of powers between various organs dispute redressal mechanisms and institutions.

Demarcate how amicus curiae can help: SG tells top court:


Context:

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has made a strong appeal to the Supreme Court to frame guidelines to rein in lawyers appointed as the court’s amici curiae in various cases, especially sensitive ones.

Need for guidelines:

  • Court-appointed amici curiae are stepping beyond their assigned role. They tend to even interfere in the “running” of organisations such as the CBI.
  • In some cases, they are even running the administration or dictating the executive.

Who is an amicus curiae?

Amicus Curiae, which literally translates as friend of the court, is a neutral lawyer appointed by the court to assist it in cases which require specific expertise.

  • They are advocates appointed to assist the court in adjudication of important cases.

Roles and functions:

  • India, thus, if a petition is received from the jail or in any other criminal matter if the accused is unrepresented, then, an Advocate is appointed as amicus curiae by the Court to defend and argue the case of the accused.
  • In civil matters also the Court can appoint an Advocate as amicus curiae if it thinks it necessary in case of an unrepresented party.
  • The Court can also appoint amicus curiae in any matter of general public importance or in which the interest of the public at large is involved.

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Who can be an amicus curiae?
  2. Roles and responsibilities.
  3. Guidelines by Supreme Court in this regard.

Mains Link:

Discuss the roles and functions of Amicus Curiae.

Sources: the Hindu.