Karnataka High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Alok Aradhe and J M Khazi, JJ. dismissed the appeal and quashed the impugned judgment directing the appellants to determine the compensation and pay the same to respondents.

The facts of the case are such that the original respondent 1 viz., Narayana Reddy, owner of an agricultural land, wherein the said land, as well as several other lands, were required for formation of a layout between Banaswadi Road and Hennur Road commonly known as HRBR Layout. A preliminary notification dated 21-03-1977 and a final notification dated 14-05-1980 was issued. The father of original petitioner filed a writ petition seeking to give effect to the resolution for de notification of the land which was thereby dismissed. Then, again a writ petition was filed challenging the validity of the notifications which was again dismissed. The original petitioner again filed a petition challenging the notifications without disclosing the factum of filing two previous writ petitions by the father. The impugned notifications were quashed and the writ petition was allowed holding that the petition does not suffer from delay and laches as the scheme was not substantially implemented as required under Section 27 of the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976 within five years from the date of the final notification and therefore, the scheme has lapsed. Thus, instant appeal was filed.

Counsel for the appellant submitted that the original petitioner was guilty of suppression of facts and the writ petition filed by the original petitioner suffered from delay and laches and the writ petition was barred by res judicata. It was also contended that the original petitioner cannot claim any benefit on the principle of negative equality and no legal right accrues to the original petitioner even if in some cases in which adverse orders have been passed against the appellants, it may not have preferred an appeal. However, it is fairly submitted that the land owners are entitled to just and fair compensation.

The Court relied on judgment Krishnamurthy v. Bangalore Development Authority, 1995 SCC OnLine Kar 498 wherein it was observed “It is also pertinent to note that proceeding under Section 27 of the Act would lapse only if two conditions are satisfied viz., failure to execute the scheme by dereliction of statutory duties without justification and substantial execution of the scheme depending upon the scheme.”

The Court observed that it is trite law that principles of constructive res judicata and res judicata apply to writ proceeding. In the instant case, the original petitioner who claims title in respect of property in question through his father is bound by the decision of previous writ petition and cannot be permitted to agitate the validity of the impugned notifications again on the principle of res judicata Thus, the challenge to the aforesaid notification is barred by principles of res judicata.

The Court further relied on judgment K. Jayaram v. Bangalore Development Authority, 2021 SCC Online SC 1194 and observed that the petitioner is guilty of suppression of material facts and has not approached the court with clean hands. Therefore, the discretionary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, which is equitable and extraordinary cannot be exercised in favour of the original petitioner.

The Court relied on Chandigarh Administration v. Jagjit Singh, (1995) 1 SCC 745, and opined that even if some similarly situated persons have been granted benefit inadvertently or by mistake, the same does not confer any legal right on the original petitioner to claim similar relief. Therefore, even if some land owners may have been granted the benefit, inadvertently by the authority, the same would not confer any legal right on the original petitioner to claim the similar benefit.

The Court directed that the “appellants shall take steps within a period of six weeks to determine the compensation payable to respondents 1(a) to 1(d) and shall make payment of the amount of compensation as is permissible in law.” [Bangalore Development Authority v. Principal Secretary, Revenue Department W.A.  No. 4121  of  2017, decided on 24-05-2022]


Appearances-

For appellants- Mr Gurudas S Kannur and Gouthamdev C. Ullal

For respondents- Mr Rajashekar and S. Suresh Desai


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that merely because a long period has lapsed by the time the appeal is decided cannot be a ground to award the punishment which is disproportionate and inadequate.

Factual Background

The Court was deciding the case where the accused was convicted by the trial Court for the offence under Section 307 IPC for having caused serious injuries on the vital part of the body of the victim/injured and sentenced him to undergo three years’ rigorous imprisonment. In the appeal before the Rajasthan High Court, the accused did not challenge the conviction, but only prayed the Court to reduce the sentence to the period already undergone by him by submitting that occurrence took place on 31.03.1989, i.e., about 26 years ago; that they were facing trial since last 26 years; and when the occurrence took place, they were young and now they are aged persons. The High Court, without any detailed analysis of the facts of the case, nature of injuries caused, weapon used, has simply reduced the sentence to the period already undergone (44 days).

Analysis and Ruling

The Court condoned the delay of 1880 days in preferring the appeal and observed that,

“Merely on the technical ground of delay and merely on the ground that after the impugned judgment and order, which is unsustainable, the accused have resettled in their lives and their conduct has since been satisfactory and they have not indulged in any criminal activity, is no ground not to condone the delay and not to consider the appeal on merits.”

The Supreme Court noticed that, in the present case, the accused could have been sentenced to undergo life imprisonment and/or at least up to ten years, however, the trial Court sentenced the accused to undergo three years rigorous imprisonment. Therefore, as such, the trial Court had already taken a very lenient view while imposing the sentence of only three years’ rigorous imprisonment. Therefore, the High Court ought not to have interfered with the same.

Noticing that the High Court has not at all adverted to the relevant factors which were required to be while imposing appropriate/suitable punishment/sentence, the Court held that the High Court had dealt with and disposed of the appeal in a most cavalier manner. The High Court has disposed of the appeal by adopting shortcuts. The manner in which the High Court has dealt with and disposed of the appeal is highly deprecated.

The Court, further made observation on the manner in which many High Courts are disposing off criminal appeals and said,

“We have come across a number of judgments of different High Courts and it is found that in many cases the criminal appeals are disposed of in a cursory manner and by adopting truncated methods. In some cases, the convictions under Section 302 IPC are converted to Section 304 Part I or Section 304 Part II IPC without assigning any adequate reasons and solely recording submissions on behalf of the accused that their conviction may be altered to Section 304 Part I or 304 Part II IPC. … We deprecate such practice of disposing of criminal appeals by adopting shortcuts.”

Therefore, the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court reducing the sentence to the period already undergone (44 days) from three years rigorous imprisonment imposed by the trial Court was held to be absolutely unsustainable and was hence, quashed and set aside

“The judgment and order passed by the High Court reducing the sentence is nothing but an instance of travesty of justice and against all the principles of law laid down by this Court in a catena of decisions on imposing appropriate punishment/suitable punishment.”

Restoring the judgment of the Trial Court, the Court directed the accused to surrender before the appropriate jail authority/concerned Court, within a period of four weeks from the date of the judgment, to undergo the remaining sentence.

[State of Rajasthan v. Banwari Lal, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 428, decided on 08.04.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah


For accused: Advocate Abhishek Gupta

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where the bench of S. Ravindra Bhat* and PS Narsimha, JJ was posed with the question as to whether the State can, merely on the ground of delay and laches, evade its legal responsibility towards those from whom private property has been expropriated, answering in negative, the bench held that the State cannot shield itself behind the ground of delay and laches as there cannot be a ‘limitation’ to doing justice.

Factual Background

The State of Himachal Pradesh utilised the subject land and adjoining lands for the construction of the ‘Narag Fagla Road’ in 1972-73, but allegedly no land acquisition proceedings were initiated, nor compensation given to the appellants or owners of the adjoining land.

Pursuant to a judgment by the Himachal Pradesh High Court directing the State to initiate land acquisition proceedings, a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 (hereafter ‘Act’) was issued on 16.10.2001 (published on 30.10.2001) and the award was passed on 20.12.2001 fixing compensation at ₹30,000 per bigha.

After a writ petition by similarly situated land owners was allowed by the High Court with the direction to acquire lands of the writ petitioners under the Act, with consequential benefits, the appellants approached the High Court in 2011, seeking compensation for the subject land or initiation of acquisition proceedings under the Act.

Relying on a Full bench decision of the High Court, it was held by the High Court in the impugned judgment that the matter involved disputed questions of law and fact for determination on the starting point of limitation, which could not be adjudicated in writ proceedings. The writ petition was disposed of, with liberty to file a civil suit in accordance with law.

Analysis

Right to property – Importance

While the right to property is no longer a fundamental right, it is pertinent to note that at the time of dispossession of the subject land, this right was still included in Part III of the Constitution. The right against deprivation of property unless in accordance with procedure established by law, continues to be a constitutional right under Article 300-A.

When it comes to the subject of private property, this court has upheld the high threshold of legality that must be met, to dispossess an individual of their property, and even more so when done by the State.

Can the State, merely on the ground of delay and laches, evade its legal responsibility towards those from whom private property has been expropriated?

The Court considered the facts of the present case that revealed that the State has, in a clandestine and arbitrary manner, actively tried to limit disbursal of compensation as required by law, only to those for which it was specifically prodded by the courts, rather than to all those who are entitled. This arbitrary action, which is also violative of the appellants’ prevailing Article 31 right (at the time of cause of action), undoubtedly warranted consideration, and intervention by the High Court, under its Article 226 jurisdiction.

Noticing that at every stage, the State sought to shirk its responsibility of acquiring land required for public use in the manner prescribed by law, the Court observed that,

“When seen holistically, it is apparent that the State’s actions, or lack thereof, have in fact compounded the injustice meted out to the appellants and compelled them to approach this court, albeit belatedly. The initiation of acquisition proceedings initially in the 1990s occurred only at the behest of the High Court. Even after such judicial intervention, the State continued to only extend the benefit of the court’s directions to those who specifically approached the courts. The State’s lackadaisical conduct is discernible from this action of initiating acquisition proceedings selectively, only in respect to the lands of those writ petitioners who had approached the court in earlier proceedings, and not other land owners.”

The Court also noticed that the State had merely averred to the appellants’ alleged verbal consent or the lack of objection, but had not placed any material on record to substantiate this plea. It was also unable to produce any evidence indicating that the land of the appellants had been taken over or acquired in the manner known to law, or that they had ever paid any compensation.

Further, despite the property not being adjoining, the subject land was acquired for the same reason – construction of the Narag Fagla Road, in 1972-73, and much like the claimants before the reference court, these appellants too were illegally dispossessed without following due process of law, thus resulting in violation of Article 31 and warranting the High Court’s intervention under Article 226 jurisdiction. Hence, in the absence of written consent to voluntarily give up their land, the appellants were entitled to compensation in terms of law.

Ruling

The State was, hence, directed to treat the subject lands as a deemed acquisition and appropriately disburse compensation to the appellants in the same terms as the order of the reference court dated 04.10.2005 and to consequently to ensure that the appropriate Land Acquisition Collector computes the compensation, and disburses it to the appellants, within four months from today. The appellants would also be entitled to consequential benefits of solatium, and interest on all sums payable under law w.e.f 16.10.2001 (i.e. date of issuance of notification under Section 4 of the Act), till the date of the impugned judgment, i.e. 12.09.2013.

Given the disregard for the appellants’ fundamental rights for decades after the act of dispossession, the Court also directed the State to pay legal costs and expenses of ₹ 50,000 to the appellants.

[Sukh Dutt Ratra v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 410, decided on 06.04.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice S. Ravindra Bhat


Counsels

For appellants: Advocate Mahesh Thakur

For State: Advocate Abhinav Mukerji

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where the Andhra Pradesh High Court had condoned a delay of 1011 days even though no sufficient cause was shown explaining the delay, the bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that the High Court has not exercised the discretion judiciously.

Factual Background

  • The appellant herein – original plaintiff filed a civil suit for permanent injunction against the respondents herein – original defendants.
  • Trial Court dismissed the said suit by judgment and decree dated 23.04.2016.
  • First Appellate Court allowed the suit by quashing and setting aside the judgment and decree passed by the Trial Court, by judgment and decree dated 01.02.2017.
  • Original defendants – respondents herein applied for the certified copy of the judgment and order on 04.02.2017. The same was ready for delivery on 10.03.2017.
  • After a period of approximately 1011 days, the respondents herein – original defendants preferred the Second Appeal before the High Court. Application to condone the delay was also filed .
  • By the impugned order, the High Court has condoned the delay of 1011 days in preferring the Second Appeal, which is the subject matter of appeal before this Court.
  • While condoning the delay, the High Court has observed as under:

“… when there are certain questions, which require a debate in the second appeal, it is not necessary that this matter be rejected at this stage, without inviting a decision on merits. lf the delay is condoned though enormous, what happens at best is to give an opportunity to the parties to canvass their respective case. Since this question being of procedure, the attempt of the court should be to encourage a healthy discussion on merits than rejecting at threshold. Viewed from such perspective, accepting the reasons assigned by the petitioner, the delay in presenting this second appeal should be condoned.”

Analysis

Holding that the High Court has committed a grave error in condoning huge delay of 1011 days in preferring the appeal, the Cout noticed that as such no sufficient cause was shown by the respondents herein ¬ appellants before the High Court, explaining the huge delay of 1011 days in preferring the Second Appeal. Further, the High Court has also not observed that sufficient cause has been shown explaining the delay of 1011 days in preferring the Second Appeal.

Further, in the application seeking condonation of delay it was stated that she is aged 45 years and was looking after the entire litigation and that she was suffering from health issues and she had fallen sick from 01.01.2017 to 15.03.2017 and she was advised to take bed rest for the said period. However, there is no explanation for the period after 15.03.2017. Thus, the period of delay from 15.03.2017 till the Second Appeal was filed in the year 2021 has not at all been explained. Therefore, it was held that the High Court has not exercised the discretion judiciously.

On the reasoning given by the High Court, the Court noticed that the High Court has observed that if the delay is condoned no prejudice will be caused to the appellant as the appeal would be heard on merits and that there is no wilful negligence on the part of the respondents herein nor it suffers from want of due diligence. However, from the averments in the application for condonation of delay, the Court held that it was a case of a gross negligence and/or want of due diligence on the part of the respondents herein – appellants before the High Court in filing such a belated appeal.

It was, hence, held that,

“The High Court is not at all justified in exercising its discretion to condone such a huge delay. The High   Court has not exercised the discretion judiciously. The reasoning given by the High Court while condoning huge delay of 1011 days is not germane.”

[Majji Sannemma v. Reddy Sridevi, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1260, decided on 16.12.2021]


Counsel: Advocate Siddhartha Srivastava for respondents


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Explaining the difference between acquiescence and delay and laches, the bench of L. Nageswara Rao and Sanjiv Khanna*, JJ has held that both limitation and laches destroy the remedy but not the right. Acquiescence, on the other hand, virtually destroys the right of the person.

The Court explained that the doctrine of acquiescence is an equitable doctrine which applies when a party having a right stands by and sees another dealing in a manner inconsistent with that right, while the act is in progress and after violation is completed, which conduct reflects his assent or accord. He cannot afterwards complain. In literal sense, the term acquiescence means silent assent, tacit consent, concurrence, or acceptance, which denotes conduct that is evidence of an intention of a party to abandon an equitable right and also to denote conduct from which another party will be justified in inferring such an intention.  Acquiescence can be either direct with full knowledge and express approbation, or indirect where a person having the right to set aside the action stands by and sees another dealing in a manner inconsistent with that right and inspite of the infringement takes no action mirroring acceptance. However, acquiescence will not apply if lapse of time is of no importance or consequence.

“Inactive acquiescence on the part of the respondent can be inferred till the filing of the appeal, and not for the period post filing of the appeal. Nevertheless, this acquiescence being in the nature of estoppel bars the respondent from claiming violation of the right of fair representation.”

Laches unlike limitation is flexible. However, both limitation and laches destroy the remedy but not the right. Laches like acquiescence is based upon equitable considerations, but laches unlike acquiescence imports even simple passivity. On the other hand, acquiescence implies active assent and is based upon the rule of estoppel in pais. As a form of estoppel, it bars a party afterwards from complaining of the violation of the right. Even indirect acquiescence implies almost active consent, which is not to be inferred by mere silence or inaction which is involved in laches. Acquiescence in this manner is quite distinct from delay.

[Chairman, State Bank of India v. MJ James, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 1061, decided on 16.11.2021]


*Judgment by: Justice Sanjiv Khanna

Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu and Kashmir High Court: The Division Bench of Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Puneet Gupta, JJ., dismissed the application seeking suspension of sentence and for grant of bail to the applicant/appellant on the ground of delay.

The applicant had submitted that he had been put in jail for more than thirteen years. Noticing that the appeal against the order of conviction and sentence dated 23-07-2020 was filed on 06-08-2020. The issue with regard to suspension of sentence and grant of bail on account of delay in disposal of the criminal appeal had been considered by a coordinate bench of this court in Rakesh Kumar v. State of J&K, CRA No. 12 of 2018, wherein the Bench had relied on   Akhtari Bi v. State of M.P., (2001) 4 SCC 355, where the Supreme Court had held that speedy justice was a fundamental right flowing from Article 21 of the Constitution. It was held that a right accrued in favour of the accused to apply for bail in a case where there was delay in the disposal of the trial and appeals in criminal cases. It was further held that if an appeal was not disposed of within a period of 5 years for no fault of the appellant, such convicts may be released on bail on conditions as may be deemed fit and proper by the Court. In computing the period of 5 years the delay for any period, which is requisite in preparation of the record and the delay attributable to the convict or his counsel can be deducted. It was, further clarified that there may be cases where even after the lapse of 5 years the convicts may, under the special circumstances of the case, be held not entitled to bail pending the appeals filed by them.

Noticing that the appeal was preferred in the year 2018 and therefore, 5 years period had not been completed and even otherwise assuming the said period was over, the Bench said that even then it could not have mechanically granted bail without considering whether the delay in the disposal of the appeal was attributable to the appellant. Considerations as mentioned in the case of Akhtari Bi, for refusal of bail beyond 5 years also indicate that grant of bail at the expiry of five years pendency did not follow as a matter of routine. The nature, gravity and seriousness of the offence would also have to be seen. Hence, the Bench held that since five years had not elapsed from the date of the filing of the present appeal and the matter was already listed in the final hearing column, no ground was made out for suspending the sentence and granting bail in the present case.

[Raghubir Singh v. UT of J&K, 2021 SCC OnLine J&K 375, decided on 28-04-2021]


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Appearance before the Court:

Counsel for the Applicant: Adv. Anil Gupta

Counsel for UT of J&K: AAG Aseem Sawhney

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The State of Madhya Pradesh yet again irked the Court by filing a Special Leave Petition after a delay of 588 days, prompting the bench of SK Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy, JJ to say,

“The State of Madhya Pradesh continues to do the same thing again and again and the conduct seems to be incorrigible!”

Earlier, on October 15, 2020, in case of an inordinate delay of 663 days by the State of Madhya Pradesh in filing a Special Leave Petition, the bench of SK Kaul and Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ had said,

“it appears that all our counseling to Government and Government authorities have fallen on deaf ears i.e., the Supreme Court of India cannot be a place for the  Governments to walk in when they choose ignoring the period of limitation prescribed.”

In the present case, the Court was told  that on 05.01.2019, the Government advocate was approached in respect of the judgment delivered on 13.11.2018 and the Law Department permitted filing of the SLP against the impugned order on 26.5.2020. Surprised at the fact that the Law Department took almost about 17 months’ time to decide whether the SLP had to be filed or not, the Court said,

“What greater certificate of incompetence would there be for the legal Department!”

The Court, hence, directed the Chief Secretary of the State of Madhya Pradesh to look into the aspect of revamping the legal Department as “it appears that the Department is unable to file appeals within any reasonable period of time much less within limitation.”

Looking to the period of delay and the casual manner in which the application has been worded, the wastage of judicial time involved, the Court imposed a cost of of Rs.35,000/- to be deposited with the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee within four weeks. The amount be recovered from the officer(s) responsible for the delay in filing and sitting on the files and certificate of recovery of the said amount be also filed in this Court within the said period of time.

Deputy Advocate General has also been cautioned that for any successive matters of this kind the cost will keep on going up. The cost imposed in the October 15, 2020 order was Rs. 25, 000.

The Court concluded by stating that if the present order is not complied with, the Court will be constrained to initiate contempt proceedings against the Chief Secretary.

[State of Madhya Pradesh v. Chaitram Maywde, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 875, Order dated 27.10.2020]


Also read

Supreme Court of India cannot be a place for the Governments to walk in when they choose ignoring the period of limitation prescribed

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Irked by the inordinate delay of 663 days by the State of Madhya Pradesh in filing a Special Leave Petition, the bench of SK Kaul and Dinesh Maheshwari, JJ said,

“… it appears that all our counseling to Government and Government authorities have fallen on deaf ears i.e., the Supreme Court of India cannot be a place for the Governments to walk in when they choose ignoring the period of limitation prescribed.”

Sending a signal, the Court wrote that where there are such inordinate delays that the Government or State authorities must pay for wastage of judicial time which has its own value. Directing the State to deposit a cost of Rs. 25000 with the Mediation and Conciliation Project Committee within 4 weeks, the Court said that such costs can be recovered from the officers responsible.

The reason accorded for the delay by the State Government was “due to unavailability of the documents and the process of arranging the documents” and that “bureaucratic process works, it is inadvertent that delay occurs”.

The Court noticed that that in the present case a preposterous proposition was sought to be propounded that if there is some merit in the case, the period of delay is to be given a go-by.

“If a case is good on merits, it will succeed in any case. It is really a bar of limitation which can even shut out good cases. This does not, of course, take away the jurisdiction of the Court in an appropriate case to condone the delay.”

The Court further said that

“… if the Government machinery is so inefficient and incapable of filing appeals/petitions in time, the solution may lie in requesting the Legislature to expand the time period for filing limitation for Government authorities because of their gross incompetence. That is not so. Till the Statute subsists, the appeals/petitions have to be filed as per the Statues prescribed.”

Terming such cases as “Certificate Cases”, the Court said that the object of such cases appears to be to obtain a certificate of dismissal from the Supreme Court to put a quietus to the issue and thus, say that nothing could be done because the highest Court has dismissed the appeal. It is to complete this formality and save the skin of officers who may be at default that such a process is followed.

“The irony is that in none of the cases any action is taken against the officers, who sit on the files and do nothing. It is presumed that this Court will condone the delay and even in making submissions, straight away counsels appear to address on merits without referring even to the aspect of limitation as happened in this case till we pointed out to the counsel that he must first address us on the question of limitation.”

The Court concluded by stating that if the present order is not complied with, the Court will be constrained to initiate contempt proceedings against the Chief Secretary.

Earlier on July 27, 2020, in an application filed by State of Odisha, seeking condonation of delay of 587 days, the 3-judge bench of SK Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose, JJ had imposed a cost of Rs. 50, 000 and directed that an enquiry be conducted and cost be recovered from the delinquent officer.

In Office of the Chief Post Master General v. Living Media India Ltd., (2012) 3 SCC 563, all the government bodies, their agencies and instrumentalities were informed that unless they have reasonable and acceptable explanation for the delay and there was bonafide effort, there is no need to accept the usual explanation that the file was kept pending for several months/years due to considerable degree of procedural redtape in the process. The government departments are under a special obligation to ensure that they perform their duties with diligence and commitment. Condonation of delay is an exception and should not be used as an anticipated benefit for government departments. The bench of P. Sathasivam and J. Chelameswar, JJ said,

“The law shelters everyone under the same light and should not be swirled for the benefit of a few.”

[State of Madhya Pradesh v. Bherulal, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 849, decided on 15.10.2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In an application filed by State of Odisha, seeking condonation of delay of 587 days, the 3-judge bench of SK Kaul, Ajay Rastogi and Aniruddha Bose, JJ imposed a cost of Rs. 50, 000 and directed that an enquiry be conducted and cost be recovered from the delinquent officer.

“The Department should hold an enquiry, fix responsibility and recover the cost from the delinquent officer and file the certificate of recovery in this Court. The needful be done within four weeks.”

The Court observed that the application for condonation of delay reflected a saga of movement of file from one department to the other with no cogent explanation why for months together files have been detained in the department.

“These are what we categorise as “certificate cases” filed by the departments to obtain an order of dismissal from the Supreme Court so that they can go back and say that they have made all endeavours to limit the loss to the State.”

The Court, hence, imposed a cost of Rs. 50,000/- to be deposited with the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Welfare Fund.

[State of Odisha v. Dilip Kumar Pratihari, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 603 , order dated 27.07.2020]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In a case where, for the enormous delay of 1697 days in filing, the Government said that there was a public interest involved and that there were certain other matters pending, the bench of SK Kaul amd KM Joseph, JJ said that the Government doesn’t have the right to walk into this Court as and when they want even if other matters are pending.

It said,

“All we can say that if there is public interest involved then the Government has been grossly negligent to look after public interest.”

The application for condonation of delay showed that in the worst case scenario, with all its delays, the matter was ready for filing of the SLP on 18.02.2015 whereafter a certified copy of the order was applied later on and thereafter we straightaway come about 2½ years later on 23.08.2018.

Hence, stating that there was no merit in the application, the Court said that if the Government has suffered any consequences thereof monetarily or otherwise, it can recover financial recompensation from the persons responsible for causing loss to the Government.

The Court, hence, dismissed the SLP as barred by time.

[State of West Bengal v. Soroj Kumar Mondal, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 532 , order dated 19.06.2020]