Punjab and Haryana High Court pulls up judicial officers for delay, keeping plea pending for long like a “fairy tale”

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently criticised the additional sessions judges hearing a case under the Negotiable Instruments Act for significant delays in disposing of an application. [Dheeraj Bansal vs Mehar Chand Jewellers and anr]
Justice Mahabir Singh Sindhu on August 28 noted that the judicial officers in question took the matter leisurely.

“The officers who remained associated with the matter, took it leisurely and instead of treating the appeal as “judicial proceedings”, made it virtually a “fairy tale,” the High Court observed.

Pertinently, the Court ordered that a copy of this order be sent to the director of the Chandigarh Judicial Academy so that judicial officers can be sensitised to ‘save the precious Court time’ rather than grant routine adjournments.

The High Court was dealing with a plea seeking the quick disposal of an application to cancel an earlier interim order to suspend the sentence of the accused in a case under the Negotiable Instruments Act.

The application was filed on February 18, 2021. Over the years, it saw multiple adjournments.

The accused took over a year to file a reply, and the sessions court had last listed only the main appeal against the conviction, rather than the application for cancellation of the suspended sentence.

This led to the present plea before the High Court.

The High Court issued notice in the matter on July 17 and sought a report from the Bathinda district and sessions Judge.

The High Court has now disposed of the plea by directing that the courts below ensure that the accused is present on each date of the hearing, and that the case be decided expeditiously.

It also called for a progress report to be submitted by September 30.

Advocate Rau PS Girwar appeared for the petitioner, one Dheeraj Bansal.

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