Supreme Court Raps Centre Over Delay In Filing Appeals

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Supreme Court today rapped the government over delay in filing a petition against an order of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The Supreme Court, which noted that the Centre has filed a petition before it against a July 2017 verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court with a delay of 1,356 days, dismissed the plea as time-barred and imposed a cost of Rs 25,000.

“The special leave petition has been filed by the Union of India with the delay of 1,356 days expecting the court to show indulgence for its gross inefficiency which this court refuses to do,” a bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy said in its order passed earlier this week.

The bench said it has “repeatedly deprecated” the endeavour of the government and public authorities to approach the Supreme Court with no concern to the period of limitation.

“We have also emphasized that if the government feels that it is so inefficient that it cannot file appeals in time, it is for them to approach the legislature to express their inefficiency and seek extended period to file the appeals,” it said.

The bench said it has categorized these matters as “certificate cases” which are merely brought to the Supreme Court to obtain a certificate of dismissal to absolve the responsibility of delinquent officers.

“We refuse to be a party to this,” it said.

The bench, while dismissing the plea as time barred, said the cost be deposited with the Supreme Court group ‘c” (non-clerical) employees welfare association within four weeks.

It said the amount be recovered from the delinquent officer after holding an inquiry and certificate of recovery be also filed before it.

The Supreme Court was hearing a plea filed by the Centre against a July 31, 2017 verdict of the high court which had dismissed a petition assailing an order passed by the Central Administrative Tribunal, Chandigarh bench.

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