The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday lamented the hampering of legal proceedings caused by the delay on the State's part to file its replies and affidavits and issued directions to mend the situation.
Firstly, the Bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal Singh directed the Chief Secretary to the State of Uttarakhand to evolve a process of filing replies and affidavits through electronic vetting (e-vetting) by all administrative departments. It ordered,
"Accordingly, we direct the Chief Secretary to the State of Uttarakhand to evolve the process of filing the reply(ies)/affidavit(s) by way of electronic vetting (e-vetting) by all the administrative departments throughout the State of Uttarakhand, within a period of one month from today to avoid inconvenience to the officers/officials and to save wasteful expenditure of coming to expensive town Nainital. It will also facilitate the early disposal of cases."
It then directed the office of Advocate General to ensure that replies/affidavits are filed in time, by constituting a special team of advocates to vet the same. The order read: "The office of Advocate General is also requested to ensure that the replies/affidavits are filed within time, as granted by the Court by constituting special team of advocates in the Secretariat as well as in the High Court, and to assign them exclusively the duties of vetting."
The Court further asserted that any clarification in filing replies can be obtained by the State functionaries through video conferencing, and clarified that its directions shall also be applicable to the office of Assistant Solicitor General mutatis mutandis to the Union of India in larger public interest.