21 July 2022 6:45 AM GMT
Observing that reason is the soul of justice, the Delhi High Court has said that any order passed, whether in the exercise of judicial or administrative powers vested in the authority, must be speaking.Justice Chandra Dhari Singh further added that an order disposing of an application necessarily requires recording of reasons in support of the conclusions arrived at in the order and failure...
Observing that reason is the soul of justice, the Delhi High Court has said that any order passed, whether in the exercise of judicial or administrative powers vested in the authority, must be speaking.
Justice Chandra Dhari Singh further added that an order disposing of an application necessarily requires recording of reasons in support of the conclusions arrived at in the order and failure to give reasons tantamount to denial of justice.
"In fact, the insistence on recording of reasons is meant to further the principles of natural justice, and specifically for ensuring that justice must not only be done but it also be seen to be done...Recording of reasons also operates as a legitimate restraint on any possible arbitrary exercise of judicial or quasi-judicial or administrative power by any authority and as such is a facilitator of Rule of Law," the Court said.
The Court made the observations while expressing disappointment on the manner in which a Tehsildar had rejected the application for mutation of a land property, by passing skeletal and mechanical order.
The counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner submitted that on an earlier occasion the petitioner had filed another writ petition seeking direction on the Tehsildar to mutate the 1/4th share of agricultural land in question in the name of the petitioners.
It was submitted that the application for mutation of the said property was filed before the concerned Tehsildar on 21st March, 2022 but the same was not decided.
It was submitted that on an earlier occasion, at the request of the petitioner and no objection on behalf of the respondent, High Court had directed the Tehsildar to pass an appropriate order on the aforesaid pending application in accordance with law and accordingly the said writ petition was disposed of.
It was further argued that the petitioner had placed the order of High Court before the concerned Tehsildar for compliance, after which the Tehsildar passed the impugned order dated 15th June, 2022 without application of mind and assigning any reasons, while merely stating that the mutation process had ceased in light of the new Land Pooling Policy.
On the other hand, respondents had submitted that the said application was adjudicated by the concerned Tehsildar after taking due consideration of the new policy, and therefore there was no illegality in the said impugned order.
Perusing the impugned order, the Court observed: "The conduct of the concerned Tehsildar in handling the instant set of cases is nothing but appalling...This order sans reasoning is despite the fact that the matter was remanded to him by the Orders of this Court for disposal."
The Court accordingly directed the Tehsildar to be present before the Court at 10:30 AM on 21 July to explain the reasons and circumstances for passing the impugned Order de hors reasoning.
Case Title: SMT USHA RANI & ANR v. UNION OF INDIA & ORS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 686
Click Here To Read Order