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"Appalling, Complete Lackadaisical Approach": Delhi HC Pulls Up Centre Over Non Compliance Of Orders, Delay In Filing Response

Nupur Thapliyal
26 Oct 2021 12:15 PM GMT
Appalling, Complete Lackadaisical Approach: Delhi HC Pulls Up Centre Over Non Compliance Of Orders, Delay In Filing Response
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central Government over non-compliance of judicial orders and delay in filing response, despite a lapse of over 7 months, in a case raising 'serious allegations' against Government Officers.Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that it was rather appalling that the Government of India failed to take any steps in filing the response despite a...

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled up the Central Government over non-compliance of judicial orders and delay in filing response, despite a lapse of over 7 months, in a case raising 'serious allegations' against Government Officers.

Justice Subramonium Prasad observed that it was rather appalling that the Government of India failed to take any steps in filing the response despite a strong worded order passed by the Court in September.

"This is the attitude of the Government of ignoring the Court orders. Your respect is something else. This has to come out in action. It's seen court orders are not complied at all. Complete lackadaisical approach," said the Court.

This comes after the Court had earlier sought personal appearance of Secretary of the Ministry of Culture in the matter on being anguished by constant non-compliance of its orders.

The plea sought directions on the CBI and other authorities to conduct a proper and fair investigation by an officer not below the rank of Superintending of Police in the matter allegedly exposing the scandal of nexus among the accused persons and other officials regarding allegations of corruption.

During the course of hearing today, Harish Vaidyanathan appearing for the Centre apprised the Court that the Joint Secretary of the Ministry as well as the Additional Director General of ASI were present in the proceedings via VC.

To this, Justice Prasad responded thus:

"The notice was issued on March 2 and today we are on October 26. Why this kind of attitude of taking Courts lightly? Though secretary of the Ministry is not here. But leave it at that. Still, please give an explanation as to why counter is not filed?"

The Centre informed the Court that the same could not be done due to some practical difficulty and defect.

"It is appalling that on September 6, 2021 when strong observations were made that the Government is not taking steps, nothing was done. On September 29 the secretary was summoned but he did not come. There is no reason. Please explain as to why counter is not filed from March to October?" Justice Prasad remarked.
"We have been advocates. We have all represented State Governments. Its an order of September. It's not a bit of a delay," he added.

The Court also made it clear that it will proceed with the matter only when the response will come on record.

The Court also directed the Centre to file response explaining the reasons of delay as also the status report in the matter by November 10, the next date of hearing.

"Concerned officers are directed to be present on the next date of hearing as well," the Court added.

While the Centre was given time to file the status report in April, the matter was adjourned thereafter till July due to non-compliance. In July, the standing counsel submitted that the Ministry of Culture is is the concerned Department in this case and not the Home Ministry. Thus, matter was adjourned till September granting more time for filing of status report.

On September 6, 2021, the Court expressed its anguish for non-filing of status report and an Officer not below the rank of Joint- Secretary, Ministry of Culture was directed to join the proceedings to explain as to why the Status Report was not filed so far.

Noting that nobody from Ministry of Culture joined the proceedings, the Court had directed thus:

"In view of the fact that the orders of this Court are not being complied with and the status reports are not being filed in the petition where serious allegations have been made against the Government Department, the Secretary, Ministry of Culture, GoI, is directed to join the proceedings on the next date of hearing to explain as to why the status report has not been filed."

Case Title: HARVIR SINGH v. CENTRAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION AND ORS

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