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SC Directs NCDRC To Expeditiously Pronounce Judgment In A Case Which It 'Reserved For Judgment' In October 2019 [Read Order]

30 July 2020 11:15 AM GMT
SC Directs NCDRC To Expeditiously Pronounce Judgment In A Case Which It Reserved For Judgment In October 2019 [Read Order]
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The Supreme Court has directed the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to expeditiously pronounce judgment in a case which it had 'reserved for judgment' on 24 October 2019.

The bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Indu Malhotra and KM Joseph, directed thus while disposing of a Miscellaneous Application filed by a party to this case before NCDRC.

He contended before the bench that the judgment in the EA filed by him, has not been pronounced despite the principles enunciated in Anil Rai vs State of Bihar (2001) 7 SCC 318. He submitted that he has filed an application on 23 June 2020 for pronouncement of the judgment since the Member who heard the EA is due to retire on 31 August 2020. Taking note of this the bench ordered:

"We direct that the application which has been filed by the applicant on 23 June 2020 be placed by the Registry of the NCDRC within a period of one week from today before the concerned Bench. Necessary steps shall be taken for the pronouncement of the judgment expeditiously."

SC Expressed Concern About Cases Remaining As 'Reserved For Judgment' in 2001 Judgment

In Anil Rai, the Supreme Court had expressed concerns about the delay in pronouncing judgments and the trend of many cases remaining as judgment reserved" for long periods. The court then issued the following guidelines to address this issue:

  1. The Chief Justices of the High Courts may issue appropriate directions to the Registry that in case where the judgment is reserved and is pronounced later, a column be added in the judgment where, on the first page, after the cause-title, date of reserving the judgment and date of pronouncing it be separately mentioned by the court officer concerned.
  2. That Chief Justice of the High Courts, on their administrative side, should direct the Court Officers/ Readers of the various Benches in the High Courts to furnish every month the list of cases in the matters where the judgments reserved are not pronounced within the period of that months.
  3. On noticing that after conclusion of the arguments the judgment is not pronounced within a period of two months, the concerned Chief Justice shall draw the attention of the Bench concerned to the pending matter. The Chief Justice may also see the desirability of circulating the statement of such cases in which the judgments have not been pronounced within a period of six weeks from the date of conclusion of the arguments amongst the Judges of the High Court for their information. Such communication be conveyed as confidential and in a sealed cover.
  4. Where a judgment is not pronounced within three months, from the date of reserving it, any of the parties in the case is permitted to file an application in the High Court with prayer for early judgment. Such application, as and when filed, shall be listed before the Bench concerned within two days excluding the intervening holidays.
  5. If the judgment, for any reason, is not pronounced within a period of six months, any of the parties of the said lis shall be entitled to move an application before the Chief Justice of the High Court with a prayer to withdraw the said case and to make it over to any other Bench for fresh arguments. It is open to the Chief Justice to grant the said prayer or to pass any other order as deems fit in the circumstances.

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