16 Jan 2021 1:58 PM GMT
The Supreme Court has imposed costs of Rupees 25,000 on Gujarat Government for filing special leave petitions with a delay of more than one year.The bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul passed identical orders in about three SLPs filed by the State of Gujarat on Wednesday.In one of the SLPs, the Government stated that the delay of 476 days have not been caused deliberately but...
The Supreme Court has imposed costs of Rupees 25,000 on Gujarat Government for filing special leave petitions with a delay of more than one year.
The bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul passed identical orders in about three SLPs filed by the State of Gujarat on Wednesday.
In one of the SLPs, the Government stated that the delay of 476 days have not been caused deliberately but on account of 'various steps required to be taken by the department at different level before taking a decision for filing an appeal and the time taken in getting the judgment and other documents before the Court.'
"The aforesaid itself shows the casual manner in which the State Government has approached this Court without any cogent or plausible ground for condonation of delay. In fact other than the lethargy and incompetence of the petitioner Government, there is nothing which has been put on record.", the bench also comprising Justices Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy observed.
Referring to its earlier orders about filing of delayed SLPs ( including State of Madhya Pradesh & Ors. v. Bheru Lal ), the bench said that it has always discouraged State Governments and public authorities in adopting an approach that they can walk in to the Supreme Court as and when they please ignoring the period of limitation prescribed by the Statutes as if the Limitation statute does not apply to them. Despite this, there seems to be a little change in the approach of the Government and public authorities, the court said.
"We have also categorized such kind of cases as "certificate cases" filed with the only object to obtain a quietus from the Supreme Court on the ground that nothing could be done because the highest Court had dismissed the appeal. The objective is to complete a mere formality and save the skin of the officers who may be in default in following the due process or may have done it deliberately. We have deprecated such practice and process and we do so again. We refuse to grant such certificates and if the Government suffers losses, it is time when concerned officers responsible for the same bear the consequences. The irony, emphasized by us repeatedly, is that no action is ever taken against the officers and if the Court pushes it, some mild warning is all that happens." , the bench added.
While dismissing the SLP, the bench ordered thus: "Looking to the period of delay and the casual manner in which the application has been worded, we consider appropriate to impose costs on the petitioner/State of Rs.25,000/- for wastage of judicial time, which has its own value and the same be deposited with the Supreme Court Employees Mutual Welfare Fund within four weeks. The amount be recovered from the officers responsible for the delay in filing the Special Leave Petition and a certificate of recovery of the said amount be also filed in this Court within the same period of time."
CASE: STATE OF GUJARAT vs. DEEP ASSOCIATION [ SLP (CIVIL) Diary No(s). 15924/2020]CORAM: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy CITATION: LL 2021 SC 21
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