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'Approach Of Union Of India Exasperates Us' : Supreme Court Imposes Rs. 1 Lakh Costs On Centre For Filing SLP With Delay Of 6616 Days

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
4 Feb 2021 1:52 PM GMT
Approach Of Union Of India Exasperates Us : Supreme Court Imposes Rs. 1 Lakh Costs On Centre For Filing SLP With Delay Of 6616 Days
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The approach of the Union of India in the manner it has filed the present special leave petition exasperates us, the Supreme Court remarked while dismissing Special Leave Petitions filed by the Central Government with a delay of 6616 days.All earlier counsel appears to have been thrown in the dustbin, said the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh...

The approach of the Union of India in the manner it has filed the present special leave petition exasperates us, the Supreme Court remarked while dismissing Special Leave Petitions filed by the Central Government with a delay of 6616 days.

All earlier counsel appears to have been thrown in the dustbin, said the bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy said.

In this case, the Centre had filed an appeal before the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court against a single bench judgment delivered on 07.05.2002.  This appeal was dismissed for non-prosecution on 15.12.2008. In the year 2016, the Centre filed an application seeking restoration of the LPA seeking condonation of delay of 2590 days. This application was dismissed by the Division Bench observing that Central Government cannot be compared to an illiterate litigant. 

"We have heard learned Additional Solicitor General for some time and must note that the only error which seems to have occurred in the impugned order is of noticing that it is not an illiterate litigant because the manner in which the Government is prosecuting its appeal reflects nothing better! The mighty Government of India is manned with large legal department having numerous officers and Advocates. The excuse given for the delay is, to say the least, preposterous.", the Apex Court bench observed taking note of the delay to file SLP ( 532 days and 6616 days from the original order).

"We have repeatedly being counselling through our orders various Government departments, State Governments and other public authorities that they must learn to file appeals in time and set their house in order so far as the legal department is concerned, more so as technology assists them. This appears to be falling on deaf ears despite costs having been imposed in number of matters with the direction to recover it from the officers responsible for the delay as we are of the view that these officers must be made accountable. It has not had any salutary effect and that the present matter should have been brought up, really takes the cake!", the Court further said referring to earlier orders passed by it in the matter of belated filing of SLPs by Government and public authorities.

The bench then imposed special costs of Rs.1 lakh. "A copy of this order be placed before the Law Secretary, Govt. of India and Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development to look into the matter personally not only making them accountable for compliance but also to ensure that we are not faced with such matters in future.", the court said.


Case: UNION OF INDIA vs CENTRAL TIBETAN SCHOOLS ADMIN [SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) Diary No(s). 19846/2020]
Coram: Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Dinesh Maheshwari and Hrishikesh Roy 
Citation: LL 2021 SC 64


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