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Delaying Tactics Adopted By Litigants Cannot Be Rewarded On The Pretext Of Justice: SC [Read Judgment]

Ashok Kini
28 July 2019 9:05 AM GMT
Delaying Tactics Adopted By Litigants Cannot Be Rewarded On The Pretext Of Justice: SC [Read Judgment]
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"Once the respondent has failed to avail of opportunity of hearing granted, the Bank cannot be directed to give another opportunity for the sake of justice."

The Supreme Court has observed that delaying tactics adopted by litigants cannot be rewarded on the pretext of Justice. In State Bank of India vs. Atindra Nath Bhattacharyya, a petition was filed by a delinquent employee challenging the disciplinary proceedings against him. The Single Bench of the High Court set aside the order of punishment as well as the penalty order directing the employer...

The Supreme Court has observed that delaying tactics adopted by litigants cannot be rewarded on the pretext of Justice.

In State Bank of India vs. Atindra Nath Bhattacharyya, a petition was filed by a delinquent employee challenging the disciplinary proceedings against him. The Single Bench of the High Court set aside the order of punishment as well as the penalty order directing the employer to serve a notice before imposing penalty.

Though the employer served multiple notice to the employee, he did not avail the opportunity of hearing granted, but instead preferred writ appeal. The writ appeal preferred by him was later dismissed but the Court directed the employer to grant another opportunity of hearing to the respondent to place his version before the Appointing Authority. The SBI approached the Apex Court against this direction issued by the Division bench.

Disagreeing with this approach, the bench comprising Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta observed that once opportunity has been granted to the employee, he is not entitled to another opportunity on the ground of compassion. It said:

"The only reasoning given by the Division Bench is 'justice demands' that the respondent be given one last opportunity to place his version. The respondent has lost his chance to put his version before the Competent Authority when called upon by the Authority to do so. Time and again opportunity of hearing cannot be granted on the pretext of justice. The delaying tactics cannot be rewarded in such a manner. Once the respondent has failed to avail of opportunity of hearing granted, the Bank cannot be directed to give another opportunity for the sake of justice." 

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