19 May 2023 4:40 AM GMT
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, asked the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court to assign a matter pending before a Division Bench of the High Court, which had been adjourned about 40 times over a span of 3 years to a new Bench. The concerned matter involves the litigation pertaining to the board of La Martiniere School, Kolkata. A Bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and...
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, asked the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court to assign a matter pending before a Division Bench of the High Court, which had been adjourned about 40 times over a span of 3 years to a new Bench. The concerned matter involves the litigation pertaining to the board of La Martiniere School, Kolkata.
A Bench comprising Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice Ahsanuddin Amanullah observed that it had no other option but to conclude that the Bench constituted to hear the matter is unable to do so.
“We have no other option but to draw the conclusion that for whatever reasons the Bench constituted to hear this matter is unable to attend to it. We thus request the Chief Justice of the High Court to assign the matter to some other Bench which may be able to attend to the matter more expeditiously.”
It recorded in the order that it would be difficult for the Apex Court to countenance the continued saga of adjournments.
“…difficult to countenance the continued saga of adjournments over the last almost 3 years now, numbering almost 40”, said the Bench.
The newly assigned Bench was asked to take up the matter expeditiously considering the urgency, the scope of the appeal and the previous saga of adjournments,
In an order passed by the Supreme Court in January, 2023, pertaining to the same controversy as in the present matter, it had noticed that the matter was listed before the Division Bench of the High Court 27 times but had yielded no results. In the order passed in January, 2023, the Apex Court had pointed out the same noting that the 27 adjournments must have been due to some difficulties that the Division Bench was facing. But, considering the issue related to an eminent educational institution the Apex Court had expected the High Court to consider the same. However, the Bench noted that even after six months the matter has not moved forward.
“Six months down the line there is no change in scenario except for the number of adjournments that has been added to the already unending list of adjournments.”
Aggrieved by the adjournments the petitioner had approached the Apex Court on 17.04.2023. The Apex Court had passed orders to the effect that the matter be placed before the then Acting Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court, so that it can be taken up and decided expeditiously. The order was served to the office of the Acting Chief Justice of the High Court on 19.04.2023. In this regard, the Bench, on Thursday, noted -
“Listing of the matter however continued before the same Bench and the same result continued with adjournment.”
At the submission of Counsel to permit him to appear before the High Court virtually, the Bench recorded in the order -
“We are told that the proceedings virtually are being hampered. We fail to appreciate that, as the Counsels have the option to either appear virtually or physically.”
[Case Title: Rt. Rev. Paritosh Canning And Ors. v. Anil Rajkumar Mukherji And Ors. SLP(C) No. 9621/2023]
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