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Babus to pay for delay in filing of court appeals: SC | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has decided to penalise officials who sit over files and cause enormous delays in filing of appeals, in some cases much after expiry of the period of limitation, which slows down an already snail-paced justice delivery system burdened with monstrous pendency.
At the receiving end of a bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Hrishikesh Roy was the railways, which was saddled with a cost of Rs 25,000 for filing an appeal after a delay of 385 days. What would worry officials is the bench’s direction to recover it from officers responsible for the delay. “The amount shall 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 four weeks,” the bench ordered. “A copy of this order be placed before the chair man, railway board, gover nment of India, cautioning that any non-adherence with the aforesaid order within the timeline would result in appropriate proceedings being initiated against the chairman himself,” it added.
The Justice Kaul-led bench has virtually declared war against the lethargic and casual approach of government agencies in filing appeals after long delays to ensure that no accountability fell on officers entrusted with the task of deciding whether or not appeals should be filed. “We have also categorised such cases as ‘certificate cases’ filed with the only object to obtain a quietus from SC on the ground that nothing could be done because the highest court has dismissed the appeal. The aim is to complete a mere formality and save the skin of officers who may be in default in following the due process or may have done it deliberately. We refuse to grant such certificates and if the government/public authorities suffer losses, it is time when officers concerned bear the consequences,” it said. A similar process was initiated against the UP government and NCB. What shocked the bench was an appeal filed by the UP government after a delay of eight years to challenge the Allahabad HC’s decision acquitting an accused in a gruesome murder case, in which he was awarded death penalty.

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