Monday, November 16, 2009

Views of Air Cmde S Murugan

: Murugan Subbiah
Date: 2009/11/14
Subject: Supreme court criticises government on its frivolous litigation against Citizens- Relevance to Dhanapalan case.
To: RDOA India , retired officers forum

I saw some legal News today by Hindu Legal Correspondent in Hindu today that may be of interest and use in your legal tussle with the Govt as a follow up to Dhanabalan Case..This is about Supreme court criticism of Govt about its frivolous litigations that clog the wheels of justice. I append below the News Report.
"The Supreme court has expressed concern over the increase of frivolous and unjust litigation by the Central and State Govts thereby clogging the wheels of justice.Statuatory authorities exist to discharge statutory functions in Public Interest.They should be responsible litigants. they cannot raise frivolous and unjust objections nor act in a callous and high handed manner.They cannot behave like some private litigants with profiteering motives. Nor can they resort to unjust enrichment" said a Bench of Justices R.V.Raveendran and G.S.Singhvi.
Writing the Order, Justice Raveendran said" Unwarranted Litigation by Government and Statutory authorities basically stems from two baseless assumptions by their officers- all claims should be viewed as illegal and should be resisted and fought up to the highest court, if taking a decision on an issue could be avoided;then it is prudent not to decide and let the aggrieved party approach the court and secure a decision."
The Bench said"The reluctance to take decisions or the tendency to challenge all orders against them, is not the policy of the Governments or statutory bodies but is attributable to some officers responsible for taking decisions and/or Officer in charge of Litigations. Their reluctance arises from an instinctive tendency to protect themselves against any future accusations of wrong decision making or worse of improper motives for any decision making.
The Bench said" Unless the insecurity and fear is addressed, officers will continue to pass on the responsibility of decision making to courts and tribunals. The Centre is now attempting to deal with this issue by formulating realistic and practical norms for defending cases filed against the government and for filing appeals and revisions against adverse decisions thereby eliminating unnecessary litigation."
The Court said "it is not sufficient that Centre alone undertakes such exercise. The State govts and Statutory bodies who had more litigation than central govt should also make genuine efforts to eliminate litigation.Vexatious and unnecessary litigation has been clogging the wheels of justice for too long,making it difficult for courts and tribunals to provide easy and speedy access to justice to bona fide and needy litigants".
the Bench said "They are expected to show remorse or regret when their Officers act negligently or in an overbearing manner. When glaring wrong acts by the Officers are brought to their notice, for which there is no explanation or excuse, the least that is expected is restitution/restoration to the extent possible, with appropriate compensation". Their harsh attitudes to genuine grievances of the Public and their indulging in unwarranted litigation required to be corrected."
The remarks of Court pertain to a case where Urban Improvement Trust filed an appeal against an Order passed by National Consumer Disputes Redressal commission upholding the Rajasthan commission Direction.
The above remarks of the Supreme Court are particularly relevant because even though an earlier favourable verdict in the Case Dhanapalan existed, the Govt had refused to extend the same benefits to other affected officers of defence Services, thus involving large number of Defence Services in unnecessary litigation. you may like to consult your lawyer.

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Don't believe all that you hear and don't say all that you think.
Learn to listen. It is an art.
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