New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sought a
response from Chief Secretaries of all States/UTs to explain
steps taken for weeding out collusion between officials and
vested interest in deliberately delaying filing of appeals
A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and T S Thakur said
there appeared to be rackets involving government officials
and beneficiaries of favourable judgements and said it was
high time the malpractice was rooted out.
"We feel that the beneficiary of the judgement may be
hand in glove with the officials in the government department
who deal with files and files are suppressed for a long
period and then the appeal before the High Court or Supreme
Court are filed after a long delay to get the appeal dismissed
on the ground of delay.
"Huge amount of public money or public property may be
involved and the government will be the loser on the technical
point of limitation in such cases. This racket has been going
on for a long time not only before the Supreme Court but also
before the High Courts.
"Now, time has come that this racket should come to an
end and the officials responsible for this be given severe
punishment," the Bench said in an order.
The apex court passed the order while dealing with an
appeal filed by Jharkhand government after a delay of one
year. The government had filed the earlier appeal in the high
court also after a delay of more than a year.
"It is high time that this malpractice be seriously
rooted out and the effectual mechanism be adopted all over the
country so that such delays do not occur in future," the Bench
said while seeking explanation from Chief Secretaries on
It also asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium to
assist the court in the matter.