This article is written by – Himanshu Shukla, Student (IP University, Delhi)
A division bench of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla was hearing a writ petition filed by Praful Kumar in which the Commissioner of Allahabad Division, Allahabad was appointed by the Court for a fixed period. There was a demand for a direction to decide on the appeal within a specific period/ time-bound. The Court perused the order sheet from the year 2014 itself and noted that barring a few dates, almost all the lawyers abstained from work and once the appeal was dismissed even in the absence of prosecution.
The Court observed that this situation has continued from the year 2014 till date, except for the period when the Courts were not able to function due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bench observed while dismissing a plea seeking time-bound decision of a case, that “Almost every day a large number of petitions are coming before this Court with similar prayers that proceedings may be decided within a time-bound period and in most of the cases order sheet of the case reflects the same state of affairs with only very few exceptions.”
Therefore, the court refused to grant relief as prayed in the writ petition in such circumstances and called it a concern of the court and ultimately a waste of financial or resources of the litigants as well as the taxpayers. The court said that if such directions and/or orders are issued, the court/authority will be threatened with contempt of court if the matter is not decided.
“….. Maybe the same lawyer who is abstaining from work is generating this litigation, which, is not serving as substantial counsel of the litigant or the society at large” concluded the Court.
Finally, the Public Prosecutor, as well as the Registry, were directed to send a copy of the order to the concerned Bar Association within a period of 15 days so that the Bar Association and the members of the Bar Association concerned could be made aware of the same.
The Court also directed the Registry to send a copy of the order to all the District Judges and Commissioners of the area and the Board of Revenue for forwarding to all the Bar Associations with a view to sensitize the lawyers on the issue.