CJ takes serious note of delayed responses in pleas

Delayed responses by litigants and their counsels, be it in filing replies, petitions, counter affidavits or applications, will not be allowed any more.

Telangana High Court Chief Justice Hima Kohli made this crystal clear to petitioners and lawyers on Tuesday while hearing some writ appeals and other matters. The CJ expressed dismay after learning that there was delay of hundreds of days in filing responses or petitions in some matters.

In a writ petition filed by Hyderabad Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board seeking to declare an office note passed by District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum as arbitrary, the CJ found that the respondents’ counsels did not file responses even after nine months. The counsels sought some more time to reply to the notices.

“What is happening?..This is becoming a mockery...You are just assuming we will give time...” the CJ remarked. Observing that it was a fit case to impose costs for delayed response, the CJ expressed disappointment over the counsels seeking time even after lapse of nine months. Stating that it was a last opportunity for the counsels to file their replies, the matter was posted after six weeks for next hearing.

In another writ appeal filed by TSRTC challenging a single-judge order over service matter of an employee, the CJ found fault with the counsel for filing the appeal late. The counsel admitted that there was “delay”. “Not delay, stupendous delay”, the CJ remarked.

The labour court passed an order in favour of the worker in 2002. Four years later, a writ petition was filed by TSRTC challenging the order. A single judge confirmed the Labour Court order in 2018. After nearly 18 months, the TSRTC filed the writ appeal condoning the delay of over 600 days.

In another writ appeal challenging a single judge order over allotment of land to an industrial unit owner, the CJ observed it was another example of laggard response. The petitioner’s counsel explained that there was no land available for allotment. But the CJ said that was not the point relating to the appeal and it was the petitioner who failed to make payments to secure the land.

Justice B. Vijaysen Reddy, who was on the division bench headed by the CJ, said the Telangana HC was liberal in granting time to petitioners. “A little too liberal,” the CJ remarked.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 7:04:37 PM |

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