A division bench comprising Justice N Kirubakaran and Justice B Pugalendhi, before whom the delayed appeal came up despite the order copy of the single judge was sent way back on November 25, 2016, said: “In fact, the trend of filing the appeal belatedly has become a habit on the part of the officials for the reasons best known to them, even though the government has to pay heavy costs in case the delay is condoned or to spend huge money by implementing the order passed by the courts.”
The bench also pointed out that contempt petitions were sometimes filed and the order passed in the writ petition itself would not be brought to the notice of the authority, who is required to comply with the order. “It is learnt that a few unscrupulous, corrupt elements, in the Department itself, by deliberate design with the connivance of the litigants, get the orders implemented, which are required to be assailed in the appeal, without filing the appeal in time and bringing to the notice of the higher officials only when orders in contempt petitions are to be passed,” the bench said.
While allowing the appeal, the bench also held that whenever orders were passed, it should be immediately brought to the notice of the authority concerned, who is supposed to implement the order.
“Any staff, who is negligent in bringing the orders to the notice of the authority, who is supposed to implement the order, should be dealt with accordingly. Then only discipline can be inculcated in the minds of the staff. Otherwise, there will not be any discipline and the Courts will be flooded with n-number of condone delay petitions and contempt petitions.
“We are moving towards digitalisation. Getting an order copy manually is a day-old practice and the orders are being uploaded in the official website of this court, then and there. Within a few days, orders are being uploaded and the higher officials could very well verify in the website as to whether any orders have been passed against them so that they can take note of it and act accordingly,” the bench added.