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Case Law Details

Case Name : Gurdeep Singh Vs Nagar Ayukt Nagar Nigam Moti Jheel And Another (Allahabad High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Tax No. 206 of 2024
Date of Judgement/Order : 22/02/2024
Related Assessment Year :

Gurdeep Singh Vs Nagar Ayukt Nagar Nigam Moti Jheel And Another (Allahabad High Court)

In a landmark decision that underscores the importance of efficiency and timeliness in the judiciary, the Allahabad High Court recently addressed a critical issue facing many appellants in statutory appeals. The case in point, Gurdeep Singh Vs Nagar Ayukt Nagar Nigam Moti Jheel And Another, brings to light the often-overlooked aspect of legal proceedings – the prompt decision-making on stay applications.

The petitioner, Gurdeep Singh, expressed grievance over the prolonged delay in the adjudication of his appeal no. 2 of 2019 (Sardool Singh (since deceased) and another Vs. Nagar Ayukt Kanpur Nagar), which has been pending for more than four years. Adding to the petitioner’s woes, a stay application filed on January 24, 2024, awaited a directive, only to be postponed to a later date. This delay not only hampers the appellate process but also, as the petitioner rightfully argued, defeats the very purpose of filing an appeal.

The crux of the matter lies in the necessity for the judiciary to ensure that when statutory appeals are filed – especially after the appellants have complied with the pre-deposit condition – it is imperative for the courts to issue orders on the stay applications within a reasonable timeframe. The practice of issuing routine orders to postpone the hearing of stay applications does little to serve the cause of justice and, in many instances, can lead to unjust hardship for the appellants.

Understanding the gravity of the situation and in a bid to expedite the legal process, the Allahabad High Court took a decisive stance. The Court opined that given the already significant delay in the hearing of both the appeal and the stay application, no constructive purpose would be served by further prolonging the writ petition or by soliciting a counter affidavit at this stage.

In a directive that aims to alleviate the petitioner’s concerns and ensure a swifter judicial process, the High Court disposed of the writ petition with a clear instruction. It mandated that, upon the petitioner filing a copy of the court’s order, the learned court below is to schedule an appropriate date for the hearing of the stay application. Moreover, a “reasoned and speaking order” is to be passed within two weeks from the date the order copy is presented before the court. This directive not only emphasizes the need for prompt action but also ensures that the orders passed are well-reasoned and articulate, thereby upholding the principles of justice and transparency.

Adding to the petitioner’s temporary relief, Shri Abhinava Krishna Srivastava, the learned counsel for the Nagar Nigam, assured the court that no coercive measures would be taken against the petitioner for a period of four weeks. This gesture of goodwill underscores the recognition of the undue stress and hardship faced by appellants due to delays in the legal process.

The Allahabad High Court’s ruling in Gurdeep Singh Vs Nagar Ayukt Nagar Nigam Moti Jheel And Another is a testament to the judiciary’s commitment to ensuring fairness and efficiency in legal proceedings. By urging the lower courts to decide on stay applications promptly, the High Court aims to prevent the unnecessary prolongation of legal battles and the consequent hardship on the parties involved. This decision sets a precedent for future cases, emphasizing the importance of timely judicial decisions in upholding the principles of justice and equity.

In conclusion, the Allahabad High Court’s directive serves as a reminder of the critical role that timely decision-making plays in the judicial system. It highlights the judiciary’s responsibility to not only adjudicate matters but to do so in a manner that is both efficient and just. As legal professionals, stakeholders, and the public at large reflect on this ruling, it is hoped that it will lead to a more prompt and effective resolution of stay applications in statutory appeals, thereby reinforcing the faith of the citizenry in the legal system.

FULL TEXT OF THE JUDGMENT/ORDER OF ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT

1. Grievance of the petitioner is, on one hand, the petitioner’s appeal no. 2 of 2019 (Sardool Singh (since deceased) and another Vs. Nagar Ayukt Kanpur Nagar) has remained pending for more than four years and on the other hand the stay application filed by the petitioner on 24.01.2024 has been directed to be put up on the date fixed.

2. It has been urged, unless the stay application is heard and appropriate order is passed thereon, the very purpose of filing of appeal would stand defeated.

3. It is necessary to observe, where statutory appeals are filed after making due compliance of pre deposit condition, it is incumbent on the learned court below to pass appropriate orders on the stay application within a reasonable time. Passing of routine orders requiring the stay application to be put up on the date fixed do not serve the cause of justice.

4. Accordingly, since the appeal and the stay application have already been pending before the learned court below, no useful purpose would be served in keeping the present petition pending or calling for any counter affidavit, at this stage.

5. The writ petition is disposed of with the observation, subject to the petitioner filing a copy of this order before the learned court below, appropriate date may be fixed on the stay application and a reasoned and speaking order may be passed within a period of two weeks from the date a copy of this order is placed before the learned court below.

6. Shri Abhinava Krishna Srivastava, learned counsel for the Nagar Nigam states, no coercive measures may be adopted against the petitioner for a period of four weeks.

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