Sunday, January 4, 2015

Supreme Court of India running out of patience on noncompliance with AFT decisions

Maj (ret) Navdeep Singh has obtained this remarkable December 9, 2014 order from the Supreme Court of India in Ex-Rifleman Rajender Singh v. Union of India, CWP No. 25149 of 2014:

It is, inter alia, contended that despite categorical order passed by this Court in PIL jurisdiction, dated 19.05.2014 in CWP No.27324 of 2013 (Navdeep Singh versus Union of India and others (Annexure P-3), the Armed Forces Tribunal has taken no lawful coercive action against willful disobedience and breach of its orders by the Army authorities. It is pointed out that there are thousands of orders passed by the Tribunal which have not been given effect, more particularly by the Chief Controller of Defence Accounts (Pension) at Allahabad (UP). Illustratively, it is pointed out that in the instant case, the Tribunal allowed the claim of the petitioner way back on 05.04.2013 but that order is yet to be complied with though it has attained finality.

Notice of motion for 10.02.2015.

Respondent Nos. 1 to 4 are directed to comply with the above-mentioned order passed by the Tribunal before the next date of hearing, failing which there shall be exemplary costs personally recoverable from the officers responsible for the delay. We make it clear that in such an event, the rate of interest payable to the petitioner shall also be increased. This would be further without prejudice to the action that may be initiated under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.

We also direct respondent nos. 1 to 4 to place on record the status report by way of affidavit of an officer not below the rank of Deputy Secretary, along with details of (i) the orders of Armed Forces Tribunal, Chandigarh Regional Bench, which have not been challenged before any superior forum so far; (ii) the orders which though have been challenged but there is no interim stay in favour of the authorities, and (iii) how many such orders are yet to be complied with.

On our asking, Mr. Arun Gosain, learned standing counsel for Union of India, accepts notice on behalf of the respondents.

Let four copies of the writ petition be supplied to learned counsel for the respondents during the course of day failing which the writ petition shall stand dismissed for non-prosecution. Counter reply, if any, be filed before the date fixed with an advance copy to the opposite counsel.

Let a copy of this order be given dasti to Mr. Arun Gosain, learned standing counsel for Union of India, for information and necessary compliance.


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