M A I N   N E W S

HC tells Punjab secretary to pay month’s salary as costs
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 10
Government functionaries, secretary-level officers included, now stand the risk of losing their month’s take-home salary for needlessly contesting writ petitions and not deciding the issues at the pre-litigation stage.

Making it clear that the Punjab and Haryana High Court would not tolerate such practices, a Division Bench comprising Justice J.S. Khehar and Justice Nirmaljit Kaur today directed the secretary to the Punjab government, Department of Revenue, to deposit his month’s carry-home salary as costs for unnecessarily contesting a writ petition.

The Bench ruled the costs would be deposited with the Punjab State Legal Services Authority within a month from today.

The trend-setting directions, expected to minimise the wastage of court time by cutting down on unnecessary litigation, were issued in a mutation matter filed by Ludhiana-based Kanishka Oswal.

The Bench was of the opinion that the respondents, the state of Punjab included, had unfairly contested the writ petition in view of the factual and legal position.

Virtually passing strictures against the state and its functionaries, the Bench added it was in these kinds of cases where the non-application of mind was resulting in unnecessary litigation.

The Bench was of the view that had the revenue secretary taken into consideration the legal proposition fully propounded in the writ petition, it would not have been necessary for the court to hear the counsel for the parties for rendering the judgement.

The Bench added in order to ensure that the authorities in future exercised due diligence and applied as costs

their mind to the matters before them, they were satisfied that imposing costs was necessary. The decision would prevent the repetition of such acts in future, the judges added. The directions were issued in the presence of state counsel Praveen Goyal.

In her petition, Kanishka Oswal had earlier claimed that a bank had sanctioned credit facilities to her. In compliance with the terms and conditions of the sanction, she mortgaged property by depositing the original title deed with the bank.

The petitioner, in a communiqué to a tehsildar, then requested him to enter a mutation on the basis of the mortgage. The representation was forwarded to the village patwari, but he refused to enter the mutation. Dissatisfied, she moved the court for directions to the respondents to enter the mutation.

Before parting with the orders on her petition, the Bench allowed the prayer and directed the respondents to enter the necessary mutation in the revenue records within a week.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |