Shimla, March 21
The failure to give reasons amounts to denial of justice. Reasons are live links between the minds of the decision-taker to the controversy in question and the decision or conclusion arrived at. This was held by the HP High Court, while setting aside the order of the Divisional Commissioner, Kangra at Dharamsala in a revenue matter.
Application of mind
Every order passed by a public authority must disclose due and proper application of mind by the person making the order. HC Bench
A division bench comprising Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan and Justice Virender Singh passed this order on a petition filed by Shashi Kumar challenging the order of the Divisional Commissioner alleging therein that the officer has not given any reasoning while upholding the order of the Sub Divisional Collector pertaining to the ownership rights of the petitioner.
Passing this order, the court observed, “It is rather unfortunate that an Officer of the rank of Divisional Commissioner is not conversant with law as he has to say the least, passed a cryptic order, as is evident from the order itself.”
The court further observed that “In Para Nos. 1 to 5, the officer concerned has noted the contentions and thereafter in para-7 he has wrapped up the decision by recording that the reasons given by Sub Division Collector in his order are valid and I agree with the same.”
The court further observed that “what are the reasons that weighed with the Divisional Commissioner for arriving at the aforesaid conclusion are not at all forthcoming; we need to remind the officer that he is dealing with the valuable rights of the parties and the same cannot be decided in such a cryptic manner, that too without recording any reasons whatsoever.”
It further observed that “Every order passed by a public authority must disclose due and proper application of mind by the person making the order. Application of mind is best demonstrated by disclosure of mind by the authority making the order and disclosure is best done by recording the reasons that led the authority to pass the order in question. Absence of reasons either in the order passed by the authority is clearly suggestive of the order being arbitrary hence legally unsustainable.”
The court further directed the Divisional Commissioner to decide the matter afresh by affording an opportunity to both sides and thereafter pass a reasoned order.
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