Delay in pronouncement

“Judicial discipline requires promptness in delivery of judgments - an aspect repeatedly emphasized by this Court. The problem is compounded where the result is known but not the reasons. This deprives any aggrieved party of the opportunity to seek further judicial redressal in the next tier of judicial scrutiny.”  

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Constitution of India, Article 21 – Judicial discipline – Delay in pronouncing judgment  - High court pronounced order on 21.01.2020 being only the operative portion – “For the reasons separately recorded, the present writ petition is dismissed” - Reasons were received by the Registry only on 09.10.2020 after almost nine months and uploaded on the same date – Guidelines passed in Anil Rai v.  State of Bihar,- 2001 (7) SCC 318 ,  appear to have been ignored, more importantly where oral orders are pronounced, it is expected that they are either dictated in the Court or at least must follow immediately thereafter, to facilitate any aggrieved party to seek redressal from the higher Court - Delay in delivery of judgments has been observed to be a violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India and the problem gets aggravated when the operative portion is made available early and the reasons follow much later - The appellant undoubtedly being the aggrieved party and prejudiced by the impugned order is unable to avail of the legal remedy of approaching this Court where reasons can be scrutinized - It really amounts to defeating the rights of the appellant to challenge the impugned order on merits and even the succeeding party is unable to obtain the fruits of success of the litigation - Matter to be reheard to be taken up by a Bench not consisting of the Members who constituted the Bench earlier.    (2020-4)200 PLR 666 (SC)

 

Held that, almost two decades ago, this Court in Anil Rai v.  State of Bihar - 2001 (7) SCC 318 ,  deemed it appropriate to provide some guidelines regarding the pronouncement of judgments, expecting them to be followed by all concerned under the mandate of this Court. It is not necessary to reproduce the directions except to state that normally the judgment is expected within two months of the conclusion of the arguments, and on expiry of three months any of the parties can file an application in the High Court with prayer for early judgment. If, for any reason, no judgment is pronounced for six months, any of the parties is entitled to move an application before the then Chief Justice of the High Court with a prayer to re-assign the case before another Bench for fresh arguments, Anil Rai v.  State of Bihar - 2001 (7) SCC 318.