Unhealthy Pattern Of Govt. Authorities Not Filing Counter Affidavits & Status Reports On Time: Delhi HC Warns Of Imposing Cost
The Delhi High Court has slammed the practice of governmental authorities, state departments and corporations not filing the Counter Affidavits and Status Reports as per the timelines prescribed by the Court.
While terming it as an unhealthy pattern, the Court warned that costs would be liable to be imposed, if the time schedule for pleadings fixed by the Court, are not adhered to.
“The Court is constrained to observe that there is an unhealthy pattern of governmental authorities, state departments and corporations not filing the Counter Affidavits and Status Reports as per the timelines prescribed by the Court.”, the bench of Justice Pratibha Singh observed.
The Court further observed “ It is made clear that costs would be liable to be imposed, if the time schedule for pleadings fixed by the Court, are not adhered to.”
In this case, the Court had directed the MCD to file an affidavit stating whether the road in question has been rid of all encroachments and whether further steps remain to be taken.
The Court had also directed the SHO to file an affidavit in these proceedings.
However the Court observed that it was not filed on time.
“…neither the MCD has filed its affidavit, nor has any affidavit been filed on behalf of the concerned SHO. Both have only been handed over in the Court today and these are stated to have been filed on 26th January, 2023 and 28th January, 2023 itself.”, the Court noted.
Senior Panel counsel, Pavan Narang, appeared for the petitioners whereas CGSPC Vivek Goyal and ASC Rishikesh Kumar appeared for Respondents.
The Court observed in the case that whenever unauthorised construction and encroachments are removed, cleaning up of the said area is an obligation of the MCD, and the SHO of the concerned area would also be responsible to ensure that no further unauthorised construction is made out after encroachments are removed.
The Court directed that all the encroachments and illegal constructions, pointed out, shall be removed and a comprehensive status report shall be placed at least one week before the next date of hearing failing which the concerned Divisional Commissioner and SHO shall remain present in the Court.
Cause Title- Wazirpur Bartan Nirmata Sangh (Through Its Secretary) & Ors. v. Union Of India & Ors.