The Supreme Court in its order dated February 14 expressed displeasure over some states not filing counter affidavits on time on a petition seeking directions for enacting well-defined laws/rules to ensure adherence to the fundamental duties as enshrined in the Constitution, and said getting the pleadings completed is a "herculean task".

A bench headed by Justice S K Kaul observed that affidavits are being filed just a day before the scheduled hearing in the matter. "Getting the pleadings completed is a herculean task," the bench, also comprising Justice Manoj Misra and Justice Aravind Kumar, said while asking why cannot the affidavits be filed on time in advance.

Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar along with AOR Karunakar Mahalika appeared for the Petitioner before the Apex Court.

The bench was informed that as per the office report of the apex court in the matter, some states have not filed their counter affidavits. The apex court referred to the office report and noted it showed there are some states who have not filed the counter affidavit or filed it belatedly.

While posting the matter for further hearing on March 28, the bench said the secretary of the ministry concerned of states that still do not file the counter affidavit, will have to remain present before it through virtual mode.

While hearing the matter in November last year, the apex court had given one last opportunity to the states to file their affidavits within four weeks. "The failure to file an affidavit within the specified time (whether filed or not) will result in costs of Rs 25,000 each," the bench had said in its order. Earlier in July last year, the apex court had granted two more months to the Centre to file its response to the plea.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by an advocate seeking the issuance of directives to ensure adherence to the mandates as postulated under Part IV-A of the Constitution.

The plea has said the fundamental duties are intended to serve as a constant reminder to every citizen that while the Constitution conferred on them certain fundamental rights specifically, it also requires citizens to observe certain basic norms of democratic conduct and behaviour because rights and duties are correlative.

The plea said it aims to address the issue of national importance and to promote commitment amongst citizens towards each other and towards the nation as these contribute to the development and progress of the nation.

Cause Title - Durga Dutt v. Union of India & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Order

With PTI Inputs