High Court raps Kerala government for ‘casual, callous’ conduct in court proceedings

The counsel representing the state takes one adjournment after another for filing a counter affidavit, which results in long pendency of cases.
Kerala High Court
Kerala High Court (Photo| A Sanesh)

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has strongly criticised the state government for its handling of court cases, noting with dismay the government’s casual and disrespectful approach to court proceedings. “This court is at pains to note the pathetic casual approach in court proceedings and disrespect of the state government to the court and proceedings. In no case is the counter affidavit filed on time,” said Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh.

The court said in no case is the counter affidavit filed on time. The counsel representing the state takes one adjournment after another for filing a counter affidavit, which results in long pendency of cases.

The court flayed the government when the latter’s petition on the notification nationalising the Ernakulam-Muvattupuzha route came up.

The court said the writ petition has been pending since 2018. The government has not cared to file a counter affidavit. In the absence of a response from the state government to the allegations, the court is not in a position to adjudicate the matter.

Looking at the casual and callous attitude of the state government to the court proceedings and utmost disrespect to the court, a direction was issued on June 11 asking the Principal Secretary of the Transport Department to present before this court along with the record of the proceeding. Instead of appearing in person with the record, an application was filed seeking exemption from the personal appearance of principal secretary Dr K Vasuki. The court said that if the Principal Secretary was not available, somebody or the in-charge of the Transport Department should have appeared with the record of the proceedings.

Instead of bringing the record to the court, Santhosh Kumar P, Special Government Pleader for the Transport Department, has sought adjournment and time for filing the counter affidavit. “This callous and casual approach of the state government does not augur well in the dispensation of justice and would only show disrespect to the High Court,” it said. The court also warned that it would initiate contempt proceedings against the government and if the counter affidavit is not filed on the next posting date, the same will be accepted with a fine of Rs 50,000. The amount is to be recovered from the officer responsible for not filing a counter affidavit, it said.

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