Emco Ltd vs. UOI (Bombay High Court)

DATE: (Date of pronouncement)
DATE: February 25, 2014 (Date of publication)

Click here to download the judgement (emco_delayed_order.pdf)

Undue delay in passing order causes prejudice & results in loss of confidence in the judicial body. Such a delayed order has to be set aside

This Court in the matter of Shivsagar Veg. Restaurant has, after considering the various decisions of the Apex Court, laid down that undue delay (four months) in delivery of judgment by the ITAT after the hearing is in itself sufficient to set aside the impugned order without considering the merits of the order. The Apex Court in the matter of Anil Rai (supra) has reiterated the observations made by an earlier Bench of Apex Court in R.C.Sharma Vs. Union of India {(1976)3-SCC-574}, which reads as under

“ … … … Nevertheless an unreasonable delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of judgment, unless explained by exceptional or extraordinary circumstances, is highly undesirable even when written arguments are submitted. It is not unlikely that some points which the litigant considers important may have escaped notice. But, what is more important is that litigants must have complete confidence in the results of litigation. This confidence tends to be shaken if there is excessive delay between hearing of arguments and delivery of judgments.” (emphasis supplied)

6. In view of the above, it is very clear that the authorities under the Act are obliged to dispose of proceedings before them as expeditiously as possible after the conclusion of the hearing. This alone would ensure that all the submissions made by a party are considered in the order passed and ensure that the litigant also has a satisfaction of noting that all his submissions have been considered and an appropriate order has been passed. It is most important that the litigant must have complete confidence in the process of litigation and that this confidence would be shaken if there is excessive delay between the conclusion of the hearing and delivery of judgment.

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