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SC goes tough for avoiding litigation

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 30 (UNI) While censuring Calcutta High Court for describing judicial order as an order of administrative nature, the Supreme Court has directed two government departments to avoid litigation.

A bench comprising Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice Tarun Chatterji in a judgement on March 28 had ruled "It is abundantly clear that the machinery contemplated is only to ensure no litigation comes to Court without the parties having had an opportunity of conciliation before an in-house committee on Court.'' The litigation started when Allahabad Bank, the respondent filed a suit against Punjab and Sind Bank for the recovery of Rs 5,52,66,671.

The defendent challenged the maintability of the suit on the grounds that the suit has been filed without going through the modalities prescribed in the Supreme Court in ONGC v/s CCE case. In that case, the Supreme Court had suggested constitution of high-powered committee by the government to resolve the differences between the government departments before taking recourse to litigation.

The Supreme Court while setting aside the Calcutta High Court order said "The view expressed by the division bench of High Court is confusing which patently shows that ratio of the various decisions has not been understood in the proper perspective. To say that the decisons in the ONGC-I case (supra) was of an administrative nature though a jucidial order shows non-application of mind. Any order passed in a judicial proceeding (much less an order passed by this Court) can by no stretch of imagination be described as one of administrative nature".

The apex court remitted the matter back to the High Court for fresh consideration keeping in view the modalities and principles set out by this Court in the various decisions reffered to above.

UNI AKS/SC DKS KP1239

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