The Calcutta High Court on Friday expressed its strong displeasure against its Registry for not listing a habeas corpus petition for the last 23 years in a case relating to a mother allegedly not having been handed over to her child following his birth at a hospital. A writ petition on it had come up for consideration before the high court on December 22, 1997, a division bench presided by Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan noted.
The bench, also comprising Justice Arijit Banerjee, said that the high court had issued a direction to West Bengal's Director General of Police (DGP) to have a case registered and to initiate an investigation. "Though different directions were issued with the further order to the Registry of this court to list the matter after three months, it is a matter of great misfortune that this matter is listed today after 23 years in hibernation of this file in the cupboard of the high court," it observed.
"We are in a judicial system. We cannot afford stacking of files without the same being listed in spite of judicial orders," the bench said. The court noted on Friday that the woman had recorded her statement before the police.
"Under such circumstances, we do not think that any further order is required to be passed except to close this matter expressing our strong displeasure against the department for not having this matter listed for the last 23 years," the bench said, disposing of the habeas corpus petition. It added that when matters are not listed by the office of the high court in spite of judicial orders, it may, at least in certain situations, be appropriate that the courts should consider initiating action for misconduct against the officers concerned.