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SC Asks High Courts Not to Keep Review Pleas Pending for Long

The Supreme Court has asked all high courts not to keep the applications seeking review of any order pending for long, as it delays matters in every court.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:March 8, 2017, 6:44 PM IST
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SC Asks High Courts Not to Keep Review Pleas Pending for Long
The Supreme Court of India. (File Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked all high courts not to keep the applications seeking review of any order pending for long, as it delays matters in every court.

The apex court's observation came as it was dealing with a matter in which the Kerala High Court had kept a review plea pending for almost four years.

It said the review plea should be disposed of as expeditiously as possible and it is the duty of the high court registry to place the matter before the concerned judge so that the application can be dealt with "in quite promptitude".

"An application for review, regard being had to its limited scope, has to be disposed of as expeditiously as possible," a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Mohan M Shantanagoudar said.

"Though we do not intend to fix any time limit, it has to be the duty of the registry of every high court to place the matter before the concerned judge/bench so that the review application can be dealt with in quite promptitude," it said.

The apex court said a "reasonable period" can be spent for disposal of the review, "but definitely not four years".

"We are compelled to say so as the counsel for petitioner has submitted that there is a delay of 1700 days in preferring the special leave petition against the principal order as he was prosecuting the remedy of review before the high court. The situation is not acceptable," it noted.

"We request the high courts not to keep the applications for review pending as that is likely to delay the matter in every court and also embolden the likes of the petitioner to take a stand intelligently depicting the same in the application for condonation of delay," the bench said.

It said an endeavour has to be made by high courts to dispose of review pleas with expediency and it is the duty and obligation of a litigant to file a review and not to keep it defective "as if a defective petition can be allowed to remain on life support, as per his desire".

"There may be absence of diligence on the part of the litigant, but the registry of the high courts is required to be vigilant. Procrastination of litigation in this manner is nothing but a subterfuge taken recourse to in a manner that can epitomise 'cleverness' in its conventional sense," it said.

While dismissing the plea, the bench said that a copy of its order be sent to the registrar general of all the high courts so that it can be placed before the Chief Justice or Acting Chief Justice to do the needful in the matter.

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