Allegations of partiality and favouristism in Registry: Supreme Court dismisses petition, imposes costs of Rs 100 on petitioner
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Allegations of partiality and favouristism in Registry: Supreme Court dismisses petition, imposes costs of Rs 100 on petitioner

The Supreme Court also notes in it's judgment that "several" officers of the court have suffered due to COVID-19.

Debayan Roy

The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition alleging partiality and favouristism in the listing of matters on the part of the Apex Court Registry (Reepak Kansal vs Secretary General of Supreme Court of India).

While doing so, the Court imposed costs of Rs. 100 on the petitioner for seeking a direction to the Secretary General and the Registrar to not give preferential treatment in listing of cases.

The order passed by a two-judge Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Abdul Nazeer came in plea filed by Advocate Reepak Kansal, who alleged partiality and favouritism in the Supreme Court Registry with respect to listing of matters.

Justices Arun Mishra and Abdul Nazeer
Justices Arun Mishra and Abdul Nazeer

The Bench told the petitioner that being a member of the Bar, he ought not make such allegations against the Registry. It said,

"We are imposing a minimum cost of Rs 100 on you."

Supreme Court

The court stated that "a large number of petitions" filed are in defect and that unnecessary pressure is put on the assistants dealing with such cases.

The top court noting that "to err is human" states that such errors can creep in especially when they are working to their maximum capacity during a pandemic.

We take judicial notice of the fact that a large number of petitions are filed which are defective; still, the insistence is made to list them and mention is made that they should be listed urgently. It happens in a large number of matters, and unnecessary pressure is put upon the Assistants dealing with the cases. We find due to mistakes/ carelessness when petitions with defects are filed, it should not be expected that they should be listed instantly. To err is human and there can be an error on the part of the Dealing Assistants too.

reads the judgment delivered

The Supreme Court also notes in it's judgment that "several" officers of the court have suffered due to COVID-19.

The Court functioned during the lockdown, the cases were scanned and listed by the Registry. The staff of this Court is working despite danger to their life and safety caused due to pandemic, and several of the Dealing Staff, as well as Officers, have suffered due to Covid­19

reads the verdict

The court has maintained that even in the High Courts, registry and its officers are often blamed for "no good reasons."

The Registry is nothing but an arm of this Court and an extension of its dignity. Bar is equally respected and responsible part of the integral system, Registry is part and parcel of the system, and the system has to work in tandem and mutual reverence

judgment

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