NEGLECT OF A PUBLIC OFFICER AND SEC 80 CPC & RTI ACT
by, 05-30-2010 at 03:51 AM (1829 Views)
Overwhelmingly, it is seen that Public Officials consciously indulge in complete disregard of established laws OR in neglect of their duties OR in not complying with Court orders.........and constrained us to indulge in expensive and avoidable litigation.
That the government is known to be a huge contributor to delays, in matters where it is a party – at various stages – from evading notices, replying to notices and replying without application of mind, unnecessarily appealing even when the laws are clearly in favor of the other side, etc.
In Salem Advocate Bar Association, Tamil Nadu Vs. Union of India (UOI), (2005) 6 SCC 344, paras 38, 39 this Court has observed and directed “… Wherever the statutory provision requires service of notice as a condition precedent for filing of Cases, it is not only necessary for the Governments or departments or other statutory bodies to send a reply to such a notice but it is further necessary to properly deal with all material points and issues raised in the notice.
The Governments, government departments or statutory authorities are defendants in a large number of Cases pending in various courts in the country. Judicial notice can be taken of the fact that in a large number of cases either the notice is not replied to or in the few cases where a reply is sent, it is generally vague and evasive. The result is that the object underlying Section 80 of the Code and similar provisions gets defeated. It not only gives rise to avoidable litigation but also results in heavy expenses and costs to the exchequer as well.
A proper reply can result in reduction of litigation between the State and the citizens. In case a proper reply is sent, either the claim in the notice may be admitted or the area of controversy curtailed, or the citizen may be satisfied on knowing the stand of the State. There is no accountability in the Government, Central or State or the statutory authorities in violating the spirit and object of Section 80…
These provisions cast an implied duty on all Governments and States and statutory authorities concerned to send appropriate reply to such notices.
Having regard to the existing state of affairs, we direct all Governments, Central or State or other authorities concerned, whenever any statute requires service of notice as a condition precedent for filing of suit or other proceedings against it, to nominate, within a period of three months, an officer who shall be made responsible to ensure that replies to notices under Section 80 or similar provisions are sent within the period stipulated in a particular legislation. The replies shall be sent after due application of mind. Despite such nomination, if the court finds that either the notice has not been replied to or the reply is evasive and vague and has been sent without proper application of mind, the court shall ordinarily award heavy costs against the Government and direct it to take appropriate action against the officer concerned including recovery of costs from him.”.
This can be well mixed in the RTI Application u/s 6 - cum-Notice U/s 80 CPC.
Please read Section 80 at these link:
RTI India Message
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