IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI CORAM:
UNION OF INDIA and ORS .....
Through Mr. Sachin Datta, Advocate
CENTRAL INFORMATION COMMISSIONER
and ANR .....
HON'BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE
HON'BLE DR. JUSTICE S.MURALIDHAR
O R D E R
CM APPL No. 15944-45/2009
Exemptions allowed subject to all just exceptions.
Applications are disposed of.
CM APPL No. 15943 (delay)
1. There is a delay of 168 days in filing this appeal.
2. Having examined the application for condonation of delay, we are not
satisfied with the reasons furnished. Despite a copy of the impugned order being
available to the Appellant on 11th May 2009, the appeal was filed on 30th
October 2009 on the ground that no counsel was nominated by the Central
Government to handle the case till then.
3. The application is accordingly dismissed.
LPA No. 576/2009 and CM APPL No. 15942/2009 (stay)
4. Although this appeal is liable to be dismissed consequent upon the dismissal
of the application for condonation of delay, even on merits we find that this is
not a case where the Appellant Union of India should have persisted with the
5. At the outset it needs to be observed that in UPSC v. Shiv Shambhu 2008 (IX)
AD (Delhi) 289 this Court has held that where the order of the Central
Information Commission (CIC) is challenged, the CIC itself is neither a
necessary nor a proper party. Consequently, the CIC is struck off from the array
of parties in the present appeal. Accordingly the cause title of the present
appeal will read as Union of India and Ors. v. Dr. Ajay Kumar Jain.
6. The challenge before the learned Single Judge was to an order dated 31st July
2008 passed by the CIC dismissing a petition seeking recall of an earlier order
dated 15th May 2008 whereby the CIC had directed the Appellant to issue
passports to the Respondent No.2 Dr. Jain, his wife, and his son without delay
and also pay the Respondent Dr. Jain compensation of Rs.5,000/- for the mental
agony and harassment caused to him.
7. In the impugned judgment the learned Single Judge has, after discussing the
merits, concluded that although the CIC was justified in issuing directions to
the Appellant to issue passports to the Respondent, his wife and son, it erred
in directing payment of compensation. Therefore, while setting aside that part
of the order of the CIC awarding the compensation of Rs.5,000/- to the
Respondent Dr. Jain within a period of four weeks, the learned Single Judge
awarded Dr. Jain costs of Rs.55,000/-.
8. We do not see any reason why the Union of India should have persisted in
filing an appeal when the learned Single Judge has in fact accepted its
contention and set aside that part of the order of the CIC which directed the
Appellant to pay compensation of Rs.5,000/- to the Respondent Dr. Jain. In our
view, since the amount involved was meagre, the Union of India should have in
the first place avoided filing even a writ petition. In any event after that
part of the order of the CIC was set aside, there was no justifiable reason to
challenge the impugned order of the learned Single Judge. The costs of
Rs.55,000/- levied by the learned Single Judge was perfectly justified and does
not call for interference.
9. We are not a little surprised that notwithstanding the concern expressed
recently in public by the Attorney General for India about the filling of
unnecessary appeals by the Union of India, there are instances like the present
one, where to avoid paying Rs.5,000/-, the Union of India persists with
litigation, incurring a more expense in the process.
10. Accordingly, we dismiss the appeal with costs of Rs.20,000/- which will be
paid by the Union of India to the Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee
within a period of two weeks from today. Proof of payment of costs be placed on
record within a period of one week thereafter. The application for stay is
S. MURALIDHAR, J.
NOVEMBER 10, 2009
LPA No. 576/2009
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