Supreme Court expresses displeasure over obtaining order from vacation bench

The Supreme Court Friday termed as “very serious” the matter where an order, relating to registration of diesel vehicles for civic body in Delhi, was secured from a vacation bench by suppressing the facts.

A bench comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Deepak Gupta said it was “not proper” that the matter was mentioned for hearing before a vacation bench despite the fact that the court had passed an order on May 7 that it would be heard in July.

“Have you seen the May 7 order? Despite that the matter came up (before vacation bench),” the bench told Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Pinky Anand.

When the ASG said she had no idea about it, the bench observed, “It is not you but the institution that suffers. One bench is dealing with the matter day in and day out. It says that list the matter in July despite that this was done.”

The court also said that it was the duty of lawyers, who had appeared in the matter on May 7, to inform the vacation bench about it.

“Who has obtained this order?,” the bench asked.

ASG Sanjay Jain, who was also appearing in the matter, said he had not appeared before the vacation bench on May 16 when the order was passed.

“This is very serious,” the bench said, adding, “This is not proper. Now, what remains in the matter. You wanted registration of vehicles and the relief has been granted to you. Now what remains in the matter, except for recalling of the order”.

The court said that the matter would be heard on July 15.

On July 1, the top court was anguished that oral observations made by it during the hearing on May 7 that it would ascertain some facts relating to the issue on re-opening of the court in July was not mentioned before the vacation bench which passed an order on May 16.

“There is some order passed in the vacation. First we want to know the propriety of it. Whether it was proper for you (civic body) to mention it (before vacation bench)? We had passed an order and you took a chance before the vacation bench,” the bench had observed.

The issue relates to registration of six diesel-driven mounted suction-cum-jetting machines for the purpose of desilting, cleaning of drains and culverts and for implementation of the Municipal Sold Waste Rules, 2016.

On May 16, a vacation bench of the apex court had passed an interim order directing the Transport Department of the Delhi government to register these vehicles.

In a separate matter last Friday, irked over “judicial impropriety” by some senior advocates in taking relief from its vacation benches by suppressing facts, the Supreme Court blasted them for “playing fraud” upon it.

Terming this practice as “the height of judicial misconduct”, a bench headed by Justice Mishra, had said that senior advocates were “not above the law” and such conduct reflected that “no morality” is left in some of them.

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