New Delhi: Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra has asked the high courts across the country to suggest measures for speedy disposal of cases to curb pendency and filling up of vacancies in the subordinate judiciary. In a communication to the chief justices of the high courts, the CJI has suggested that a disposal review mechanism should be put in place keeping in view the pendency of large number of cases in the courts.
“The high courts have already been requested to prepare action plans with cut-off dates for disposal of 10-year and five-year old cases and such plans have to be continuously monitored by committees at the level of high courts and subordinate courts in the light of experience and new ideas,” the letter said.
The CJI said that “experiences show that overall monitoring, review and course correction of any action plan yields optimum results”.
Justice Misra has said in the communication that a disposal review mechanism in the high courts would concentrate on disposal of cases on a priority basis.
“Continuing formative assessment is the key to strengthen and reinforce the justice delivery system. It is essential to align process oriented approach with result oriented approach in an effort to build core process into strengths and achieve the desired goal,” he has said.
“It has also been obligated upon the high courts to ensure that the selection and appointment committee periodically monitors the process of filling up vacancies in the district judiciary and an online portal is developed for its continuous monitoring,” the communication said.
Recently, while speaking at a function held at the Orissa High Court, Justice Misra had reportedly highlighted the issue of lack of proper infrastructure in the courts and said that the state’s failure to provide basic facilities would be a violation of the litigants’ right to life, including right to speedy trial.
The Orissa High Court today granted bail to Prashant Dash, CMD of Seashore Group of Companies, in three chit fund related cases.
The bench of Justice C R Dash granted conditional bail to Prashant in the cases registered in Jajpur, Nawarangpur and Titlagarh police stations. He was earlier granted bail in three cases registered in Koraput and one in Ganjam.
The CBI had arrested him in December, 2013, from Mumbai for allegedly duping investors, who had invested Rs 500 crore in his companies, expecting heavy returns. Prashant is at present lodged in a Bhubaneswar jail.
The high court had in May and August this year granted him bail in four other similar cases.
After getting bail in three cases today, Prashant has now been granted bail in all the seven chit fund cases registered against him in different police stations of the state.
He is likely to walk free from jail soon, informed his counsel Sushant Tripathy.
Prashant’s younger brother Pravat, who was also one of the directors of the tainted company and arrested by the CBI in the chit fund cases, is now out of jail after being granted bail by the Supreme Court earlier this year.
Similarly, realtor Subhankar Nayak, also arrested by the CBI for allegedly being in close nexus with the directors of Seashore Group of Companies and several government officials, was granted bail by the HC in August this year.
The Orissa High Court today again refused to grant bail to miner Deepak Gupta who is in judicial custody for nearly four years on charges of corruption.
This is the fourth time that his bail application was rejected by the High Court.
Justice S K Mishra rejected the bail application saying that there is reasonable apprehension that evidences could be tampered with if bail is granted to him.
Gupta was arrested on September 5, 2013 by state vigilance and is currently facing trial on the charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act and IPC sections including 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 409 (criminal breach of trust).
It is alleged that Gupta in connivance with mining, forest and revenue officials, and mining lease holders created fake documents and excavated iron ore causing loss to the state exchequer to the tune of over Rs 1,500 crore.
A division bench of Orissa High Court today granted an interim stay on an impugned order passed last month by a single judge bench of the court annulling the election of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) corporator Sukanti Subudhi.
The bench of Chief Justice Vineet Saran and Justice B R Sarangi stayed the operation of the July 28 order and allowed Subudhi to continue as corporator of BMC until further orders.
The high court, hearing a writ petition filed by one Punam Parida, who had unsuccessfully contested the municipal elections in 2014, had last month annulled Subudhi’s election from ward number 18 on the grounds of mismatch in her name and educational information provided in her nomination papers and the accompanying affidavits.
Declaring the election of Subudhi, an independent corporator as “null and void”, it had also directed the state government to hold election to the vacant ward within two months.
The Orissa High Court today ordered the state government to hold second Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) of the year to fill up huge vacancies of B.Tech and MCA seats in both government and private engineering colleges.
Adjudicating over a petition of OPECA (Odisha Private Engineering College Association), a division bench headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran asked the state government to hold the supplementary examination only to fill up the vacant seats in the reserved categories.
Accordingly, the government has been asked to issue the notification for the examination by August 5 and complete the entire admission process by August 14.
The Orissa High Court today issued notice to Congress leader Arindam (Bapi) Sharkel asking him why the bail given to him on April 17 should not be recalled in a murder case.
The high court had last month granted bail to Sharkel, who was arrested by Paradip police in November last year for alleged involvement in the murder of a shipping company official Mahendra Swain.
Soon after his bail petition was allowed, Sharkel was released from Choudwar jail here.
Alleging procedural flaws in the hearing of Sharkel’s bail petition, the state government had filed a miscellaneous case in the high court urging it to recall the relief granted to the accused.
Justice D P Choudhury admitted the petition during the day and issued notice to Sharkel asking him to file the counters.
The Congress leader had surrendered before police last year soon after the Jagatsinghpur superintendent of police issued an executive order of lookout notice against him.
Pleading innocence in the case, he had filed bail applications, which were, however, turned down by two lower courts in the district.
The high court also adjourned the hearing of the bail petition of businessman Mahimananda Mishra to Friday next when public prosecutor Janmejaya Katakia sought some more time from the court to study the case.
Mishra, who was granted bail by the high court on Tuesday in the Swain murder case, is also booked for an attempt to murder case.
An advocate of the Orissa High Court who allegedly had an enmity with Mishra was injured when bombs exploded in April 2013 near Press Square in the city.
Although the case was closed the next year, Mishra was booked by the city police in January after he was arrested by the Paradip police in the Swain murder case.
Orissa High Court today granted conditional bail to noted businessman Mahimananda Mishra, who was arrested in December last year in connection with a murder case in 2016.
Allowing the application of Mishra for a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh each from two sureties, Justice D P Choudhury ordered that the Odisha Stevedores Limited (OSL) chief shall not visit Paradip till the investigation in the case are over.
Mishra has also been asked to submit his passport to the investigating officer and appear before him whenever required.
However, Mishra is unlikely to step out of the Choudwar jail immediately, where he is lodged now, as he has not been granted bail in another attempt to murder case pending against him.
Mishra was booked earlier this year in the 2013 bomb blast case in which an advocate was injured.
Although, hearings in the bail application of Mishra in the bomb blast case are over, the HC could not deliver the verdict on the day as it could not function after lunch for the death of two advocates on record.
In a setback to the state government, the Orissa High Court today passed an order to “keep in abeyance” a demand notice of VAT recovery from Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
The state government in February had asked the IOCL to deposit tax of Rs 1485.98 crore for the sale of finished products from its Paradip Refinery project, which was commissioned in November, 2015.
A division bench of justices Indrajit Mahanti and Biswajit Mohanty while adjudicating over a petition, filed by IOCL, also ordered the high-level working group formed under the chairmanship of Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to look into the concerns raised by the government of Odisha and IOCL within two months.
The Odisha government after unilaterally striking down a vital clause from the 2004-MoU signed between itself and the IOCL had withdrawn the mutually agreed tax incentive to IOCL and placed the tax recovery notice on the Corporation.
The clause related to grant of interest free credit to Odisha equivalent to the tax payable to the state on the finished products of the Refinery during its first 11 years of commercial production.
The Odisha government while withdrawing the incentive had stated that the state would incur huge losses as the IOCL delayed implementation of the project. This apart, the IOCL on its own enhanced the capacity of the refinery plant without consulting the state government, finance minister Pradip Kumar Amat had said while announcing withdrawal of incentive to the oil major.
The deferment of tax for 11 years was essential for setting up of the refinery and a consideration for the project to be located in the state.
The IOCL petition said that the Corporation had already invested nearly Rs 35,000 crore in the refinery project alone and over Rs 50,000 crore in other projects in the state, making it the single largest investor in Odisha.
The Orissa High Court today directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to complete by June 2 the repair work of the prayer hall of the Jagannath Temple at Puri.
Last September, the ASI had told the high court that the repair work it was undertaking in the temple was likely to be over by June 2017. However, following reports of discrepancies in reality and affidavits filed by the ASI, the court last month had asked the ASI to file a fresh progress report.
After going through the ASI’s latest status report and the report filed by engineer-turned-advocate N K Mohanty, a bench headed by Chief Justice Vineet Saran directed it to complete the repair work by June 2.
The high court is currently adjudicating over a PIL that has sought judicial interventions and monitoring of the repair work of the prayer hall or ‘Jagamohan’ of the 12th-century shrine.
A native of Cuttack city had approached the high court after it was alleged that the ASI was not serious about the renovation and maintenance of the temple.
The Orissa High Court today allowed the anticipatory bail application of BJD MLA Debesh Acharya, booked by police in connection with alleged involvement in the attack on the convoy of two Union ministers in June.
A single bench of Justice Debabrata Das granted the bail to the ruling party legislator from Baragarh who was booked under section 307 (attempt to murder) and section 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC in the case.
The convoy of Union Textile Minister Santosh Gangwar, cabinet colleague Sadvi Niranjana Jyoti, former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda and several other BJP leaders were attacked by a group of BJD supporters at Baragarh on June 24.
While the state government has ordered for an administrative inquiry into the incident, police have registered a case booking several BJD leaders under different sections of IPC.
The high court till date has granted advance bail to at least six of the accused persons, including the MLA’s brother Sambit.