HC slams its own registry section for ‘negligence’, ‘indiscipline’.
In a rare turn of events, the Bombay High Court (HC) has slammed its own registry for “utter negligence, indiscipline, insubordination and misconduct”. The HC said that its “sympathetic and caring” attitude has been misused by members of the original side (OS) registry, who have repeatedly not placed affidavits along with the file of papers in several cases.
“Today’s instance is one more in the line. Every bench and court suffers because of general apathy, lack of attention, inefficiency and indiscipline of the OS registry. Hence, we have to take stern and strict steps by treating these cases as instances of utter negligence, indiscipline, insubordination and misconduct,” the court said.
The ire came while Justice S C Dharmadhikari and S P Deshmukh had checked the records of the first two cases lined up last week on Wednesday. It was around 11 am, when the day’s proceedings had just begun that the judges, who look at original side matters, were informed that the affidavits filed in both cases had not been placed along with the petitions and other relevant papers.
“In both these matters we have noticed that the registry of the original side has not placed the affidavit-in-reply, which is stated to have been filed on January 20, 2015, in the original files. This is happening in most of the matters on the original side,” said the bench.“The state of affairs in the OS registry has been like this for years and decades together,” the court remarked.
The court went on to say that the paper- books circulated at their homes and in court are sans the affidavits. “This has inconvenienced us and the litigants as well.”
With the advent of modern-day technology, the court said, it had hoped for a change in functioning in the department. “The computerisation process is introduced almost a decade back, adequate space and staff is provided as well but there is no improvement at all. Court proceedings and orders are taken very lightly by one and all in the Registry.”
The court said verbal warnings issued from time to time have had no impact on the registry officials. “Let the prothonotary and senior master and registrar, HC, Original Side proceed against the master and assistant prothonotary (judicial) and supporting staff about the lapses on their part, which are indeed serious. Let written warnings be issued to all of them and an entry be made to this effect in their confidential records,” the court ordered.