Friday, November 4, 2011
SC stated "Judicial discretion shall always be exercised "according to the rules of reason and justice and not according to private opinion"
In a recent Judgment, condoning a delay in filing an appeal against a civil decree in the matters of Poonam & others Vs. Harish Kumar and another, and setting aside an impugned order dated 01.12.2008 of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh in Civil Revision No.3745/2008, the Hon Justice Ganguli, of Supreme Court of India has defined the principles of discretion of the court and has said that When a Court exercises its discretion in either condoning or refusing to condone delay in filing any proceeding, the Court acts in exercise of its discretion. Normally, this Court in exercise of its discretion under Article 136 of the Constitution may not interfere with the exercise of discretion by the High Court in such matters.However, there is no strait-jacket about this. The discretion of this Court under Article 136 of the Constitution is meant to further the ends of justice and this Court has been using its discretion in appropriate cases when it is satisfied that exercise of jurisdiction by the High Court or other Tribunals has not been on sound judicial principles. It is well settled that judicial discretion shall always be exercised "according to the rules of reason and justice and not according to private opinion" The High Court should also have considered that it has been settled by a catena of cases that, unless the delay is gross, an explanation for the same should be liberally construed.
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