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’17 Years Later, You are Asking for Clarification?’: SC Closes its Oldest Case, Which Dates Back to 1979

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Supreme Court Law Insider

Tanisha Rana

Published on: October 12, 2022 at 20:31 IST

By dismissing a number of applications, the Supreme Court on Tuesday concluded its oldest case, which dates back to 1979.

Although the initial lawsuit from 1979 was already decided in 1993, the Union of India afterwards filed certain interim applications.

A court presided over by Chief Justice of India UU Lalit declined to consider the application.

The judge observed, “17 years later, you are asking for clarification?” after being informed by the Additional Solicitor General that the applications were submitted in search of explanation.

It truly demonstrates the level of urgency the situation requires, according to the CJI.

The judge said that the level of seriousness displayed by the appellant reveals it is not even disturbed about it after learning that the applications were submitted in 2002 but the defects were fixed in 2012.

“To the credit of your client, this is the oldest matter in SC today,” the CJI told the ASG.

The issue in the case concerned the determination of the sugar levy price for the period from 1974–1975 to 1979–1980 in Karnataka.

The Levy Sugar Supply (Control) Order of 1972, issued by the Central Government, established the requirement for the mandatory supply or sale of sugar.

The Centre gives release orders to the producers or manufacturers in accordance with which the manufacturers supply sugar under that order. In 1975–1976, several orders were given.

A Single Bench of the High Court upheld the challenges brought by different manufacturers against these notifications, but a division bench referred the case back to the Government for reconsideration and the setting of suitable prices in accordance with the pertinent standards.

The SC then received appeals.

The Centre was ordered to revise the notifications taking into account the obligation of the makers and refix the price of levy sugar after the court found that all but one of the impugned notifications could not be upheld.

On Monday, the Supreme Court bench chaired by Chief Justice UU Lalit noted that the court had already issued judgments in a number of petitions that addressed various issues brought up in a number of petitions and appeals.

All civil appeals, SLPs, transfers, and writ petitions would stand ordered once the SC addressed the dispute.

The court observed that the appeal filed by the Union of India was one of the cases listed with the rest of them, was included in the decree issued by the SC registry, and was regarded as having been resolved by the ruling.

Given all of this and the fact that the court has already addressed the matter, the bench decided it wasn’t appropriate to address the applications’ submissions and disposed of them.