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Madras HC commented on systematic delays in government functioning

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Soni Satti

The Madras High Court recently made important comments on the issue of systematic delays in government agency functioning and the resulting burden on the court.

Justice N. Seshasayee when faced with an ”avoidable’ lawsuit stated, “It is better to have one case less for the Court than to add one case more to it. But will the bureaucracy set the course for mission-change?”

The Court observed that in a large number of cases filed these days, only non- adjudicatory guidance is pursued, with the sole intention of reminding the authorities of what they can do, and what they are capable of doing without the intervention of the Court. The Bench termed this practice as ‘Under-use of Courts’.

It was observed that if officials tasked with handling problems, such as the one in this case, discharge their duties by a self-driven and disciplined administrative process, the courts would not be required to intervene in their service.

“But, the cases on this category of avoidable litigation persists and piles up,” the Bench noted, referring to a strong workload on Courts as a result of “inadequate bureaucratic impulses” in respecting citizens’ interests, resulting in a significant backlog of cases.