Written by Vidisha Mathur
In the Special Leave Petition titled M/s Chopra Fabricators and Manufacturers Pvt. Ltd. and Another v Bharat Pumps and Compressors Ltd., Attorney-General K.K. Venugopal raised an important issue as to whether the Supreme Court can issue directions on the administrative side of High Courts.
Earlier, Supreme Court issued a direction to the High Court to deal with issues in deciding matters of commercial disputes arising in Uttar Pradesh. In the last hearing, the Apex Court express displeasure for there was a delay in the compliance with an order by the court dated 28 April 2022, directing for the constitution of a Special Arrears Committee.
Allahabad High Court responded with an affidavit that reported that around 40,000 Execution Petitions were pending in Uttar Pradesh and had been distributed amongst various judicial officers, with each officer handling around 47 cases, over their other responsibilities. From 1 May 2022 through 4 July 2022, around 9678 Execution Petition cases and 1372 Petitions made under Section 34 of the Arbitration Act had been disposed of and cases were transferred to the Additional District Judges according to the Civil Laws (Uttar Pradesh Amendment) Act 2019. The work had been distributed since May 2022.
The bench constituted by Justice M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna, addressed the High court to submit further reports and progress regarding the disposal of matters of commercial disputes.
At this point, Attorney- General raised the contention stating that the Apex Court had no jurisdiction to issue directions to the High court regarding the administrative side. The court though reminded that this litigation in question is not adversarial and the High Court should not have taken this as an ego issue or prestige. The Supreme Court may intervene in such matters if the High Court has failed. In this case, the High Court had made no effort on its administrative side to see the early disposal of the commercial cases, and hence, the Supreme Court was induced to be involved.
The case stands posted to 16 August 2022.