JYOTIRMOY BHATTACHARJEE Vs. CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
LAWS(CAL)-1951-12-17
HIGH COURT OF CALCUTTA
Decided on December 21,1951

JYOTIRMOY BHATTACHARJEE Appellant
VERSUS
CHIEF SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL Respondents


Cited Judgements :-

DISTRICT MAGISTRATE RAJNANDGAON CONTEMNER VS. STATE [LAWS(MPH)-1975-8-15] [REFERRED TO]


JUDGEMENT

P.N.Mookerjee, J. - (1.)We issued this Rule on the Chief Secretary to the Government of West Bengal and the Superintendent; of the Berhampore Central Jail to show cause why the order directing withdrawal of certain, privileges from a particular detenu, confined at the Berhampore Central Jail, should not be set aside. The application for redress was made to this Court by some of his co-detenus. At the hearing of the Rule it transpired that as the period, for which the order of withdrawal was effective, had expired, the privileges had been restored to the detenu concerned. By-lapse of time, therefore, the Rule had become, infructuous and, on that ground, it is liable to be discharged.
(2.)During the hearing, however, one matter ergaged our particular attention. The application from Jail, upon which this Rule was issued, appeared to have been received by the Jail Superintendent on 31st of August 1951; According to usual practice the application was sent to the Secretariat at Calcutta on the 3rd of September, 1951 for transmission to this Court for necessary action. This Court, however, received the application only on 25th September 1951. Clearly, therefore, more than three weeks' time had been taken by the different State Departments concerned to send the application to this Court. To us this delay-appeared to be grossly inordinate and to re quire satisfactory explanation. We felt and felt strongly that unless the delay was satisfactorily explained by the State, some action was plainly necessary. When, therefore, the Rule came up for final hearing we drew the attention of the State's Counsel to this aspect, of the matter. To the learned Deputy Legal. Remembrance we gave time to make necessary enquiries and on the day when the matter was finally heard causes were shown for the delay. The learned Deputy Legal Remembrance explained that the delay in question was due to a misunderstanding of the real position on the part of the subordinate officials and submitted that there was no intentional withholding or detaining of the detenus' application. He also expressed on behalf of the State sincere regret for the delay made. Having considered the materials, placed before us, in the light of the circumstances of this case, we feel that there was some scope for misunderstanding. We, therefore, accept the State's explanation and expression of regret and do not consider it necessary to pursue the matter further for purposes of this case and we do not, therefore, intend to take any further action.
(3.)One thing, however, ought to be made clear. When an application is received by the State for transmission to this Court it is only proper that the despatch should be made as expeditiously as possible. Any delay in the matter may entail serious consequences. In such cases it is not open to any official-superior or subordinate to withhold or detain the application. Whoever attempts to place any impediment in the way of such application reaching this Court within a reasonable time may well find himself-however highly placed he may be-guilty of interfering with the administration of justice and thus liable to be committed for contempt of this Court. Every such application is to be transmitted to this Court with reasonable despatch and it is for this Court and this Court alone to decide whether the detenu's application calls for any action on its part. The State may submit to this Court for its consideration its own views in the matter along with the supporting materials which, according to it, would be relevant for the decision of the question at issue but it is certainly not open to it to withhold the application on any ground whatsoever. State Officials would do well to remember that this Court will not tolerate any interference with its authority or with the administration of justice in this State and that any such interference will be severely dealt with.


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