High Courts cannot just copy-paste orders; they need to cite independent reasons: Justice DY Chandrachud

On Friday, Supreme Court Judge DY Chandrachud remarked that one of the computer-age problems was copying and pasting orders. He further remarked that he was fed up with seeing cut-copy-paste orders from High Courts.

According to Justice Chandrachud, judges have to cite independent reasons for affirming an order, and there is also supposed to be the independent application of mind.

These observations were made when the Bench considered UPSC’s SLP arising out of Orissa High Court judgement that upheld the order of the CAT. The issue in the case was whether the respondent could be denied a place in IAS due to a disciplinary penalty imposed on him in 2011.

The Bench ruled that UPSC rules under Article 320 will be applicable in the instant case and not DOPT guidelines and proceeded to set aside the order passed by the High Court.

Hon’ble Justice Chandrachud commented that there was no independent application of mind by the High Court, and only the Tribunal’s order was copied.

The Bench further observed that the Tribunal directed UPSC to consider the respondent for promotion to IAS and directed that the candidate get consequential benefits if he is found eligible for the Review Selection Committee. 

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In its order, the Top Court noted that the High Court extracted judgment of the Tribunal and only observed that the tribunal had elaborately discussed the law, and there was no jurisdictional error. Its interference was unwarranted.

Before the High Court, UPSC contended that the Tribunal had exceeded the jurisdiction by granting relief to the candidate. They also argued that the Tribunal had committed an error by sending the case back for reconsideration. Lastly, UPSC argued that due to the misconduct, he could not be considered for IAS induction.

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