SC criticises NCDRC’s practice of passing Reasons to Follow Orders

In a recent case, the Supreme Court criticised the practice of rendering reasons to follow orders. It directed the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission(NCDRC) to pass a resonated judgment along with operative order.

The Bench comprising Hon’ble Justice Indu Malhotra and Hon’ble Justice Ajay Rastogi stated that in all cases before NCDRC where reasons were not delivered, NCDRC should ensure that reasoned judgements are available to parties within two months.

Hon’ble Court further observed that parties’ right is prejudiced if reasons for the order are not available to them and the parties cannot avail legal remedies before appropriate Courts. It also harms the rights of succeeding parties who cannot obtain fruits of the success of litigation.

These observations were made when the Bench noted that in the instant case, the operative part was pronounced on January 26, 2019, and the Commission pronounced the reasoned judgement after eight months.

The Court also noted that in Oriental Insurance Co. vs Zaixhu Xie & Ors, delay in judgement violated Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, and problems aggravate when the operative part is made available early, and the reasons are not available for an indefinite time.

While referring to a report submitted by NCDRC Registry, the Court noted that as of 22/12/2019, there were 85 cases where the operative part was pronounced, but reasons were not delivered. The Court further observed that the hiatus period is more than that has been observed to be the maximum time-period for pronouncement of reserved judgments in many cases.

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