Justice Deferred: Supreme Court’s Regret Over Pending Appeal from 2010

The Supreme Court, on Wednesday, expressed frustration when an advocate representing the State of Rajasthan requested a postponement in an appeal dating back to 2010. This happened in the case of Urban Improvement Trust v. Vidhya Devi and Others. Despite the State’s request, a Division Bench comprising Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra declined to grant an adjournment.

Justice Pardiwala remarked that they feel extremely ashamed that this 2010 appeal is still pending, and they are being asked for an adjournment.

It was said that they could not postpone this 2010 matter. Subsequently, the Bench proceeded to hear the appeal.

The appeal concerns land acquisition initiated in 1976, with the State agreeing in 1981 to pay ₹90,000 in compensation to the respondents for their land. In 1997, the State claimed to have fulfilled this obligation along with interest, sparking a dispute. While a single judge of the Rajasthan High Court sided with the State, a Division Bench favored the current respondents.

In 2010, the State of Rajasthan brought the appeal to the Supreme Court.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Archana Pathak Dave, representing the State, requested additional time to ascertain the current status of the land in question when questioned by the Supreme Court.

Justice Pardiwala noted the case’s long delay and highlighted that former Chief Justice RM Lodha had previously served as counsel in this matter before the High Court. Senior Advocate Raju Ramachandran, representing the respondents, pointed out that one of the cases cited by the State was decided by Justice RM Lodha’s father, Justice SK Lodha, during his tenure at the Rajasthan High Court.

The Court subsequently deliberated on the issue for approximately 40 minutes before deciding to reserve its verdict. Additionally, the Court instructed the parties to submit any further details or documents related to the case within a period of 10 days.

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About the Author: Payal Singh