Chennai: Pointing out that the court is frequently witnessing large number of petitions, the counter affidavits are not filed by the Chennai corporation, the Madras high court on Wednesday directed the deputy commissioner, Chennai corporation to explain what all are the actions initiated for filing of counter affidavits and documents in all the cases pending before the high court.
Justice S.M. Subramaniam gave the directive while passing interim orders on a petition filed by S. Krishnan, challenging the proceedings dated June 23, 2015, and the consequential demand notice issued by the Chennai corporation.
Earlier, when the case came up for hearing, the judge ordered the appearance of the deputy commissioner of Chennai corporation. Accordingly, R. Lalitha, IAS, deputy commissioner (education), in charge, Chennai corporation, was present before the court on Wednesday.
The judge said this court was frequently witnessing large number of writ petitions, the counter affidavits were not filed by the Chennai corporation. The writ petitions pending for more than 5 years, the counter affidavits were not filed. The counsel appearing for Chennai corporation informed this court that a separate “legal cell” was functioning in corporation and the legal cell consists of various staff in the rank of law officer, assistant law officer and assistants. In spite of a separate cell, the counter affidavits were not filed for many years. The courts were unable to deal with the matters, when the cases were called for final hearing, the judge added and gave the above directive.
The judge also directed the deputy commissioner to inform the court as to whether there was any system to monitor the filing of the counter affidavits and documents before the courts within the reasonable period of time. In the event of any such system, what was the system followed at present by the corporation and what actions were taken by the competent authorities, in respect of the negligence and dereliction of duty committed by these officials working in the legal cell for not filing of the counter affidavits and documents within a reasonable period of time.