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The principle which has been laid down in the decision to the effect that the stay shall automatically stand vacated (which would mean an automatic vacation of stay without application of judicial mind to whether the stay should or should not be extended further) is liable to result in a serious miscarriage of justice, the bench said
The Supreme Court on Friday said that the principle laid down by a three-judge bench in 2018 judgment for automatic lifting of stay in all civil and criminal cases after six months even without application of mind, would cause serious miscarriage of justice.
"We have reservations in regard to the correctness of the broad formulations of principle," a bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra said.
The court decided to place the matter arising out of the judgment in the case of 'Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency (P) Ltd Vs CBI' before a larger bench of five judges for reconsideration.
The court passed its order after hearing senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi on behalf of the High Court Bar Association, Allahabad.
The counsel said that the 2018 directions were causing a lot of difficulties. In fact, those directions were in nature of Obiter Dicta, he said.
The question was also, if under Article 21 of the Constitution to ensure speedy trial, could the power under Article 226 of the High Court be curtailed like this, he submitted.
The bench said that the directions of the top court indicate that in all matters, civil or criminal, orders of stay which have once been granted should not continue beyond a period of six months unless specifically extended and the stay shall stand vacated automatically.
In its order, the bench said, "There can be no gainsaying the fact that a stay of an indefinite nature results in prolonging civil or criminal proceedings, as the case may be, unduly. At the same time, it needs to be factored in that the delay is not always on account of conduct of the parties involved. The delay may also be occasioned by the inability of the Court to take up proceedings expeditiously."
"The principle which has been laid down in the decision to the effect that the stay shall automatically stand vacated (which would mean an automatic vacation of stay without application of judicial mind to whether the stay should or should not be extended further) is liable to result in a serious miscarriage of justice," the bench added.
The court also said that since the decision in Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency (P) Ltd is of a bench of three judges, it would be appropriate to have the matter referred to a larger bench of five judges.
The court also sought the assistance of the Attorney General or the Solicitor General.
Case Title: High Court Bar Association Allahabad Vs The State of Uttar Pradesh & Ors
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