Chandigarh, October 13: Judges err, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled.
In a candid observation on the functioning of the subordinate judiciary, the High Court has asserted that at times, flawed orders with errors in fact or law have been passed by judicial officers.
The HC has directed the compiling of such errors before pointing these out to judicial officers during induction and refresher training courses, The Tribune reported.
The back to the benches from the Bench order by Justice Arun Kumar Tyagi came on an appeal filed by Kanta Devi and another appellant against Rana Kumar and another respondent. The appellants were seeking enhancement in compensation awarded by the Panipat Motor Accident Claims Tribunal.
Referring to the facts of the case, Justice Tyagi asserted that the tribunal had deducted Rs 26,67,168 of the total compensation of Rs 35,56,069 on the grounds that salary with allowances at Rs 31,752 would be payable to the appellants and dependants of victim Balwan Singh for the next seven years.
Justice Tyagi noted that the victim was a resident of Haryana, but employed with the Delhi Development Authority, which had not enacted rules similar to the Haryana 2006 Rules, extending compassionate financial assistance to dependants of deceased employees by payment of amount equal to pay and allowances last drawn.
Justice Tyagi stated that evidently, the observations in the impugned award were made by the tribunal’s presiding officer on the erroneous assumption that the victim, a resident of Haryana, was a government employee in Haryana.
Holding that the claimants were entitled to compensation of Rs 36,26,069 with costs and interest, Justice Tyagi observed that erroneous orders, with fault in fact or law, might result in grave miscarriage of justice in case of non-filing of appeal or revision.
“It will be appropriate that judicial officers are periodically sensitised for preventing recurrence of errors committed by them and avoiding errors frequently committed by other judicial officers,” Justice Tyagi pointed out.
The Chandigarh Judicial Academy was directed to periodically compile cases involving such erroneous orders passed by judicial officers by obtaining the requisite information from the High Court Registrar Vigilance or the Registrar Judicial and the District and Sessions Judges concerned before pointing out the errors to judicial officers during the induction and refresher training courses organised for them.
Before parting with the order, Justice Tyagi added that dedicated efforts were required to be made for not disclosing the particulars of judicial officers concerned and cases involved. The order’s copy was directed to be sent to the judicial officer concerned for information and guidance and to the academy’s Director Administration for requisite compliance.