Calcutta HC closes petition last heard 23 years ago
The Calcutta high court on Friday closed a petition filed 23 years back about a hospital’s failure in handing over a newborn to his mother after his birth after the officials stumbled upon the plea’s file gathering dust in one of the court’s cupboard for over two decades. The matter was last heard on December 22, 1997.
A division bench of chief justice TB Radhakrishnan and justice Arijit Banerjee lamented the “great misfortune” that the matter remained pending for so long while closing it.
“Though different directions were issued with the further order to the registry of this court to list the matter after three months [from December 22, 1997], it is a matter of great misfortune that this matter is listed today [Friday] after 23 years of hibernation of this file in the cupboard of the high court,” the bench said.
The court directed the police to have a case registered and investigate the matter when it was last heard in December 1997. “We are in a judicial system. We cannot afford to stack files without the same being listed in spite of judicial orders,” the bench said.
The bench added it should consider initiating action for misconduct against officers responsible, more so because it was a Habeas Corpus petition.
“When matters are not listed by the office of the high court in spite of judicial orders, it may, at least in certain situations, be appropriate that the courts should consider initiating action for misconduct against the officers concerned for having deflected the course of justice by disobeying judicial orders for posting a case,” the order said.
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