|Justice K.T. Thomas|
Justice K.T. Thomas and Justice R.P. Sethi began their judgment in Anil Rai v. State with the observation : "The magistrate who cannot find time to write judgment within reasonable time after hearing arguments ought not do any judicial work at all. This Court strongly disapproves the magistrates making such a tremendous delay in the delivery of his judgments." The Supreme Court in the above case strongly deprecated the practice of judges in 'reserving' judgments in matters and not pronouncing them for long periods of time. The Supreme Court laid down the following guidelines for the said purpose, which are enumerated hereinbelow;
i) The Chief Justices of the High Courts may issue appropriate directions to the Registry that in a case where the judgment is reserved and is pronounced later, a column be added in the judgment where, on the first page, after the cause-title date of reserving the judgment and date of pronouncing it be separately mentioned by the court officer concerned.
ii) That Chief Justices of the High Courts, on their administrative side, should direct the Court Officers/Readers of the various benches in the High Courts to furnish every month the list of cases in the matters where the judgments reserved are not pronounced within the period of that month.
iii) On noticing that after conclusion of the arguments the judgment is not pronounced within a period of two months the concerned Chief Justice shall draw the attention of the Bench concerned to the pending matter. The Chief Justice may also see the desirability of circulating the statement of such cases in which the judgments have not been pronounced within a period of six weeks from the date of conclusion of the arguments amongst the judges of the High Court for their information. Such communication be conveyed as confidential and in a sealed cover.
iv) Where a judgment is not pronounced within three months from the date of reserving judgment any of the parties in the case is permitted to file an application in the High Court with prayer for early judgment. Such application, as and when filed, shall be listed before the bench concerned within two days excluding the intervening holidays.
v) If the judgment, for any reason, is not pronounced within a period of six months any of the parties of the said lis shall be entitled to move an application before the Chief justice of the High Court with a prayer to withdraw the said case and to make it over to any other bench for fresh arguments. It is open to the Chief Justice to grant the said prayer or to pass any other order as he deems fit in the circumstances.