Government inaction incurs CJ's wrath

Government inaction incurs CJ's wrath

Advocates arguing on behalf of the State in Justice Khehar’s court had to face his unconcealed wrath over the inaction of the government in several matters. While hearing separate petitions related to different matters, Justice Khehar, heading a division bench (the other judge on the bench was Justice A S Bopanna), showed his displeasure over the government’s laidback attitude, asking at one point, “Are we supposed to run the government?”

It began with the bench hearing a public interest litigation related to bars and restaurants and the government’s feetdragging over several of these establishments serving liquor without obtaining licences.

After seeking time to file a reply in this matter sometime back, the government had not responded and instead sought adjournments.

This ticked off Justice Khehar who said: “You will do nothing. After this petition is disposed of, you will say thank you very much.”

The principal government advocate launched into a lengthy explanation on why no action had been taken. At the end of the submission, a visibly exasperated Justice Khehar said: “Wonderful submission. We are 100 per cent convinced.”

The government advocate then went on to claim that the petition was general in nature and there were no specific instances of violation of rules.

This really irked the Chief Justice who said he could give a specific instance and raised the issue of illegal mining in the State. Referring to the Lokayukta, Justice Khehar said that while a 70-year-old man could find out instances, the government could not.

“You have not moved an inch since the filing of this petition. We will take action against your Commissioner (Excise).”

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