State must not suffer due to fault of officers: SC

Supreme Court of India. (Reuters Photo)

The State should not suffer injustice to its institutional interest in view of impersonal nature of the government's functioning and due to the fault of individual officers, the Supreme Court has said.

The top court allowed a plea by Manipur government against the High Court's order which had declined to consider a plea pertaining to a portion of the land of “strategic importance” on the ground of 312 days in approaching the court.

A bench of Justices R Banumathi, A S Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy said if the appeal filed by the state is lost for individual default, those who are at fault, will not usually be individually affected but the state and its institutional interest would suffer injustice.

The HC had noted though the law of limitation would harshly affect the party, the delay in the appeal filed by the state, should not be condoned.

Allowing the state government's appeal, the top court used its jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution in view of “special circumstances” and “to avoid injustice to the state’s interest” but on payment of Rs 50,000 as cost.

It was necessary for the court to also be conscious of the bureaucratic delay and the slow pace and routine manner in reaching a government decision, the bench said.

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