Tuesday, November 15, 2011

HC: Affidavits must not be drafted in a mechanical fashion

Affidavits must not be drafted in a mechanical fashion: HC

STAFF REPORTER

MADURAI, November 15, 2011

Practice of copying contents from affidavits in similar cases must stop, says judge

Affidavits filed in courts must not be drafted in a mechanical fashion by copying the contents from other affidavits filed in similar cases. Such practice of swearing affidavits without application of mind and without reference to the facts of each and every case must stop, the Madras High Court Bench here has said.

Justice K. Chandru said that lawyers must devote more attention in preparation of pleadings for their clients. The observations were made while partly allowing a writ petition filed by the management of Tamil Nadu Electricity Board Employees Cooperative Thrift and Credit Society based in Tirunelveli challenging an order passed by the Labour Court on August 28, 2008.

While perusing the case records, the judge found that the petitioner's affidavit was bereft of details such as the fact that the Labour Court had passed an ex-parte (without the appearance of one of the parties to the case) order. Therefore, the judge said: "The affidavit is filed in a mechanical fashion copying from earlier affidavits (filed in similar writ petitions)."

He also pointed out that the petitioner-management had got the writ petition admitted in 2009 by submitting a gist of the order passed by the Labour Court. Thereafter, at the time of final hearing of the case, when it was asked to submit the certified copy of the Labour court order, the management produced a totally different order passed by the Labour Court in another case.

"It is very unfortunate that the management files a gist order and gets an admission… It was due to over anxiety on the part of the learned counsel," the judge said and added that a writ in the nature of certiorari (the power of the High Court to review orders passed by a lower court, tribunal or public authority) could not be entertained without the production of the order under challenge.

"Unless and until that order is produced before the writ court, the latter cannot review the order and find out whether the order suffers from any material irregularities so as to exercise its judicial review power conferred under Article 226 of the Constitution," the judge said and directed the petitioner management to pay a cost of Rs. 5,000 for the series of blunders committed in the writ petition.

Courtesy_

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