Misra moves to reduce pending court cases in Uttar Pradesh

By Sharat Pradhan, IANS,

Lucknow : Satish Misra, who shot to fame for spearheading Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s much-publicised social engineering campaign, has charted out a novel plan to bring down litigation pending in the state’s courts for years.

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More than 60,000 cases of different state government departments are pending before the High Courts in Allahabad and Lucknow.

Misra, a lawyer by profession and also national general secretary of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), directed principal secretaries and heads of all departments at a meeting Saturday to initiate out-of-court settlement of the pending disputes.

“I am confident that at least 60 percent of the pending disputes will get resolved at the government level itself,” Misra told IANS.

Misra chairs a special committee for early disposal of pending court cases. Constituted six months ago, the committee comprises five senior officials including the chief secretary, the advocate general, the principal secretary to the chief minister and the principal secretaries of law and parliamentary affairs.

He hoped the pendency of court cases would be minimised within three months. “The chief minister wants the Uttar pradesh government to be free of litigation with its employees,” he said.

“After all, when an employee is involved in court battle, he is hardly able to focus on his official work,” he said. Reduction in litigation would help improve the government’s efficiency, he added.

Misra said the government had already succeeded in ensuring filing of counter-affidavits in as many as 59,000 cases.

He explained the main reason for the increasing backlog of cases was that the concerned government departments defaulted in filing counter-affidavits for years.

“I know of cases where such affidavits were not filed for over a decade,” Misra said. This not only delayed the disposal of cases but also made the litigation more expensive for the affected parties.

He said it was on his priority agenda to dig out all pending cases and get counter-affidavits filed in a month.

Besides, an official circular was in the pipeline to ensure that no department delayed counter-affidavits beyond a period of 15 days in all new cases.