Supreme Court Expresses Concerns Of Judicial Propriety, Discipline Over P&H High Court Entertaining Fresh Plea When Proceedings Before It Pending

By- Kanvi Gupta

The Supreme Court has expressed concern regarding judicial propriety and discipline. In the case of the Union Territory of Chandigarh & Ors. v. M/s Shiva Traders where the proceedings were pending and instead of pursuing them to a logical conclusion, the party chose to file a writ petition before Punjab and Haryana High court which was also been entertained by the High Court.

Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had orally remarked that while entertaining the petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the Division Bench of High Court has overreached to the Supreme Court. He said that if it happens next time, he will report this to the Chief Justice of India.

The order of the Supreme Court’s bench of Justice Chandrachud and Justice M. R. Shah recorded that the respondent is a dealer and an assessee registered under the Punjab Value Added Tax Act. Returns were been filed for 2008-2011. In 2018, during the course of regular assessment, an assessment order which was produced by another dealer is alleged to have revealed that a provisional demand of Rs 5,90,53,342 had been settled finally at an amount of Rs 5,000.

Scrutiny of assessment orders which had been passed earlier was carried out by the revenue arm of the State. An internal enquiry revealed that there were 884 entries that were found to be fabricated. There were several entries that never took place but they were interpolated in the computer system.

The order of the High Court has been questioned under Article 136 of the Constitution. The bench said that although the order of the High Court had stayed and the notice had been issued but the court is very much concerned about the judicial propriety and discipline.

Court said that pendency of the earlier proceedings was evidently brought in the notice to the High Court and High Court should have deferred to the proceedings pending to this court and also should have dismissed the petition.

The Bench also gave direction to High Court to dismiss this writ petition.