The Apex Court criticized the practices of National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission of passing “reasons to follow” orders.
The bench directed the commission to pass reasoned judgments along with operative orders so that litigating parties are clear about the verdict.
“Reasons to follow” orders include those orders where commission is yet to deliver the reasons behind the order. The court observed that the litigating parties must be provided with the reasons within two months of the order in order to ensure their interest.
The apex court made this observation while hearing a petition in an instant case where the operative order was passed in 2019 and the reasoned judgment was delivered eight months later.
The bench was of the opinion that such orders defeat the rights aggrieved party to challenge the impugned judgment and of the succeeding party to utilize the fruits of litigation. Rights of both parties stand prejudiced due to such orders.
If the reasons to an order are delayed, it becomes difficult for the aggrieved party to avail another legal remedy and for the succeeding party as it cannot enforce the fruits of the judgment.
The bench also referred to a recent order passed in the case of Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. v Zaixhu Xie & Ors. in which it was observed that such practice infringes parties rights under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
It also aggravates the problems as sometimes reasoned judgments are passed too late or are postponed to indefinite period.
Based upon a report submitted by the Registrar of NCDRC, the court observed that till December, 2019, almost 90 operative orders have been passed wherein reasoned judgment is yet to be delivered.