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Documenting reasons in judicial order aimed to prevent injury: HC

JAMMU, NOV 22: Observing that “inevitability to document reasons is aimed to prevent injury in reaching the conclusion and disclose how the mind was applied in the substance of the litigation”, the High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Wednesday said that every judicial order should contain sound reasons.
Setting aside an order passed by Additional Deputy Commissioner (with the powers of Agrarian Reforms Commissioner) Jammu on 20 July last year, a bench of Justice Rajesh Sekhri observed that the judicial order must be based on sound reasons on two counts—one- if valid reasons are not found in the order, such an order become erroneous and two; if an order is informed of reasons, the person aggrieved can avail the opportunity to demonstrate that reasons were erroneous.
“It is trite that inevitability to document reasons is aimed to prevent injury in reaching the conclusion and disclose how the mind was applied in the substance of the litigation,” the court underlined. Therefore, the court said, recording reasons in support of a decision on a disputed claim would ensure that the decision is not a result of fancy, but was arrived at having due regard to the position of law.
“What emanates from the perusal of the impugned order is that learned appellate court has failed to judicially sift the contentions of the parties and inspect the plea made in the appeal,” the court said and allowed the appeal filed against the July order.
“The petitioner had not only detailed factual aspects of the case in the appeal before the appellate court but raised various legal issues against the order passed by learned court below,” the court observed.
In the circumstances, the appellate Court was required to scrutinise the pleadings in its wisdom and obliged to pass the orders on merits, the court said. However, the appellate Court, by merely referring to the pleadings of the parties and arguments advanced at the bar, has dismissed the appeal preferred by the petitioner in a cryptic fashion without assigning any reason.
“Despite reflection of pleadings and legal grounds urged by the petitioner in the impugned order, learned appellate court has neither adverted to the pleadings nor addressed the legal issues to show thoughtful consideration of the controversy,” the court said, adding, “It is surprising to note that learned appellate court, on the one hand, observed that court below had violated Section 28 of the Act and then refused interference. It is absurd.”

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