Report No. 145
3.8. Committee on Public Undertakings: 9th Report (10th Lok Sabha).-
It is also necessary to refer to the recent report1 of the Committee on Public Undertakings, relating to litigations pending for settlement in public sector undertakings. The report (para 1.9) gives the relevant figures and further (para 1.10 or 1.32) examines in detail some 11 glaring cases of litigation. While the Committee (para 2.2) made it clear that detailed examination was in progress, yet the drift of the Report, based on the sample survey and selective examination by the Committed, is clearly in the direction of the need to reduce expenditure on litigation that is unproductive. We cannot avoid quoting paragraph 2.3 of the Report, which reads as under:-
"2.3. On a random study of information received from public undertakings the Committee is perturbed to find a large number of litigations pending for settlement involving expenditure on fees etc. and wastage of public time notwithstanding repeated Government instructions to the contrary from time to time. What further agitates the Committee is the number of pending litigations relating to trivial matters or petty claims, some of which have been hanging fire for more than fifteen years. It hardly needs mention that in many such cases money spent on litigation is far in excess of the stakes involved, besides wasting valuable time and energy of the concerned parties as well as the court."
These reports clearly indicate that Public Sector Undertakings have not acted reasonably to settle trivial disputes. Instead, they have indulged in litigation over trivial matters. How, then, can Courts be blamed for inefficiency in running the public sector undertakings? The plea raised on behalf public sector undertakings is without force.
1. Committee on Public Undertakings (Tenth Lok Sabha 9th Report) 20 August, 1992-Litigations Pending for Settlement in Public Undertakings.