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Report No. 79

VII. Litigation to which Governments is a Party

1.38. Government as a party.-

No proposal for judicial reform can achieve success without the co-operation of the parties to the litigation. This is particularly so where the Government is a party. At this stage, therefore, we would like to emphasise that the Government is one of the main parties in the bulk of cases before the High Courts. In all criminal cases the main party, apart from the accused, is the State. As to civil cases, the Government is generally one of the parties in most writ petitions. As to other civil proceedings, Government constitutes one of the parties in quite a number of cases.

For the quick disposal of cases, it therefore becomes essential that the various departments of the Government should afford all reasonable co-operation to the judicial process and attend to court cases with diligence and promptness. Apart from that, a good bit of litigation can be avoided if the departments concerned pay proper attention to the notices issued to the Government prior to the initiation of proceedings. Likewise, much time of the court can be saved if frivolous objections are avoided in pleadings and written statements filed on behalf of the Government. The position of the Government, it needs to be stressed, is not the same as that of a private litigant. The Government has to project ah image of being reasonable in all cases to which it is a party. Its conduct in litigation should, in the very nature of things, inspire a feeling of fairness.

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