Take timely action to avoid prolonging of cases: Govt to depts

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New Delhi, March 17: All central government  departments have been asked to take timely action at each stage of a litigation and take unified stand in defending them so as to avoid prolonging of cases filed by employees. In a directive issued by the Department of Personnel  and Training (DoPT), they have been asked to ensure that timely action is taken at each stage of a court case. All the cases filed by employees have to be defended on the basis of the facts available with the administrative ministry or the department concerned, keeping in view the instructions issued on the subject by the DoPT, it said. Existing instructions provide that a common counter reply should be filed before a court of law on behalf of the union of India by the administrative department concerned where the petitioner is serving or has last served; and a unified stand should be adopted instead of bringing out each department’s point of view in the said reply. It further provides that it is primarily the responsibility of the administrative ministry to ensure that timely action is taken at each stage a court case goes through and that a unified stand is adopted on behalf of government of India at every such stage, the DoPT order issued to all secretaries of ministries said. In no case should the litigation be allowed to be prolonged to the extent that it results in contempt proceedings, it said. “However, it is noticed that the ministries are making several references to this department seeking interpretation of the guidelines without exercising due diligence. “The ministries or departments are advised not to make any references to this department unless there are difficulties relating to interpretation or application of these guidelines or any relaxation in rules or instructions is warranted to mitigate a genuine hardship faced by the government servant,” the DoPT said.

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