Once the Financial Commissioner had deemed it appropriate to entertain the revision petition, it is incumbent upon the said Authority to consider the application moved for interim directions.: Delhi High Court

Even if the Financial Commissioner came to conclude that reasons would not justify the grant of any interim relief to the petitioner revisionist ex parte, the law did require and oblige him to record reasons even if they be elementary in character as held by the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by Hon’ble Mr. Justice Yashwant Varma in the case of Smt. Kamlesh & Anr. v. Govt. Of NCT of Delhi & Ors. (W.P.(C) 11989/2021, CM APPL. 37033/2021)

The brief facts of the case are that this petition impugns the order dated 14th September, 2021 passed by the Financial Commissioner. By the aforesaid order while entertaining a revision petition, the Financial Commissioner issued notice to the respondents therein. The Authority, however, after having heard counsel for the revisionist refused to grant interim relief.  When the matter was entertained initially, this Court on 25th October, 2021 had noticed that the Financial Commissioner had failed to record even rudimentary reasons for refusing the prayer for interim stay. The Court had also taken notice of the submission of learned counsel for the petitioner who contended that since proceedings on remand pursuant to the order dated 26th July, 2021 were likely to commence and proceed, it was incumbent upon the Financial Commissioner to consider the application for stay on merits.

Mr. Naushad Ahmed Khan as well as Mr. Zahid, learned counsels, who have appeared for the State respondents, however, submitted that the Financial Commissioner has not refused or rejected the application for stay in toto. According to learned counsels, a careful reading of the impugned order would clearly establish that the Financial Commissioner has merely refused to grant stay ex-parte and in the absence of the respondents.

The Court is informed by learned counsel for the petitioner that although the private respondents have been placed on advance notice, none has chosen to appear on their behalf to oppose this writ petition.

After perusal of the facts and arguments by the learned counsels, the Hon’ble Court held that, “ It was clearly incumbent upon the Financial Commissioner to accord due consideration to the submission of the revisionist that if the order of remand were permitted to operate, the proceedings itself may come to a conclusion during the pendency of the revision. The authority was obliged to consider whether the continued operation of the order impugned in the revision would result in prejudice and harm to the petitioner. In any case, the facts required the Financial Commissioner to consider at least prima facie whether the apprehension as expressed merited the impugned order being placed in abeyance during the pendency of the revision. In view of the above, the Court is of the considered opinion that the impugned order cannot be sustained and the matter would consequently merit being remanded to the Financial Commissioner for considering the application for stay afresh. Accordingly, the writ petition is allowed.”

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Judgment reviewed by Vandana Ragwani

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