The State Law and Judiciary Department has advised the other departments that by simply filing an appeal or special leave petition in the Supreme Court does not amount to stay on the adverse order passed by the Bombay high court. In a circular issued recently, the department said, "Such perception is not legal, proper and correct."
The circular further states that, "If the appeal/SLP is filed by the state against the order of the High court, but no stay is granted to the implementation and enforcement of the order of the HC, such orders would have to be implemented failing which the concerned officer/department may face the action for contempt of court." A government pleader of the HC, on condition of anonymity said, "The circular, if implemented properly would be of help as several interim orders or directions given by the high court need to be appealed against in the apex court but departments tend to be slow in doing so because of which several times cost is imposed on the state which can be avoided."
The circular also said, "All the administrative departments in Mantralaya are requested to ensure that in appropriate cases steps are taken as quickly as possible for filing appeal/SLP and further efforts are made to obtain stay to the implementation/enforcement of the orders of the High court."
Shailesh Gandhi, former central information commissioner welcomed the order. He said, "What they have stated is valid and is perfect. In fact, it is a shame that such a circular is needed 67 years after Independence. It is surprising that people need to be told something like this. Any statutory body – High court or even a police station, if issues an order, as per rule of law, unless it is stayed by an appropriate authority, should be followed."