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Second appeal within 45 days from the date of filing- HC

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second appeal within 45 days from the date of filing

The provisions of the Act and Rules do not prescribe any period within which a second appeal under s.19(3) is to be disposed of. Section 19(6), however, prescribes the period within which appeals under sub-ss.(1) and (2) of s.19 are to be disposed of. Such appeals are to be disposed of within 30 days from the date of receipt thereof or within such extended period not exceeding a total of forty five days from the date of filing thereof, as the case may be, for reasons to be recorded in writing.

It appears that the second appellate authority has not yet decided the petitioner’s appeal mainly for the reason that the statute has not prescribed any period within which a second appeal is to be disposed of. As rightly submitted by counsel for the petitioner in the absence of any period prescribed for disposing of 2 a second appeal under s.19(3), the second appellate authority was under an obligation to dispose of the petitioner’s second appeal within a reasonable time.

A second appeal arises from a decision in the first appeal under s.19(1), and a first appeal arises from a decision or a failure to give a decision under s.7. The sparkle of a strong strand of speed woven through the sections of the Act is abruptly lost in the second appeal that has been allowed to run wild. This open-ended second appeal scheme is bound to make the s.6 request go totally adrift generating a multi-tier avoidable and unwanted offshoot Court proceedings such as this case.

In my opinion, keeping in mind the respective maximum periods fixed for deciding the first appeal under s.19(1) and disposal of a request for obtaining information under s.7, the second appellate authority should have decided the second appeal within 45 days from the date of filing thereof. In view of the scheme of the statute, I think this period should be considered the reasonable period for deciding the second appeal.

I am of the view that this petition should be disposed of directing the authority to decide the appeal. For these reasons, I dispose of the petition ordering that the second appellate authority shall decide the petitioner’s second appeal within 45 days from the date of communication of this order.




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