Stale Claims Before a Writ Court / The Chill of Death

A Writ Court while deciding a Writ Petition is required to remain alive to the nature of the claim and the unexplained delay on the part of the Writ Petitioner. Stale claims are not to be adjudicated unless non-interference would cause grave injustice.

In the case at hand, the employee was dismissed from service in the year 1999, but he chose not to avail any departmental remedy. He woke up from his slumber to knock at the doors of the High Court after a lapse of five years. The staleness of the claim remained stale and it could not have been allowed to rise like a phoenix by the Writ Court.

The grievance agitated by the Writ Petition did not deserve to be addressed on merits, for doctrine of delay and laches had already visited his claim like the chill of death which does not spare anyone.

Hon’ble Justice D. Misra, State of J&K v. R.K. Zalpuri, [Civil Appeal Nos. 8390-8391 of 2015].