New Delhi: The union government was on Friday rapped by the Supreme Court for its bureaucratic delays and red-tapism even in challenging lower courts' adverse orders against it.

Dismissing an appeal by the Department of Posts, a bench of justices P Sathasivam and J Chelameshwar asserted that it would not brook any such delays as the government departments have obligation to discharge their duties with diligence and commitments.

"The government departments are under a special obligation to ensure that they perform their duties with diligence and commitment. Condoning delay is an exception and should not be used as an anticipated benefit for government departments. The law shelters everyone under the same light and should not be swirled for the benefit of a few," it said.

"In our view, it is the right time to inform all the government bodies, their agencies and instrumentalities that unless they have reasonable and acceptable explanation for the delay and there was bona fide effort, there is no need to accept the usual explanation that the file was kept pending for several months / years due to considerable degree of procedural red-tape in the process," it added.

The Apex Court passed the ruling refusing to entertain an appeal by the Department of Post, challenging a 2009 judgement of the Delhi High Court which had upheld the appeal of a media house, the Living Media India Ltd, challenging the postal authorities refusal to give concessional tariff for postage of its two magazines "Readers Digest" and "India Today".

The Apex Court was irked that the department chose to filed the special leave petition 427 days after the judgement was passed against it by the Delhi High Court on September 11, 2009.