LAW RESOURCE INDIA

To avoid delay, guard against frivolous litigation: Supreme Court

Posted in COURTS, SUPREME COURT by NNLRJ INDIA on July 10, 2011

Supreme Court of India

J VENKATESAN IN THE HINDU

Bench lists steps to be taken by trial courts while dealing with civil cases

Expressing concern over the prevailing delay in disposal of civil cases, the Supreme Court has streamlined the procedures to be followed by trial courts as well to curb frivolous litigation. A Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma, dealing with a civil appeal filed by Ramrameshwari Devi and others, said: “The courts have to ensure that there is no incentive to uncalled-for litigation. It is a matter of common experience that the court’s otherwise scarce and valuable time is consumed or more appropriately wasted in a large number of uncalled-for cases.”

Quoting a study, the Bench said: “Ninety per cent of our court time and resources are consumed in attending to uncalled-for litigation, which is created only because our current procedures and practices hold out an incentive to the wrongdoer. Those involved receive less than full justice and there are many more in the country, in fact, a greater number than those involved who suffer injustice because they have little access to justice, in fact, lack of awareness and confidence in the justice system.”

Giving an example of the problem, the Bench said: “It is a matter of common knowledge that lakhs of flats and houses are kept locked for years, particularly in big cities, because the owners are not certain that even after the expiry of the lease or licence period, the house, flat or the apartment would be vacated. It takes decades for the final determination of the controversy and wrongdoers are never adequately punished. Pragmatic approach of the courts would partly solve the housing problem.”

Writing the judgment, Justice Bhandari said: “The main question which arises for our consideration is whether the prevailing delay in civil litigation can be curbed. The existing system can be drastically changed or improved if the following steps are taken by the trial courts while dealing with the civil trials.”

As civil litigation was largely based on documents, it would be the bounden duty and obligation of the trial judge to carefully scrutinise, check and verify the pleadings and documents filed by the parties, the Bench said. The court should resort to discovery and production of documents and interrogatories at the earliest according to the object of the Civil Procedure Code. Imposition of actual, realistic or proper costs and/or ordering prosecution would go a long way in controlling the tendency on the litigants to introduce false pleadings and forged and fabricated documents. Imposition of heavy costs would also control unnecessary adjournments. “In appropriate cases, the courts may consider ordering prosecution, otherwise it may not be possible to maintain the purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings.”

The Bench said: “Courts have to be extremely careful in granting ad-interim ex-parte injunction. If injunction has been granted on the basis of false pleadings or forged documents, then the concerned court must impose costs, grant realistic or actual mesne profits and/or order prosecution. This must be done to discourage the dishonest and unscrupulous litigants from abusing the judicial system. In substance, we have to remove the incentive or profit for the wrongdoer.”

The Bench said: “No doubt, it would take some time for the courts, litigants and the advocates to follow these steps, but once it is observed across the country, then the prevailing system of adjudication of civil courts is bound to improve.”

5 Responses

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  1. Venkatesh P. Dalwai said, on July 13, 2011 at 19:23

    Outbrust is justified. But unfortunately courts of roiginal jurisidction especially civil court need to record evidence which oral and documentary and on such basis judgements are given. There is no short cut procedure prescribed which results in delay. Govt must provide more courts with proper facilities to spped up.

  2. miami litigation attorney said, on July 30, 2011 at 09:27

    It is a matter of common experience that the court’s otherwise scarce and valuable time is consumed or more appropriately wasted in a large number of uncalled-for cases.

  3. Dr. Chandran Peechulli said, on November 30, 2011 at 12:52

    Rightly said by Justice Dhingra and as well as Ace criminal lawyer Ram Jetmalini Re-TOI Chennai Edn. dt30-11-2011. A Case study (O.S.341/2004) in Sr.Divn. of Bangalore City Civil Court LAND GRAB CASE. Local land grabbers liberally given adjournments while the aggrieved litigant resident of Chennai, prepared for the cross-examination is totally harassed and humiliated by returning the said senior citizen back to chennai with repeated liberal adjournments. Need for better regulatory- mechanism, in the administration of Law in our country, to instill fairness and justice in courts irrespective of the class of courts whether Lower or Higher Court. Re-piling-up of cases and dragged delays with unreasonable adjournments, liberal to the influenced and the mighty, making the innocent litigant to suffer and give up. SHOULD THIS NOT BE PROBED BY THE INDEPENDANT CBI OR THE LOKPAL? THE POOR COMMON MAN SUFFERS WITH SLOW DEATH.

  4. Subject: Injustice meted out by a senior-citizen and an ex-serviceman whose father and elder brother also an ex-serviceman.

    LAND GRABBING. Detailed complaint in brief: e.g. Family PARTITION-SUIT O.S. 341/2004 with Bangalore City Civil – Court. Land-grabbing case. Self, purchased 2 plots for my two sons, of the 32 plots formed in a layout of one acre and 20 Guntas,in 1983. Signatories of Vendors were three members (Karthas for the ancestoral property) the grandsons of Sri. Eeraiah. No.1 Mr. Krishnappa son of Eeranna totally left out from the suit and the other two signatories 2. Mr. Tamayanna and 3. Mr. Eranna (No.2 & 3 are sons of Sri.Kempiah-these two parties though made a party, not attending the court but for submitting the vakalat by their advocate,which is Suppression of unlawful Act. Neither objection nor evidence filed till to date by the member No.2 or 3.
    Please note self, P.K.Chandran alone made a party in their Family Partition Suit O.S.341/ 2004, amongst the 32 plot owners of a layout, self discriminated being a non-local, since residing in Chennai port City, having taken subsequent profession at sea, in the merchant navy, as a bread-winner to my wife and two young sons and my parents. O.S.341/2004, Family Partition- Suit by the appellant, was to harass and humiliate. After 21 long years, younger relative members of vendors family (miscreants) goons taking law into their hands, owing to the increased land-prices (caused by modernisation of urban land by highways, bridges, and bye-pass roads), RAMA and LAXMANA, twins (miscreants) encroached my land and removed the barbed wire fencing connected to the stone pillars erected on the boundary line, by putting up a KATCHA SHED on my land to knock of my hard-earned property of mine, an ex-serviceman( who once came forward to join the Indian Army to lay his life for safeguarding the nation from external threats). Promptly, reported to all Civil Authorities of Law & Order and Bangalore City Police Commissioner who referred me to the then Police IGP, Bangalore Rural, Sri Rabindranath Tagore, I.P.S., who arranged to chase the encroachers, who were erecting a KATCHA SHED, which was left in incomplete condition, thereby advising me to approach the CIVIL COURT for justice, hence the suit O.S.365/2004, filed by me, against miscreants. The numbering of my case-file was deliberately delayed, shunting me to CHENNAI to bring and submit all the original land documents to the C.C.C. (City Civil Court) Bangalore, for accepting my case submitted, in the Junior Division Rural, hence the case delayed and numbered as O.S.365/2004. While, in the meanwhile, miscreants filed a partition-suit which was numbered earlier as (O.S.341/2004) in Sr.Divn. of Bangalore C.C.C. Heartlessly and mercilessly my case filed O.S.365/2004, was dismissed twice saying they (miscreants) are in possession “though in forceful possession illegally”, speaks of the poor Law and Order, and my plight for fairness and justice. The truth falsified in favour of the miscreants, hence these days, criminals are encouraged to grow in our country. With the money and muscle-power, the miscreants went ahead in converting the katcha-shed, as a residential with ventilation opening and fitting window, and obtaining electrical connection during the pendency of the case and status quo, which is a violation of court-order and contempt of court. Forcefully occupying illegally thereafter. They then threatened the neighbourhood not to support or cooperate with me(resident of chennai) with the result even the neighbour who signed the registered Sale Deed as my witness, was warned of dire- consequence if he stands as witness and hence over the telephone conveyed his plight since his daughters and son may be harmed, therefore he keeping aloof without appearing as witness in my favour, to my case O.S.365/2004.
    In 1983, I have paid the full sales consideration to the vendors directly, as they were illiterate they had engaged a local medical practitioner (Dr. Narasimhamurthy), to assist the vendors in interpreting Kannada language into English language to those prospective buyers, who were not proficient in Kannada. I am in legal- possession, by virtue of irrevocable GPA and Affidavit (for the delivery of possession transferred to me), same as those of others who purchased in 1983, while registration were stopped. Why this awakening after 21 long years by the youngsters in the family of Mr. Kempiah, who were minors in 1983 and harming me alone. Heartlessly and mercilessly the case O.S.341/2004, with Senior Division, Bangalore (Rural), City Civil Court being adjourned again on 14th October 2011 to 24th November 2011. The Honourable Courts have not taken into consideration, the hurt sentiments of an aggrieved ex-serviceman and senior citizen aged 64 years old, coming to attend court from Chennai to Bangalore and back, since the year 2004, Now, 8th year, incurring time, effort and money during my retired life, for no fault of mine, having not considered an interim relief at least. Is there, a human soul in our country, to come to my rescue and instil justice of mankind, thereby cleansing of the existing system.
    Everything is said and documented in the Code of Judicial Conduct but who is to check, as to whether the said is put into practice. Has the Government earmarked someone to keep a check for its implementation? Hence, Every enlightened citizen in the local region, practically coming up, as the Rights & Social- Activist, locally voicing citizen’s right, same put forward in the common interest, to the Local and Corporate Centres for their attention, to improve the citizen services and instil fairness, truth & justice, through Parliament or Lokpal.

    Rightly said by Justice Dhingra and as well as Ace criminal lawyer Ram Jetmalini Re-TOI Chennai Edn. dt30-11-2011. A Case study (O.S.341/2004) in Sr.Divn. of Bangalore City Civil Court LAND GRAB CASE. Local land grabbers liberally given adjournments while the aggrieved litigant resident of Chennai, prepared for the cross-examination is totally harassed and humiliated by returning the said senior citizen back to chennai with repeated liberal adjournments. Need for better regulatory- mechanism, in the administration of Law in our country, to instill fairness and justice in courts irrespective of the class of courts whether Lower or Higher Court. Re-piling-up of cases and dragged delays with unreasonable adjournments, liberal to the influenced and the mighty, making the innocent litigant to suffer and give up. SHOULD THIS NOT BE PROBED BY THE INDEPENDANT CBI OR THE LOKPAL? THE POOR COMMON MAN SUFFERS WITH SLOW DEATH.
    A true Case-Study India by Dr. Chandran Peechulli, Ph.D; MBA; F.I.E.(India),
    chandranpeechulli@gmail.com
    Sent via webform at avaaz.org/en/contact

  5. Dr. Chandran Peechulli said, on October 2, 2012 at 14:29

    Place our nation “INDIA” above politics.


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