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Administration of justice – Civil litigation – Delay in disposal of civil cases/Uncalled for and frivolous litigation – Curbing of – Held: Steps to be taken by trial courts while dealing with criminal trials – Stated. Code of Civil Procedure, 1908: Actual or realistic costs – Determination of – Held: Pragmatic realities are to be taken into consideration and courts have to be realistic to what the defendants or the respondents had to actually incur in contesting the litigation before different courts – Prevalent fee structure of the lawyers and other miscellaneous expenses are to be taken into consideration – It is to be seen that for how long the defendants or respondents were compelled to contest and defend the litigation in various courts – On facts, appellants harassed the respondents to the hilt for four decades in a totally frivolous and dishonest litigation in various courts – They also wasted judicial time of the various courts for the last 40 years – Thus, the appeals are dismissed with costs, quantified as Rs.2,00,000/- alongwith the costs imposed by the High Court which is Rs. 75,000/-, payable by the appellants to the respondents. Ex-parte ad interim injunctions – When to be granted – Held: The court should grant interim injunction or stay order only after hearing the defendants or the respondents – In case the court has to grant ex-parte injunction in exceptional cases, then it must record in the order that if the suit is eventually dismissed, the plaintiff or the petitioner would pay full restitution, actual or realistic costs and mesne profits – If an ex- parte injunction order is granted, then the court should dispose of the application for injunction as expeditiously as may be possible, as soon as the defendant appears in the court – It should be granted only for a short period – If party obtains an injunction based on false averments and forged documents, he should be prosecuted. Framing of issues – Duty of the court – Held: Framing of issues is a very important stage in the civil litigation – Due care, caution, diligence and attention must be bestowed by the Presiding Judge while framing of issues – On facts, the trial court ought not to have framed an issue on a point which was finally determined upto this Court – The same was exclusively barred by the principles of res judicata – Doctrines/Principles. `RP’ was allotted a house and on humane considerations of shelter, he allowed his brothers-appellants to reside with him. The appellants filed a suit for partition in the year 1977, which was dismissed. Thereafter, they filed a Regular First Appeal. During pendency, `RP’ filed a suit against the appellants for mandatory injunction to remove them and for recovery of mesne profits. Meanwhile, `RP’ sold part of his property. Thereafter, RFA was dismissed. The Special Leave Petition filed thereagainst was also dismissed. The suit for mandatory injunction stood revived. Thereafter, applications after applications were filed by the appellants at every stage raising various claims. The issues were framed. Finally, the High Court dismissed the Civil Miscellaneous Petition which was filed in the year 2010, rendered at the preliminary hearing and imposed cost of Rs. 75,000/-. The Review Petition filed thereagainst was also dismissed. Thus, the appellants filed the instant appeals. Disposing of the appeals, the Court HELD: 1.1 If the remedial measures and suggestions to improve the aspect of delay in disposal of civil cases are implemented in proper perspective, then the present justice delivery system of civil litigation would certainly improve to a great extent. [Para 32] [1017-H; 1018-A] “Justice, Courts and Delays” by Dr. Arun Mohan – referred to. 1.2 90% of the time and resources of the Indian courts are consumed in attending to uncalled for litigation, which is created only because our current procedures and practices hold out an incentive for the wrong- doer. 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. In the Indian legal system, uncalled for litigation gets encouragement because our courts do not impose realistic costs. The parties raise unwarranted claims and defences and also adopt obstructionist and delaying tactics because the courts do not impose actual or realistic costs. Ordinarily, the successful party usually remains uncompensated in the courts and that operates as the main motivating factor for unscrupulous litigants. Unless the courts, by appropriate orders or directions remove the cause for motivation or the incentives, uncalled for litigation will continue to accrue, and there will be expansion and obstruction of the litigation. Court time and resources will be consumed and justice will be both delayed and denied. [Paras 33 and 34] [1018-A-F] 1.3 Lesser the court’s attention towards full restitution and realistic costs, which translates as profit for the wrongdoer, the greater would be the generation of uncalled for litigation and exercise of skills for achieving delays by impurity in presentation and deployment of obstructive tactics. The cost (risk) – benefit ratio is directly dependent on what costs and penalties will the court impose on him; and the benefit will come in as: the other `succumbing’ en route and or leaving a profit for him, or even if it is a fight to the end, the court still leaving a profit with him as unrestituted gains or unassessed short levied costs. Litigation perception of the probability of the other party getting tired and succumbing to the delays and settling with him and the court ultimately awarding what kind of restitution, costs and fines against him – paltry or realistic. This perception ought to be the real risk evaluation. [Paras 35, 36] [1018-G-H; 1019-A-B] 1.4 If the appellants had the apprehension of imposition of realistic costs or restitution, then this litigation perhaps would not have been filed. Ideally, having lost up to the highest court (2001), the appellants (defendants in the suit) ought to have vacated the premises and moved out on their own, but the appellants seem to have acted as most parties do- calculate the cost (risk)-benefit ratio between surrendering on their own and continuing to contest before the court. Procrastinating litigation is common place because, in practice, the courts are reluctant to order restitution and actual cost incurred by the other side. [Para 37] [1019-C- D] 1.5 Every lease on its expiry, or a license on its revocation cannot be converted itself into litigation. Unfortunately, the courts are flooded with these cases because there is an inherent profit for the wrong- doers in our system. It is a matter of common knowledge that domestic servants, gardeners, watchmen, caretakers or security men employed in a premises, whose status is that of a licensee indiscriminately file suits for injunction not to be dispossessed by making all kinds of averments and may be even filing a forged document, and then demands a chunk of money for withdrawing the suit. It is happening because it is the general impression that even if ultimately unauthorized person is thrown out of the premises the court would not ordinarily punish the unauthorized person by awarding realistic and actual mesne profits, imposing costs or ordering prosecution. [Para 38] [1019-E-G; 1020-A] 1.6 It is a matter of common knowledge that lakhs of flats and houses are kept locked for years, particularly in big cities and metropolitan cities, because owners are not certain that even after expiry of lease or licence period, the house, flat or the apartment would be vacated or not. It takes decades for final determination of the controversy and wrongdoers are never adequately punished. Pragmatic approach of the courts would partly solve the housing problem of this country. The 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, the incentive or profit for the wrongdoer is to be removed. While granting ad interim ex-parte injunction or stay order the court must record undertaking from the plaintiff or the petitioner that he will have to pay mesne profits at the market rate and costs in the event of dismissal of interim application and the suit. [Paras 39, 40 and 41] [1020-B-E] 1.7 In the instant case, the court should have first examined the pleadings and then not only granted leave to amend but directed amendment of the pleadings so that the parties were confined to those pleas which still survived the High Court’s decision. Secondly, it should have directed discovery and production of documents and their admission/denial. Thirdly, if the civil judge on 6.10.2004, which was three and a half years after the dismissal of the Special Leave Petition, instead of framing the issues that he did, had, after recording the statements of the parties and partially hearing the matter should have passed the order that the pleadings were not sufficient to raise an issue for adverse possession and that the pleadings and contentions before the High Court had the effect of completely negating any claim to adverse possession. [Para 42] [1020-F-H; 1021-A-B] 1.8 Framing of issues is a very important stage in the civil litigation and it is the bounden duty of the court that due care, caution, diligence and attention must be bestowed by the Presiding Judge while framing of issues. In the instant case, when the entire question of title had been determined by the High Court and the Special Leave Petition against that judgment was dismissed by this Court, thereafter, the trial court ought not to have framed such an issue on a point which has been finally determined upto this Court. In any case, the same was exclusively barred by the principles of res judicata. That clearly demonstrates total non-application of mind. [Paras 43 and 44] [1021-C-D] 1.9 Unless it is ensured that wrong- doers are denied profit or undue benefit from the frivolous litigation, it would be difficult to control frivolous and uncalled for litigations. In order to curb uncalled for and frivolous litigation, the courts have to ensure that there is no incentive or motive for uncalled for litigation. It is a matter of common experience that court’s otherwise scarce and valuable time is consumed or more appropriately wasted in a large number of uncalled for cases. [Para 45] [1021-E-F] 1.10 Usually the court should be cautious and extremely careful while granting ex-parte ad interim injunctions. The better course for the court is to give a short notice and in some cases even dasti notice, hear both the parties and then pass suitable biparte orders. Experience reveals that ex-parte interim injunction orders in some cases can create havoc and getting them vacated or modified in our existing judicial system is a nightmare. Therefore, as a rule, the court should grant interim injunction or stay order only after hearing the defendants or the respondents and in case the court has to grant ex-parte injunction in exceptional cases then while granting injunction it must record in the order that if the suit is eventually dismissed, the plaintiff or the petitioner will have to pay full restitution, actual or realistic costs and mesne profits. If an ex-parte injunction order is granted, then in that case an endeavour should be made to dispose of the application for injunction as expeditiously as may be possible, preferably as soon as the defendant appears in the court. [Paras 46 and 47] [1021-G-H; 1022-A-C] 1.11 It is also a matter of common experience that once an ad interim injunction is granted, the plaintiff or the petitioner would make all efforts to ensure that injunction continues indefinitely. The other appropriate order can be to limit the life of the ex-parte injunction or stay order for a week or so because in such cases the usual tendency of unnecessarily prolonging the matters by the plaintiffs or the petitioners after obtaining ex-parte injunction orders or stay orders may not find encouragement. The common impression is to be dispelled that a party by obtaining an injunction based on even false averments and forged documents will tire out the true owner and ultimately the true owner will have to give up to the wrongdoer his legitimate profit. It is also a matter of common experience that to achieve clandestine objects, false pleas are often taken and forged documents are filed indiscriminately in the courts because they have hardly any apprehension of being prosecuted for perjury by the courts or even pay heavy costs. [Para 48] [1022-D-G] 1.12 With regard to the issue of curbing the prevailing delay in civil litigation, 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: A. Pleadings are foundation of the claims of parties. Civil litigation is largely based on documents. It is the bounden duty and obligation of the trial judge to carefully scrutinize, check and verify the pleadings and the documents filed by the parties. This must be done immediately after civil suits are filed. B. The Court should resort to discovery and production of documents and interrogatories at the earliest according to the object of the Code. If this exercise is carefully carried out, it would focus the controversies involved in the case and help the court in arriving at truth of the matter and doing substantial justice. C. Imposition of actual, realistic or proper costs and or ordering prosecution would go a long way in controlling the tendency of introducing false pleadings and forged and fabricated documents by the litigants. Imposition of heavy costs would also control unnecessary adjournments by the parties. In appropriate cases the courts may consider ordering prosecution otherwise it may not be possible to maintain purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings. D. The Court must adopt realistic and pragmatic approach in granting mesne profits. The Court must carefully keep in view the ground realities while granting mesne profits. E. The courts should be extremely careful and cautious in granting ex-parte ad interim injunctions or stay orders. Ordinarily short notice should be issued to the defendants or respondents and only after hearing concerned parties appropriate orders should be passed. F. Litigants who obtained ex-parte ad interim injunction on the strength of false pleadings and forged documents should be adequately punished. No one should be allowed to abuse the process of the court. G. The principle of restitution be fully applied in a pragmatic manner in order to do real and substantial justice. H. Every case emanates from a human or a commercial problem and the Court must make serious endeavour to resolve the problem within the framework of law and in accordance with the well settled principles of law and justice. I. If in a given case, ex parte injunction is granted, then the said application for grant of injunction should be disposed of on merits, after hearing both sides as expeditiously as may be possible on a priority basis and undue adjournments should be avoided. J. At the time of filing of the plaint, the trial court should prepare complete schedule and fix dates for all the stages of the suit, right from filing of the written statement till pronouncement of judgment and the courts should strictly adhere to the said dates and the said time table as far as possible. If any interlocutory application is filed then the same be disposed of in between the said dates of hearings fixed in the said suit itself so that the date fixed for the main suit may not be disturbed. The aforementioned steps may help the courts to drastically improve the existing system of administration of civil litigation in our Courts. No doubt, it would take some time for the courts, litigants and the advocates to follow the said steps, but once it is observed across the country, then prevailing system of adjudication of civil courts is bound to improve. [Para 53] [1023-G-H; 1024-A-H; 1025-A-H; 1026-A] 1.13 While imposing costs the pragmatic realities are to be taken into consideration and be realistic what the defendants or the respondents had to actually incur in contesting the litigation before different courts. The prevalent fee structure of the lawyers and other miscellaneous expenses which have to be incurred towards drafting and filing of the counter affidavit, miscellaneous charges towards typing, photocopying, court fee etc. are to be also broadly taken into consideration. It should not be forgotten while imposing costs that for how long the defendants or respondents were compelled to contest and defend the litigation in various courts. The appellants in the instant case have harassed the respondents to the hilt for four decades in a totally frivolous and dishonest litigation in various courts. The appellants have also wasted judicial time of the various courts for the last 40 years. [Paras 54 and 55] [1026-B-E] 1.14 On consideration of totality of the facts and circumstances of the instant case, there is no infirmity in the well reasoned impugned order/judgment. These appeals are consequently dismissed with costs, which is quantified as Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs only). The costs are imposed not out of anguish but by following the fundamental principle that wrongdoers should not get benefit out of frivolous litigation. The appellants are directed to pay the costs imposed by this Court along with the costs imposed by the High Court to the respondents within the stipulated period. The suit pending before the trial court is at the final stage of the arguments, therefore, the said suit is directed to be disposed of as expeditiously as possible. [Paras 56, 57 and 58] [1026-F-H] 1.15 It is made abundantly clear that the trial court should not be influenced by any observation or finding arrived at by this Court in dealing with these appeals as the matter has not been decided on merits of the case. [Para 59] [1027-B] Swaran Singh v. State of Punjab (2000) 5 SCC 668: 2000 (3) SCR 572; Mahila Vinod Kumari v. State of Madhya Pradesh (2008) 8 SCC 34: 2008 (10) SCR 869 – referred to. Case Law Reference: 2000 (3) SCR 572 Referred to Para 48 2008 (10) SCR 869 Referred to Para 51 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 4912-4913 of 2011. From the Judgment & Order dated 01.09.2010 of the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi in Civil Misc. (Main) No. 1084 of 2010 and order dated 25.10.2010 in Review Petition No. 429 of 2010. Dr. Arun Mohan, (A.C.), Vikas Mahajan, Vinod Sharma, Tulika Prakash, Kuber Giri for the Appellants. R.P. Sharma for the Respondents.

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Supreme Court of India - Central Wing

Supreme Court of India – Central Wing (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 

CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 4912-4913 OF 2011

(Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 3157-3158 of 2011)

 

 

Ramrameshwari Devi and Ors. …Appellants

 

Versus

 

Nirmala Devi and Ors. …Respondents

 
JUDGEMENT

 
Dalveer Bhandari, J.
1. Leave granted.

 

2. These appeals are directed against the judgment and

 

order dated 01.09.2010 passed in Civil Miscellaneous Petition

 

(Main) No. 1084 of 2010 and the order dated 25.10.2010

 

passed in Review Petition No. 429 of 2010 in Civil

 

Miscellaneous Petition (Main) No. 1084 of 2010 by the High

 

Court of Delhi at New Delhi.

 

 

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3. The apparent discernible question which requires

 

adjudication in this case seems to be a trivial, insignificant

 

and small one regarding imposition of costs, but in fact, these

 

appeals have raised several important questions of law of great

 

importance which we propose to deal in this judgment.

 

Looking to the importance of the matter we requested Dr. Arun

 

Mohan, a distinguished senior advocate to assist this court as

 

an Amicus Curiae.

 
4. This is a classic example which abundantly depicts the

 

picture of how the civil litigation moves in our courts and how

 

unscrupulous litigants (appellants in this case) can till eternity

 

harass the respondents and their children by abusing the

 

judicial system.

 
5. The basic facts which are necessary to dispose of these

 

appeals are recapitulated as under:-

 
6. In the year 1952, almost about half a century ago, the

 

government allotted a residential house bearing nos. 61-62,

 

 

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I-Block, Lajpat Nagar-I, measuring 200 yards to Ram Parshad.

 

The Lease Deed was executed in his favour on 31.10.1964.

 
7. On humane considerations of shelter, Ram Parshad

 

allowed his three younger brothers – Madan Lal, Krishan

 

Gopal and Manohar Lal to reside with him in the house. On

 

16.11.1977, these three younger brothers filed a Civil Suit

 

No.993 of 1977 in the High Court of Delhi claiming that this

 

Lajpat Nagar property belonged to a joint Hindu Family and

 

sought partition of the property on that basis.

 
8. The suit was dismissed by a judgment dated 18.01.1982

 

by the learned Single Judge of the High Court of Delhi. The

 

appellants (younger brothers) of Ram Parshad, aggrieved by

 

the said judgment preferred a Regular First Appeal (Original

 

Side) 4 of 1982 which was admitted to hearing on 09.03.1982.

 

During the pendency of the appeal, Ram Parshad on

 

15.01.1992 filed a suit against his three younger brothers for

 

mandatory injunction to remove them and for recovery of

 

mesne profits. In 1984 Ram Parshad sold western half (No.61)

 

to an outsider. That matter is no longer in dispute.

 
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9. The first appeal filed by the other three younger brothers

 

of Ram Parshad against Ram Parshad was dismissed on

 

09.11.2000. Against the concurrent findings of both of the

 

judgments, the appellants filed a Special Leave Petition

 

No.3740 of 2001 in this court which was also dismissed on

 

16.03.2001.

 
10. In the suit filed by Ram Parshad (one of the respondents)

 

(now deceased) against the appellants in these appeals the

 

following issues were framed:

 
1. Whether the suit is liable to be stayed under Section

 

10 CPC as alleged in para no.1 of Preliminary

 

Objection?

 

2. Whether defendants are licencees in the suit premises

 

and if so whether the plaintiff is entitled to recover

 

possession of the same from them?

 

3. Whether suit of plaintiff is time barred?

 

4. Whether suit has been properly valued for the purpose

 

of court fees and jurisdiction?

 

 

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5. Whether the suit property is joint family property of

 

parties?

 

6. Whether the plaintiff is entitled to mesne profits for

 

use and occupation of the suit property by the

 

defendants and if so at what rate and for which

 

period?

 

7. Whether defendants have become the owner of three-

 

fourth share of the suit property by adverse

 

possession?

 

8. Relief.

 

and fixed the matter for evidence on 22.11.2004.

 
11. The defendants in the suit contended that inasmuch as

 

Regular First Appeal (Original Side) 4 of 1982 was still

 

pending, therefore, Ram Parshad’s suit be stayed under

 

section 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Accepting the

 

contention, on 20.07.1992, the 1992 suit was ordered to be

 

stayed.

 
12. The Regular First Appeal was dismissed on 9.11.2000

 

and the Special leave petition against the said appeal was also

 
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dismissed on 16.3.2001. Consequently, the suit filed by Ram

 

Parshad for mandatory injunction and for mesne profit stood

 

revived on 05.12.2001.

 

13. In the first round of litigation from 16.11.1977 to

 

16.3.2001 it took about twenty four years and thereafter it had

 

taken 10 years from 16.3.2001. In the 1992 suit, the

 

defendants (appellants herein) sought amendment of the

 

written statement which was refused on 28.07.2004. Against

 

this order, a Civil Miscellaneous (Main) 1153 of 2004 was filed

 

in the High Court which was disposed of on 02.09.2004 with

 

liberty to move an application before the trial court for framing

 

an additional issue. The additional issue regarding the claim

 

of adverse possession by the three younger brothers was

 

framed on 6.10.2004. The issue was whether the defendants

 

have become the owner of three-fourth share of the suit

 

property by adverse possession and the case was fixed up for

 

recording of the evidence. According to the learned Amicus

 

Curiae, the court before framing Issue Number 7 and retaining

 

the other issues, ought to have recorded the statement of

 

defendants under Order 10 Rule 2 of the Code of the Civil

 
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Procedure (for short, CPC) and then re-cast the issues as

 

would have been appropriate on the pleadings of the parties as

 

they would survive after the decision in the previous litigation.

 

14. According to the learned Amicus Curiae, the practice of

 

mechanically framing the issues needs to be discouraged.

 

Framing of issues is an important exercise. Utmost care and

 

attention is required to be bestowed by the judicial

 

officers/judges at the time of framing of issues. According to

 

Dr. Arun Mohan, twenty minutes spent at that time would

 

have saved several years in court proceedings.

 

15. In the suit, on 6.11.2004 the application seeking transfer

 

of the suit from that court was filed which was dismissed by

 

the learned District Judge on 22.3.2005. The trial commenced

 

on 22.11.2004, adjournment was sought and was granted

 

against costs. The plaintiffs’ evidence was concluded on

 

10.2.2005.

 

16. On 28.5.2005 the defendants failed to produce the

 

evidence and their evidence was closed. Against that order,

 

Civil Miscellaneous (Main) 1490 of 2005 was filed in the Delhi

 

High Court. Stay was granted on 15.7.2005 and the

 
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application was dismissed on 17.12.2007 with liberty to move

 

an application for taking on record further documents.

 

17. On 12.2.2008, an application under Order 18 Rule 17A

 

of the CPC was moved. On `No Objection’ from the plaintiff, it

 

was allowed on 31.7.2008 and the documents and affidavits

 

were taken on record. On 23.10.2009, the matter was fixed

 

for evidence. The appellants filed an application under Order

 

7 Rule 11 (b) of the CPC for rejection of the 1992 plaint on the

 

ground of not paying ad valorem court fees on the market

 

value of property and for under-valuation of relief. This

 

application was dismissed by the Civil Judge on 09.07.2010

 

by the following order :-

 

“M-61/2006

09.07.2010

Present : Ld. Counsel for plaintiff

Ld. Counsel for defendant
Application under section 151 CPC is filed

by defendant for treating Issue No.4 as

preliminary issue. It pertains to court fees and

jurisdiction. It is pertinent to mention that suit

is at the stage of final arguments and both the

parties have led the entire evidence. Ld. Counsel

for defendant submits that this application has

been filed by the defendant in view of the liberty

granted to the defendant by the Hon’ble High

Court vide order dated 26.4.2010 dismissing the

 

 

8
Civil Revision Petition application no.76/10 as

withdrawn against the order dated 12.10.2006

passed by this court. It is pointed out to the

counsel for defendant that case is at the stage of

final arguments and law enjoins upon the court

to return finding on all the issues. Counsel for

the defendant filing this application seeks

disposal of the same. Perused the application

and gone through record. Order 20 Rule 5

clearly states that court has to return finding on

each issue. Even Order 14 Rule 2 CPC states

that the court has to pronounce the judgment on

all issues notwithstanding that the case may be

disposed off on preliminary issue. Sub Rule 2

refers to the discretion given to the court where

the court may try issue relating to the

jurisdiction of the court or the bar to the suit

created by any law for the time being in force as

preliminary issue. It further relates to disposal of

the suit treating these points as preliminary

issues and also relates to deferring the settlement

of other issues. But there is no such case. Entire

evidence has been led, the matter is at the stage

of final arguments and the point raised does not

relate to the point pertaining to Sub Rule 2.

Neither it relates to bar created by any law nor

the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.

It is averments made in the plaint. Contention of

the applicant for treating the issue as preliminary

issue is against the spirit of law as referred in

Order 20 Rule 5 and Order 14 Rule 5 CPC. I do

not see any merit in this application and the

same is dismissed with the costs of Rs.2000/-.

To come up for payment of cost and final

arguments.
Put up on 09.08.2010
(Vipin Kumar Rai)

 

 

9
ACJ/ARC(W)”

 
18. Aggrieved by the order dated 23.10.2009, the defendants

 

(appellants herein) preferred a Civil Revision Petition No.76 of

 

2010 in the High Court of Delhi. At the preliminary hearing,

 

the petition was allowed to be withdrawn, leaving the trial

 

court at liberty to consider the request of the appellants to

 

treat Issue Number 4 regarding court fee as a preliminary

 

issue.

 
19. On 09.07.2010, the defendants filed an application before

 

the Civil Judge for treating Issue Number 4 as a preliminary

 

issue. This application was rejected by the Civil Court on

 

9.7.2010 with costs. The matter is at the stage of final

 

arguments before the trial court. At this stage, against the

 

order of the Civil Judge, on 7.8.2010, the appellants filed a

 

petition being Civil Miscellaneous (Main) No.1084 of 2010

 

under Article 227 of the Constitution in the High Court which

 

came up for preliminary hearing on 26.8.2010. On 1.9.2010,

 

the High Court dismissed the Civil Miscellaneous (Main)

 

No.1084 of 2010 by a detailed judgment rendered at the

 
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preliminary hearing and imposed cost of Rs.75000/- to be

 

deposited with the Registrar General. Review Petition No. 429

 

of 2010 was filed which was dismissed on 25.10.2010.

 
20. These appeals have been filed against the order imposing

 

costs and dismissing the review petition.

 

 

21. The learned Single Judge observed that the present

 

appellants belong to that category of litigants whose only

 

motive is to create obstacles during the course of trial and not

 

to let the trial conclude. Applications after applications are

 

being filed by the appellants at every stage, even though

 

orders of the trial court are based on sound reasoning.

 

Moreover, the appellants have tried to mislead the court also

 

by filing wrong synopsis and incorrect dates of events.

 
22. The High Court further observed that the purpose of

 

filing of brief synopsis with list of dates and events is to give

 

brief and correct summary of the case and not to mislead the

 

court. Those litigants or their advocates who mislead the

 

 

1
courts by filing wrong and incorrect particulars (the list of

 

dates and events) must be dealt with heavy hands.

 
23. In the list of dates and events, it is stated that the

 

respondents filed a suit for mandatory injunction and recovery

 

of Rs.36,000/- on 22nd September, 2003. In fact, as per typed

 

copy of the plaint placed on record, the suit was filed by the

 

predecessor-in-interest of the respondents in 1992. Written

 

statement was filed by the predecessor-in-interest of the

 

appellants in 1992. Thus, the appellants tried to mislead the

 

court by mentioning wrong date of 22nd September, 2003 as

 

the date of filing.

 
24. The High Court has also dealt with number of judgments

 

dealing with the power of the High Court under Article 227 of

 

the Constitution. According to the High Court, the suit was

 

filed in the trial court in 1992. The written statement was filed

 

as far back on 15th April, 1992. On pleadings, Issue Number

 

4 was framed with regard to court fee and jurisdiction. The

 

appellants never pressed that Issue Number 4 be treated as a

 

preliminary issue. Both the parties led their respective

 
1
evidence. When the suit was fixed before the trial court for

 

final arguments, application in question was filed. The

 

appellants argued that Issue Number 4 would also be

 

determined along with other issues.

 
25. In the impugned judgment, it is also observed that it is

 

revealed from the record that the appellants have been moving

 

one application after the other, though all were dismissed with

 

costs.

 
26. It may be pertinent to mention that the appellants also

 

moved transfer application apprehending adverse order from

 

the trial judge, which was also dismissed by the learned

 

District Judge. This conduct of the appellants demonstrates

 

that they are determined not to allow the trial court to proceed

 

with the suit. They are creating all kinds of hurdles and

 

obstacles at every stage of the proceedings.

 
27. The learned Single Judge observed that even according to

 

Order 14 Rule 2 CPC the court has to pronounce the judgment

 

on all issues notwithstanding that the case may be disposed of

 

 

1
on preliminary issue. Order 14 Rule 2 of the CPC is reads as

 

under:

 

“ORDER XIV: SETTLEMENT OF ISSUES AND

DETERMINATION OF SUIT ON ISSUES OF

LAW OR ON ISSUES AGREED UPON.

… … …

… … …

2. Court to pronounce judgment on all issues:

(1) Notwithstanding that a case may be

disposed of on a preliminary issue, the Court

shall, subject to the provisions of sub-rule (2),

pronounce judgment on all issues.

… … …

… … …”

 

28. Sub Rule 2 refers to the discretion given to the court

 

where the court may try issue relating to the jurisdiction of the

 

court or the bar to the suit created by any law for the time

 

being in force as preliminary issue. It further relates to

 

disposal of the suit treating these points as preliminary issues

 

and also relates to deferring the settlement of other issues, but

 

there is no such case. The entire evidence has been led, the

 

matter is at the stage of final arguments and the point raised

 

does not relate to the point pertaining to Sub Rule 2. Neither

 

it relates to bar created by any law nor the jurisdiction of the

 

court to entertain the suit. It is just an averment made in the

 

 

1
plaint. Contention of the appellants for treating the said issue

 

as preliminary issue is against the spirit of law as referred in

 

Order 20 Rule 5 and Order 14 Rule 5 of the CPC. These

 

observations of the courts below are correct and in pursuance

 

of the provisions of the Act. The High Court properly analysed

 

the order of the trial court and observed as under:-

 

“Looking from any angle, no illegality or

infirmity can be found in the impugned

order. The only object of petitioners is

just to delay the trial, which is pending

for the last more than 18 years. To a

large extent, petitioners have been

successful in delaying the judicial

proceedings by filing false, frivolous and

bogus applications, one after the other.

 
It is well settled that frivolous litigation

clogs the wheels of justice making it

difficult for courts to provide easy and

speedy justice to the genuine litigations.

 

Dismissed

List for compliance on 7th October,

2010.”

 
29. We have carefully examined the impugned judgment of

 

the High Court and also order dated 9.7.2010 passed by the

 

learned Civil Judge, Delhi.

 

 

1
30. It is abundantly clear from the facts and circumstances

 

of this case that the appellants have seriously created

 

obstacles at every stage during the course of trial and virtually

 

prevented the court from proceeding with the suit. This is a

 

typical example of how an ordinary suit moves in our courts.

 

Some cantankerous and unscrupulous litigants on one ground

 

or the other do not permit the courts to proceed further in the

 

matter.

 
31. The learned Amicus Curiae has taken great pains in

 

giving details of how the case has proceeded in the trial court

 

by reproducing the entire court orders of 1992 suit. In order

 

to properly comprehend the functioning of the trial courts,

 

while dealing with civil cases, we deem it appropriate to

 

reproduce the order sheets of 1992 suit. This is a typical

 

example of how a usual civil trial proceeds in our courts. The

 

credibility of entire judiciary is at stake unless effective

 

remedial steps are taken without further loss of time. Though

 

original litigation and the appeal which commenced from 1977

 

but in order to avoid expanding the scope of these appeals, we

 
1
are dealing only with the second litigation which commenced

 

in 1992. The order sheets of the suit of 1992 are reproduced

 

as under :-

 

Proceedings of Suit – 1992

 

17.01.1992 Summons to Defendants on plaintiff

and RC

 

28.02.1992 Fresh summons to Defendants 1 &

2. Defendant No. 3 refused service.

Proceeded ex-parte

 

30.03.1992 Time sought to file Written

Statement for all the Defendants.

Allowed.

 

20.04.1992 Written Statement filed. Fixed on

30.04.1992 for replication,

admission/denial and framing of

issues.

 

01.05.1992 Plaintiff sought time to file

replication.

 

11.05.1992 Replication filed. Adjourned for

admission/ denial on joint request.

 

26.05.1992 No document for admission/denial.

Issues framed. Fixed for arguments

on 17.07.1992.

 
17.07.1992 Arguments heard on preliminary

issue.

 

 

1
20.07.1992 Suit stayed. Plaintiff granted liberty

to make application for revival after

disposal of RFA (OS) 4/82.

 

01.06.2001 File sent to District Judge for

transferring the case to proper

court.

 

04.06.2001 District Judge marked to case to the

court of Shri Naipal Singh,

Additional District Judge.

 

02.07.2001 Presiding Officer is on vacation

leave. Fixed for 03.07.2001.

 

03.07.2001 Miscellaneous application notice

issued to the respondent. Main Suit

47/92 summoned.

 

23.08.2001 Suit file be summoned. Notice of

application to Defendant on PF &

RC.

 

16.10.2001 Copy of application given to all the

Defendants. Adjourned for reply to

application and further proceedings.

 

05.12.2001 Suit has to proceed for the decision

on merits.

 

28.02.2002 Application under Order 6 Rule 17

moved by Defendant for amendment

of Written Statement. Adjourned for

reply and arguments on the

application.

 

16.04.2002 As the value of the suit is below 3

lakhs, the suit transferred to the

court of Civil Judge.

 
1
23.04.2002 Reply to application filed. Summons

to Defendants other than Defendant

No. 3.

 

21.08.2002 Counsel for the parties not present.

 

28.11.2002 Presiding Officer on leave.

 

07.12.2002 At joint request, adjourned. Last

opportunity.

 

22.09.2003 None present. Adjourned for

arguments on Order 6 Rule 17. File

transferred to the court of Shri

Prashant Kumar, Civil Judge.

 

12.11.2003 Son of the Plaintiff stated that the

Plaintiff has expired. Adjourned.

 

06.12.2003 Presiding Officer not available.

 

16.01.2004 Copy of application under Order 22

Rule 3 supplied. As requested,

adjourned.

 

16.02.2004 Reply not filed. Counsel for the

Defendant seeks time to file reply.

 

01.03.2004 Reply filed. Counsel for the

Defendant objected that the

addresses of Legal Representatives

are not correct.

 

24.03.2004 Application Order 22 Rule 3 is

allowed. Right to sue survives.

Order 6 Rule 17 pending for

disposal.

 

 

1
27.04.2004 Arguments heard.

 

22.05.2004 Plaintiff wants to file written

submissions with regard to

clarification. Allowed.

 

03.07.2004 None for Defendants. Written

submissions filed by Plaintiff.

 

28.7.2004 Present none. Order 6 Rule 17

dismissed.

02.09.2004 None for Defendants. Fixed for PE

to 06.10.2004

 

28.09.2004 Defendant moved application Order

14 Rule 5. Notice issued.

 

06.10.2004 Issues reframed. Defendant sought

time to cross-examine PW.

 

22.11.2004 PW present. Defendant prayed for

adjournment. Defendant moved

application for transfer of the case.

Last opportunity for cross-

examination.

 

21.12.2004 PW present. Previous cost not

pressed for. PW sought time for

obtaining copies of documents.

 

10.02.2005 PW cross-examined. PE closed.

 

15.03.2005 No DW present

 

19.04.2005 Affidavit of DW filed. However DW

stated that he is not feeling well.

Adjourned.

 

 

2
28.05.2004 Defendant stated that he does not

want to lead evidence. DE closed.

Fixed for final arguments.

 

15.07.2005 Stay by the High Court in CM (Main)

1490/2005.

 

18.07.2005 Counsel for the Defendant states

that the High Court has stayed the

matter. Directed to file the copy of

the order.

 

25.08.2005 No copy of the order is filed.

 

29.10.2005 Matter under stay by High Court.

 

30.01.2006 Fresh suit received by transfer.

Adjourned for proper orders.

 

02.05.2006 Notice to Defendants.

 

31.05.2006 Counsel for the Defendants served

but none appeared. Adjourned for

final arguments.

 

21.08.2006 File not traceable. Adjourned.

 

09.12.2006 Present: Counsel for the plaintiff.

Adjourned for final arguments.

 

19.02.2007 Counsel for the plaintiff.

Proceedings stayed by the High

Court.

 

21.08.2007 Counsel for the Plaintiff. Matter

under stay by the High Court.

 

17.12.2007 CM (Main) 1490/2005 dismissed by

the High Court. Stay vacated.

 
2
10.1.2008Counsel for the Plaintiff. None for the

Defendant. Adjourned.

 

12.02.2008 Defendant filed application O18

R17A. Copy supplied. Adjourned

for reply and ar guments.

 

30.04.2008 Reply filed by the Plaintiff.

Application allowed to cost of

Rs.7,000/-, out of which Rs.1,000/-

to be deposited in Legal Aid.

Adjourned for DE.

 

31.07.2008 Defendant sought adjournment on

the ground that witness is not

feeling well.

 

29.9.2008 Plaintiff moved application Order 6

Rule 17. Copy supplied.

 

23.12.2008 Reply filed. Come up for arguments

on the application.

 

21.5.2009 Part arguments heard.

 

22.07.2009 Plaintiff does not press for the

application. Dismissed. To come

up for DE.

 

05.10.2009 Defendants witness not present.

Application for exemption allowed.

Affidavit already filed.

 

23.10.2009 Application under Order 7 Rule 1

CPC filed. Dismissed. Affidavit of

Kishan Gopal tendered as DW1,

and he is cross-examined and

 

 

2
discharged. No other witness. DE

closed.

 

11.01.2010 Presiding Officer on leave.

 

23.03.2010 Defendant seeks adjournment on

the ground that main counsel not

available.

 

3.5.2010 Adjournment sought on behalf of

the parties.

 

26.5.2010 File not traceable.

 

9.7.2010 Application under Section 151 CPC

for treating No. 4 as preliminary

issue. Dismissed with cost of

Rs.2,000/-

 

9.8.2010 Application for adjournment filed.

 

27.9.2010 Presiding Officer on leave.

 

23.10.2010 For final arguments.

 

18.12.2010 For final arguments.

 

22.1.2011 For final arguments.

 

5.2.2011 For final arguments.

 

26.2.2011 Sought adjournment on the ground

that the matter regarding cost is

pending in Hon’ble Supreme Court.

 
32. Dr. Arun Mohan, learned amicus curiae, has written an

 

extremely useful, informative and unusual book “Justice,

 
2
Courts and Delays”. This book also deals with the main

 

causes of delay in the administration of justice. He has also

 

suggested some effective remedial measures. We would briefly

 

deal with the aspect of delay in disposal of civil cases and

 

some remedial measures and suggestions to improve the

 

situation. According to our considered view, if these

 

suggestions are implemented in proper perspective, then the

 

present justice delivery system of civil litigation would

 

certainly improve to a great extent.

 
33. According to the learned author, 90% 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 for the wrong-

 

doer. 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.

 

 

2
34. According to Dr. Mohan, in our legal system, uncalled for

 

litigation gets encouragement because our courts do not

 

impose realistic costs. The parties raise unwarranted claims

 

and defences and also adopt obstructionist and delaying

 

tactics because the courts do not impose actual or realistic

 

costs. Ordinarily, the successful party usually remains

 

uncompensated in our courts and that operates as the main

 

motivating factor for unscrupulous litigants. Unless the

 

courts, by appropriate orders or directions remove the cause

 

for motivation or the incentives, uncalled for litigation will

 

continue to accrue, and there will be expansion and

 

obstruction of the litigation. Court time and resources will be

 

consumed and justice will be both delayed and denied.

 
35. According to the learned author lesser the court’s

 

attention towards full restitution and realistic costs, which

 

translates as profit for the wrongdoer, the greater would be the

 

generation of uncalled for litigation and exercise of skills for

 

achieving delays by impurity in presentation and deployment

 

of obstructive tactics.

 

 

2
36. According to him the cost (risk) – benefit ratio is directly

 

dependent on what costs and penalties will the court impose

 

on him; and the benefit will come in as the other `succumbing’

 

en route and or leaving a profit for him, or even if it is a fight

 

to the end, the court still leaving a profit with him as

 

unrestituted gains or unassessed short levied costs. Litigation

 

perception of the probability of the other party getting tired

 

and succumbing to the delays and settling with him and the

 

court ultimately awarding what kind of restitution, costs and

 

fines against him – paltry or realistic. This perception ought to

 

be the real risk evaluation.

 
37. According to the learned Amicus Curiae if the appellants

 

had the apprehension of imposition of realistic costs or

 

restitution, then this litigation perhaps would not have been

 

filed. According to him, ideally, having lost up to the highest

 

court (16.03.2001), the appellants (defendants in the suit)

 

ought to have vacated the premises and moved out on their

 

own, but the appellants seem to have acted as most parties

 

do-calculate the cost (risk)-benefit ratio between surrendering

 
2
on their own and continuing to contest before the court.

 

Procrastinating litigation is common place because, in

 

practice, the courts are reluctant to order restitution and

 

actual cost incurred by the other side.
Profits for the wrongdoer
38. According to the learned Amicus Curiae, every lease on

 

its expiry, or a license on its revocation cannot be converted

 

itself into litigation. Unfortunately, our courts are flooded with

 

these cases because there is an inherent profit for the wrong-

 

doers in our system. It is a matter of common knowledge that

 

domestic servants, gardeners, watchmen, caretakers or

 

security men employed in a premises, whose status is that of a

 

licensee indiscriminately file suits for injunction not to be

 

dispossessed by making all kinds of averments and may be

 

even filing a forged document, and then demands a chunk of

 

money for withdrawing the suit. It is happening because it is

 

the general impression that even if ultimately unauthorized

 

person is thrown out of the premises the court would not

 

ordinarily punish the unauthorized person by awarding

 

 

2
realistic and actual mesne profits, imposing costs or ordering

 

prosecution.

 

39. It is a matter of common knowledge that lakhs of flats

 

and houses are kept locked for years, particularly in big cities

 

and metropolitan cities, because owners are not certain that

 

even after expiry of lease or licence period, the house, flat or

 

the apartment would be vacated or not. It takes decades for

 

final determination of the controversy and wrongdoers are

 

never adequately punished. Pragmatic approach of the courts

 

would partly solve the housing problem of this country.

 

40. The 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.

 

 

2
41. While granting ad interim ex-parte injunction or stay

 

order the court must record undertaking from the plaintiff or

 

the petitioner that he will have to pay mesne profits at the

 

market rate and costs in the event of dismissal of interim

 

application and the suit.

 
42. According to the learned Amicus Curiae the court should

 

have first examined the pleadings and then not only granted

 

leave to amend but directed amendment of the pleadings so

 

that the parties were confined to those pleas which still

 

survived the High Court’s decision. Secondly, it should have

 

directed discovery and production of documents and their

 

admission/denial. Thirdly, if the civil judge on 6.10.2004,

 

which was three and a half years after the dismissal of the

 

Special Leave Petition on 16.3.2001, instead of framing the

 

issues that he did, had, after recording the statements of the

 

parties and partially hearing the matter should have passed

 

the following order:

 

“In my prima facie view, your pleadings are not

sufficient to raise an issue for adverse possession,

secondly how can you contend adverse possession

of three-fourth share? And thirdly, your pleadings

 
2
and contentions before the High Court had the

effect of completely negating any claim to adverse

possession. …”

 
43. Framing of issues is a very important stage in the civil

 

litigation and it is the bounden duty of the court that due care,

 

caution, diligence and attention must be bestowed by the

 

learned Presiding Judge while framing of issues.

 

 

44. In the instant case when the entire question of title has

 

been determined by the High Court and the Special Leave

 

Petition against that judgment has been dismissed by this

 

court, thereafter the trial court ought not to have framed such

 

an issue on a point which has been finally determined upto

 

this Court. In any case, the same was exclusively barred by

 

the principles of res judicata. That clearly demonstrates total

 

non-application of mind.

 
45. We have carefully examined the written submissions of

 

the learned Amicus Curiae and learned counsel for the parties.

 

We are clearly of the view that unless we ensure that wrong-

 

doers are denied profit or undue benefit from the frivolous

 
3
litigation, it would be difficult to control frivolous and uncalled

 

for litigations. In order to curb uncalled for and frivolous

 

litigation, the courts have to ensure that there is no incentive

 

or motive for uncalled for litigation. It is a matter of common

 

experience that court’s otherwise scarce and valuable time is

 

consumed or more appropriately wasted in a large number of

 

uncalled for cases.

 
46. Usually the court should be cautious and extremely

 

careful while granting ex-parte ad interim injunctions. The

 

better course for the court is to give a short notice and in some

 

cases even dasti notice, hear both the parties and then pass

 

suitable biparte orders. Experience reveals that ex-parte

 

interim injunction orders in some cases can create havoc and

 

getting them vacated or modified in our existing judicial

 

system is a nightmare. Therefore, as a rule, the court should

 

grant interim injunction or stay order only after hearing the

 

defendants or the respondents and in case the court has to

 

grant ex-parte injunction in exceptional cases then while

 

granting injunction it must record in the order that if the suit

 

 

3
is eventually dismissed, the plaintiff or the petitioner will have

 

to pay full restitution, actual or realistic costs and mesne

 

profits.

 

 

47. If an exparte injunction order is granted, then in that

 

case an endeavour should be made to dispose of the

 

application for injunction as expeditiously as may be possible,

 

preferably as soon as the defendant appears in the court.

 

 

48. It is also a matter of common experience that once an ad

 

interim injunction is granted, the plaintiff or the petitioner

 

would make all efforts to ensure that injunction continues

 

indefinitely. The other appropriate order can be to limit the

 

life of the ex-parte injunction or stay order for a week or so

 

because in such cases the usual tendency of unnecessarily

 

prolonging the matters by the plaintiffs or the petitioners after

 

obtaining ex-parte injunction orders or stay orders may not

 

find encouragement. We have to dispel the common

 

impression that a party by obtaining an injunction based on

 

even false averments and forged documents will tire out the

 
3
true owner and ultimately the true owner will have to give up

 

to the wrongdoer his legitimate profit. It is also a matter of

 

common experience that to achieve clandestine objects, false

 

pleas are often taken and forged documents are filed

 

indiscriminately in our courts because they have hardly any

 

apprehension of being prosecuted for perjury by the courts or

 

even pay heavy costs. In Swaran Singh v. State of Punjab
(2000) 5 SCC 668 this court was constrained to observe that
perjury has become a way of life in our courts.

 

 

49. It is a typical example how a litigation proceeds and

 

continues and in the end there is a profit for the wrongdoer.

 
50. Learned amicus articulated common man’s general

 

impression about litigation in following words:

 

“Make any false averment, conceal any fact, raise

any plea, produce any false document, deny any

genuine document, it will successfully stall the

litigation, and in any case, delay the matter

endlessly. The other party will be coerced into a

settlement which will be profitable for me and the

probability of the court ordering prosecution for

perjury is less than that of meeting with an accident

while crossing the road.”

 

 

3
This court in Swaran Singh (Supra) observed as under:

 

“… … …Perjury has also become a way of life

in the law courts. A trial Judge knows that the

witness is telling a lie and is going back on his

previous statement, yet he does not wish to punish

him or even file a complaint against him. He is

required to sign the complaint himself which deters

him from filing the complaint. Perhaps law needs

amendment to clause (b) of Section 340 (3) of the

Code of Criminal Procedure in this respect as the

High Court can direct any officer to file a complaint.

To get rid of the evil of perjury, the court should

resort to the use of the provisions of law as

contained in Chapter XXVI of the Code of Criminal

Procedure.”

 
51. In a recent judgment in the case of Mahila Vinod
Kumari v. State of Madhya Pradesh (2008) 8 SCC 34 this
court has shown great concern about alarming proportion of

 

perjury cases in our country.

 
52. The main question which arises for our consideration is

 

whether the prevailing delay in civil litigation can be curbed?

 

In our considered opinion 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.

 

 

3
A. Pleadings are foundation of the claims of

 

parties. Civil litigation is largely based on

 

documents. It is the bounden duty and

 

obligation of the trial judge to carefully

 

scrutinize, check and verify the pleadings and

 

the documents filed by the parties. This must

 

be done immediately after civil suits are filed.

 
B. The Court should resort to discovery and

 

production of documents and interrogatories

 

at the earliest according to the object of the

 

Code. If this exercise is carefully carried out, it

 

would focus the controversies involved in the

 

case and help the court in arriving at truth of

 

the matter and doing substantial justice.

 
C. Imposition of actual, realistic or proper costs

 

and or ordering prosecution would go a long

 

way in controlling the tendency of introducing

 

false pleadings and forged and fabricated

 

documents by the litigants. Imposition of

 
3
heavy costs would also control unnecessary

 

adjournments by the parties. In appropriate

 

cases the courts may consider ordering

 

prosecution otherwise it may not be possible to

 

maintain purity and sanctity of judicial

 

proceedings.

 
D. The Court must adopt realistic and pragmatic

 

approach in granting mesne profits. The Court

 

must carefully keep in view the ground

 

realities while granting mesne profits.

 
E. The courts should be extremely careful and

 

cautious in granting ex-parte ad interim

 

injunctions or stay orders. Ordinarily short

 

notice should be issued to the defendants or

 

respondents and only after hearing concerned

 

parties appropriate orders should be passed.

 
F. Litigants who obtained ex-parte ad interim

 

injunction on the strength of false pleadings

 

 

3
and forged documents should be adequately

 

punished. No one should be allowed to abuse

 

the process of the court.

 
G. The principle of restitution be fully applied in a

 

pragmatic manner in order to do real and

 

substantial justice.

 
H. Every case emanates from a human or a

 

commercial problem and the Court must make

 

serious endeavour to resolve the problem

 

within the framework of law and in accordance

 

with the well settled principles of law and

 

justice.

 

 

I. If in a given case, ex parte injunction is

 

granted, then the said application for grant of

 

injunction should be disposed of on merits,

 

after hearing both sides as expeditiously as

 

may be possible on a priority basis and undue

 

adjournments should be avoided.

 
3
J. At the time of filing of the plaint, the trial court

 

should prepare complete schedule and fix

 

dates for all the stages of the suit, right from

 

filing of the written statement till

 

pronouncement of judgment and the courts

 

should strictly adhere to the said dates and

 

the said time table as far as possible. If any

 

interlocutory application is filed then the same

 

be disposed of in between the said dates of

 

hearings fixed in the said suit itself so that the

 

date fixed for the main suit may not be

 

disturbed.

 

 

53. According to us, these aforementioned steps may help

 

the courts to drastically improve the existing system of

 

administration of civil litigation in our Courts. No doubt, it

 

would take some time for the courts, litigants and the

 

advocates to follow the aforesaid steps, but once it is observed

 

across the country, then prevailing system of adjudication of

 

civil courts is bound to improve.

 

 

3
54. While imposing costs we have to take into consideration

 

pragmatic realities and be realistic what the defendants or the

 

respondents had to actually incur in contesting the litigation

 

before different courts. We have to also broadly take into

 

consideration the prevalent fee structure of the lawyers and

 

other miscellaneous expenses which have to be incurred

 

towards drafting and filing of the counter affidavit,

 

miscellaneous charges towards typing, photocopying, court fee

 

etc.

 
55. The other factor which should not be forgotten while

 

imposing costs is for how long the defendants or respondents

 

were compelled to contest and defend the litigation in various

 

courts. The appellants in the instant case have harassed the

 

respondents to the hilt for four decades in a totally frivolous

 

and dishonest litigation in various courts. The appellants

 

have also wasted judicial time of the various courts for the last

 

40 years.

 

56. On consideration of totality of the facts and

 

circumstances of this case, we do not find any infirmity in the

 
3
well reasoned impugned order/judgment. These appeals are

 

consequently dismissed with costs, which we quantify as

 

Rs.2,00,000/- (Rupees Two Lakhs only). We are imposing the

 

costs not out of anguish but by following the fundamental

 

principle that wrongdoers should not get benefit out of

 

frivolous litigation.

 

57. The appellants are directed to pay the costs imposed by

 

this court along with the costs imposed by the High Court to

 

the respondents within six weeks from today.

 

58. The suit pending before the trial court is at the final stage

 

of the arguments, therefore, the said suit is directed to be

 

disposed of as expeditiously as possible and in any event

 

within three months from the date of the communication of

 

the order.

 

59. We make it abundantly clear that the trial court should

 

not be influenced by any observation or finding arrived at by

 

us in dealing with these appeals as we have not decided the

 

matter on merits of the case.

 

60. Before parting with this case we would like to record our

 

deep appreciation for extremely valuable assistance provided

 
4
by the learned amicus curiae. Dr. Arun Mohan did not only

 

provide valuable assistance on the questions of law but

 

inspected the entire record of the trial court and for the

 

convenience of the court filed the entire court proceedings,

 

other relevant documents, such as the plaint, written

 

statement and relevant judgments. It is extremely rare that

 

such good assistance is provided by the amicus curiae. In our

 

considered view, learned amicus curiae has discharged his

 

obligation towards the profession in an exemplary manner.

 

 

61. These appeals are accordingly disposed of in terms of the

 

aforementioned directions.

 

 

……………………..J.

(Dalveer Bhandari)

 

 

…………………..J.

(Deepak Verma)
New Delhi

July 4, 2011

 

 

4

 

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