It is very well known to Global stage that India is a Democratic Country and is being run in a very democratic manner which is a positive side to hear but at the same time it is also very much well known at Global stage that Indian Courts taken years for a case and such is the slowness that there the President at the inaugural function of a conference being organised by the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) said that there is a backlog of 3.3 Crore cases in various Courts of the country and out of these 2.84 Crore cases are in the Subordinate Courts and another 43 lakh are in the High Courts and about 58,000 in the Supreme Court” (Source: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/culture-of-adjournments-reason-of-long-delays-in-cases-president/articleshow/65635175.cms?from=mdr). Respected President Ram Nath Kovind also said that one of the reasons of long delays in adjudication of cases in courts is the “culture of seeking Adjournments as a norm”.
What is Adjournment?
Adjournment is a term used in Court when a Lawyer of either side makes an application to adjourn the matter for reasons as stated in its application and there is a grant of such Application. Adjournment is granted either with costs or no costs.
There is no doubt that Adjournment which shall be used only when there is a necessity is being used as a delay tactics in almost all the Lower Courts and District Courts and the more surprising part is that Adjournment is granted without any serious thoughts and this has become a dangerous ploy being used which the only purpose is to defeat the justice either by delaying or acting in between Two dates. There is no doubt that in India the Respected Judges are overburdened by the volume of cases and these results in long delays. The seriousness of the issue pertaining to Adjournment has been around for a long time and it can be gauged from the words of former Chief Justice of India Justice JC Shah: “…..The accumulation has reached such a proportion that there is a danger of judicial administration breaking down in future years if the cases before the courts increase at the rate at which they are mounting today. One shudders to think about what the position of judicial administration will be in a decade or two if the present worst disparity between inflow and disposal of cases continues. Unless this problem is tackled, the litigants might be gripped with a sense of frustration and loss of confidence in courts and tribunals.”
The biggest issue in regard to Adjournment is that Adjournments are so lightly treated that for any reason on earth a case can be postponed/stifled to another date, which may be after a few months and in fact sometime the next date comes post 6 months as in the case at Thane Court in one of the Court where the date is given for no reason. If three or four adjournments are taken in a case by a party interested in procrastinating it, a whole year is easily passed. Adjournments are generally taken on frivolous grounds and in fact majority of times, the reasons for adjournments are beyond common imagination. In fact, it can be said that the Adjournment is being made just before the matter comes up in a standard format and the reasons are then written in handwritten, which is then accepted by the Courts and this shows that there is no strict seriousness in passing the order for Adjournment. This Adjournment system has been frustrating to the aggrieved party to such an extent that at some point in time, either the case is withdrawn or Litigant loses the interest in the matters. The whole purpose of Adjournment has been diluted and the precious and limited time of the Courts are wasted just to argue on granting or not of the Adjournment.
There are many cases in courts and are being filed on regular basis and the sole purpose of filing is to get the relief but the process and procedure do not allow the Court cases to resolve at an early stage. Even the Criminal Complaint filed under Section 138 of Negotiable Instrument Act, 1881 (as amended) for Dishonour of Cheque which is widely popular for recovery of money, the Accused takes adjournment for no reasons. Since the matter is delayed there is no resolution of money cases and this only adds to the money block economy and in fact, I am of the view that more speed the Courts are will do wonders for Economy as this only adds to the increasing faith in the aggrieved party.
In my view, it becomes the Duty of the Lawyer to ensure that there is no Adjournment and hence the time has come that “No-Adjournment day” shall be made mandatory in all the courts at least 3 times a week so that it only adds to the increasing faith in the Judiciary System. The system, if put in place, would entail full hearing in all the cases listed before the courts that day with neither the lawyers asking for adjournments nor the Judges granting it, unless the facts and circumstances warrant otherwise. I am of the strong view that the Judiciary plays a Huge Role in Economy Growth.
I am of the view in person, that in money claims the Law shall be changed to ensure both parties to the case take interest in the matter, and since there is no pressure on the opposite party, the Adjournment takes place. In my view, if the Opposite Party for any reasons other than death or serious medical urgency takes more than One Adjournment and dates between the date of making an application for adjournment shall not be more than 30 days, the Court shall pass the order for depositing of money in the Court which will compel the opposite party to take interest in the case and in case of any further adjournment, then the order shall be passed of releasing 50% of the money to the filing party with a bank performance guarantee to return if loses the case and if the opposite party fails to appear in dates post-order for more than two and proceed, then Ex-parte proceedings shall be passed and no appeal shall be allowed. This is my view and for sure it might have certain issues but the steps have to be taken to recover the money is the most difficult procedure under Indian Laws.
We at THE LEGAL DESK have always been avoiding taking any dates and in fact, Adjournment is the last thing we at THE LEGAL DESK do and we at THE LEGAL DESK ensure to our Clients of not taking any Adjournment at any costs unless the facts and circumstances warrant otherwise.
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*Content of this post is a Copyright work and is owned by Adv. Lalit K Jain (THE LEGAL DESK)