Jammu and Kashmir High Court: The Bench of M. K. Hanjura, J. dismissed the applications filed for the transfer of the civil suits sub judice in the Court of the District Judge & Munsiff, Kathua, to any other Court of competent jurisdiction at Jammu or Samba, on the grounds that all the advocates had refused to take up the case.

The facts of the case are that the parties had been in litigation over a piece of land that formed the subject matter of the suits before the Courts for decades and have contested the litigation even up to the Supreme Court. The applicants were represented by Senior Advocates practicing in the District Courts at Kathua and in one of these two suits after they had the receipt of the notice, they approached some Senior Advocates at Kathua to represent them and all of them refused to do so on the ground that the respondents were practicing advocates at District Court Kathua. Thus they filed this application as there was no effective representation.

The Court stated that Section 24 of the CPC does definitely confer powers on the Court to transfer the suits and appeals or other proceedings at any stage, either on application or suo motu but this power vested under Section 24 CPC with the Courts is a discretionary one and cannot be put in a straight jacket formula and should be done with care, caution and circumspection. It is not on the mere asking of a party that a suit can be transferred from one Court to the other. Section 24 of the Code has certain guidelines laid down for the transfer of suits etc., they are the balance of convenience or inconvenience to any party or to witnesses; convenience or inconvenience of a particular place of trial having regard to the nature of evidence; issue raised by the parties; reasonable apprehension in the mind of litigants that they might not get justice in the Court in which suit is pending; important question of law involved or a considerable section of public interested in the litigation; demand of interest of justice etc. On the satisfaction of the principles/guidelines evolved in various judicial dictums, the Court has not only the power but also the duty to transfer the case. But this case did not fall in any of the above guidelines thus the application was dismissed. [Bishan Dass v. State of J&K, CTA No. 01/2015, Order dated 26-02-2018]

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