Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: The instant petition was related to Section 29-A of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 entertained by Jyotsna Rewal Dua, J. where the petitioner sought an extension of time.

Factual matrix of the case was that when the dispute arose between the parties the matter was referred to a sole arbitrator who was Superintending Engineer. The Tribunal was unable to conclude the proceedings within the stipulated time of one year. Therefore the period of the passing of award was delayed by six months, but the extension was not fruitful as the period expired and yet the case was undecided. It was further suggested by the Arbitrator to apply to a Competent Authority for further extension of time.

Hence both the parties requested the Authority for extension of time for a further period of six months. The Authority further directed the parties to take steps in accordance with the amended provisions of the Act, 1996.

Anil Jaiswal and Rameeta Rahi, counsels for the respondents submitted a letter dated 10-07-2019, addressed to the respondents by the Executive Engineer, to the effect that their office had no objection in case the mandate of learned Arbitrator if was extended by six months.

The Court observed that, Section 29-A (4) and (5) which provided that, if the award was not made within the period specified or within the extended period, the mandate of the arbitrator was to be terminated unless the Court, either prior to or after the expiry of the period so specified, extended the said period. It was further observed that the proceedings were at a final stage, hence, the Court allowed the petition. The parties, through learned counsel representing them, were directed to co-operate in the arbitral proceedings and not to seek unnecessary adjournments before the Arbitrator and an endeavor was made to complete the arbitral proceedings well before the time granted.[Devki Nand Thakur v. State of H.P., 2019 SCC OnLine HP 988, decided on 12-07-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

Rajya Sabha passed a few path-breaking Bills positively impacting the socio-economic development of the country besides checking corruption and improving transparency. These include:

1. The Constitution (124th Amendment) Bill,2019 providing 10% reservation for economically weaker sections;

2. The Constitution (122nd Amendment) Bill, 2014 for introduction of GST and nine other related Bills;

3. The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bills, 2015 and 2018;

4. The Criminal Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2018 to prevent sexual abuse of children;

5. The Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2018;

6. The Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, 2018;

7. The Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Bill, 2015;

8. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 and the related Amendment Bill, 2017;

9. The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017 for setting up a National Commission for Backward Classes;

10. The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill, 2016 to protect the interest of buyers and enhance the confidence in and credibility of the important real estate sector;

11. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill,2015 and 2016 besides The Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Bill,2015 for auctioning of mines;

12. The Aadhar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016;

13. The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2016;

14. The Commercial Courts, Commercial Divisions and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts Bill, 2015; and

15. The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, 2016.

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Stating that the virus of seeking adjournments needs to be controlled in order to avoid the abuse of the process of law, the bench of Dipak Misra and R. F. Nariman, JJ said that such act causes colossal insult to justice and to the concept of speedy disposal of civil litigation.

In a suit relating to recovery of possession, the examination- in-chief continued for long and the matter was adjourned seven times. The defendant sought adjournment after adjournment for cross-examination on some pretext or the other as if it was his right to seek adjournment on any ground whatsoever and on any circumstance. The Court said that a counsel appearing for a litigant has to have institutional responsibility and the professional ethics decries such practice. It was further reiterated that it is desirable that the recording of evidence should be continuous and followed by arguments and decision thereon within a reasonable time. That apart, the Courts should also constantly endeavour to follow such a time schedule so that the purpose of amendments brought in the Code of Civil Procedure are not defeated.

Quoting the saying of Gita “Awake! Arise! Oh Partha” for guidance of trial courts, the Court said that in the cases where the Judges are little proactive and refuse to accede to the requests of unnecessary adjournments, the litigants deploy all sorts of methods in protracting the litigation and it is not surprising that civil disputes drag on and on. The misplaced sympathy and indulgence by the appellate and revisional courts compound the malady further. The Court, hence, directed the defendant to deposit Rs, 50, 000 to the State Legal Service Authority, Karnataka within 8 weeks of this order and it was further made clear that if the amount is not deposited, the right of defence to examine its witnesses shall stand foreclosed. [Gayathri v. M. Girish, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 744, decided on 27.07.2016]