Adjournments, Latitude Main Reasons for Pendency of Cases: Delhi HC

Enumerating a host of causes for pendency of cases in trial courts in the national capital, the Delhi High court has observed that the culture of adjournment rampant among lawyers and the leeway shown by the Court are chiefly responsible for it, reported The Hindu.

Court’s observation came while dismissing a plea moved by a woman in a divorce case challenging a trial court order which had earlier quashed her review petition that had sought one more opportunity to cross-examine her witnesses.

“This whole culture of adjournments is one of the big reasons that a case or a petition which should be decided in two or three hearings keeps pending for more than 100 hearings,” Justice SN Dhingra was quoted as observing.

Justice Dhingra also expressed displeasure over the liberty shown by certain High Court judges in providing opportunities to the petitioner for cross-examination of witnesses on the ground of mercy.

“It is seen that these efforts of dragging cases succeed because of the latitude shown by the High Court in allowing such mercy pleas and in acceding to requests of granting one more opportunity,” he was quoted as observing.

“It looks as if there is an understanding between the Courts and the advocates that come what may, the orders of trial courts refusing adjournments shall be set aside on mercy plea and one more opportunity shall be granted,” he was quoted as saying.

“This entire unwritten procedure which is followed on the basis of previous precedents has created a bottleneck in the entire judicial system and a lot of trial courts’ efforts and time is wasted,’’ Justice Dhingra added.

As for conduct of lawyers, he said: “A separate breed of advocates have cropped up who are adjournment experts and case-dragging experts. Such lawyers are deliberately engaged who put forward all kinds of excuses to see that the case is adjourned.’’

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