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DR.

RAM MANOHAR LOHIYA NATIONAL

LAW UNIVERSITY, LUCKNOW

2017-18

(FINAL DRAFT)

TOPIC: - CUTTING DOWN DELAY IN DISPENSATION OF JUSTICE


POST 2002 AMENDMENT- A MYTH OR REALITY

SUBMITTED TO: SUBMITTED BY:

Mr. Vipul Vinod Dipendra Singh Rao,

Assistant Professor, IV Sеmеstеr,160101067

RMLNLU, Lucknow. B.A. LL.B.(Hons.)

RMLNLU, Lucknow.
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

I would like to express my special thanks of gratitude to Prof. Vipul Vinod who gave me the
golden opportunity to do this wonderful project on the topic- ‘Cutting Down Delay in
Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality’, who also helped me in doing
a lot of research and I came to know about the basics of Code of Civil Procedure, I am really
thankful to him.

Secondly, I would also like to thank my seniors and friends who helped me a lot in finishing
this project within the limited time.

Thank you
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

DECLARATION

I hereby declare that the project entitled ‘Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post
2002 Amendment- a myth or reality’ submitted for the "semester evaluation project" is my
original work and the project has not formed the basis for the award of any degree, associate
ship, fellowship or any other similar titles.

Signature of the Student:

Place:

Date:
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

TABLE OF CONTENTS
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

CONTENTS

Overview .................................................................................................................................... 6

Order V ...................................................................................................................................... 7

Issue & Service of Summons ................................................................................................. 7

Rule 1.................................................................................................................................. 7

Rule 9.................................................................................................................................. 8

Rule 21.............................................................................................................................. 10

Order VIII ................................................................................................................................ 11

Written Statement, Set Off & Counter-claim ...................................................................... 11

Rule 1................................................................................................................................ 11

Rule 10.............................................................................................................................. 12

Order XVIII ............................................................................................................................. 12

Hearing of Suit & Examination of Witnesses ...................................................................... 12

Rule 2................................................................................................................................ 12

Rule 4................................................................................................................................ 13

Order XX ................................................................................................................................. 16

Judgment & Decree.............................................................................................................. 16

Rule 1................................................................................................................................ 16

Analysis.................................................................................................................................... 18

Conclusion ............................................................................................................................... 19

Bibliography ............................................................................................................................ 21

Book ..................................................................................................................................... 21

Web Sources ........................................................................................................................ 21


-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

OVERVIEW

The CPC Amendment Act, 2002 and the Amendment of 1999 came into effect from the year
2002. The Amendment of 1999 initially brought changes to the Code. These changes have largely
been upheld by the Amendment Act, 2002 but, in areas where there was a lot of controversy and
opposition, the revolutionary areas, have been mellowed down by the Amendment Act, 2002.
Nevertheless, the 2002 Amendment brings sweeping changes in the Code and most of these
changes are aimed at speeding up the process of delivering Justice. Through this project an
attempt has been made to look into the practical aspect of all those changes brought about in the
Code.

The 2002 Act has been welcomed for reducing delays during the trial of civil suits. The means of
serving summons on defendants have been expanded with the addition of more options such as e-
mail, fax and private courier. The 1999 Act had imposed a 30-day limit on the defendant to file
reply to the summons, which was objected to by the lawyers. The 2002 Act provides three
months for reasons to be recorded in writing by the court.

The report of the Commissioner who records evidence has to be submitted to the court that
appointed the Commission within 60 days from the date of issue of the Commission unless the
court, for reasons to be recorded in writing, extends the time. The Act empowers the court to fix
time-limits for oral arguments by either party, and gives it the discretion to disallow adjournments
for the purpose of filing written arguments. The Act makes it mandatory for the court to
pronounce judgments within 30 days (which can be extended up to 60 days under extraordinary
circumstances) of the conclusion of hearing.

This is a provision wise study of the major changes affected by the 2002 Amendment concerning
the speedy disposal of cases and also interprets their functional and practical aspect.
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

ORDER V

ISSUE & SERVICE OF SUMMONS


Rule 1

This Order deals with Summons and its issue to the defendants by the Court. The Rule 1 deals
with Summons in General and the Amendment Act, 2002 amends Sub-Rule 11. By the 1999
Amendment, the period of thirty days was fixed for filing written statement by the defendant.
After the 2002 Amendment, now the defendant is to file written statement within thirty days from
the date of service of summons, but such date can be extended upto ninety days by the Court
where the reasons have to be recorded. By the 1999 Amendment, the period of thirty days was
fixed for filing written statement by the defendant. After the 2002 Amendment, now the
defendant is to file written statement within thirty days from the days of service of summons, but
such date can be extended upto ninety days by the Court for reasons to be recorded. Delay in
filing Written Statement due to endeavour to settle between parties should be condoned and the
time for filing Written Statement should be extended.2 It has been provided by the Proviso 1 that
in case a defendant appears in person, and admits the plaint, the suit must be decreed at the very
moment.

1
When a suit has been duly instituted, a summons may be issued to the defendant to appear and answer the
claim and to file the written statement of his defence, if any, within thirty days from the date of service of
summons on that defendant:
Provided that no such summons shall be issued when a defendant has appeared at the presentation of plaint and
admitted the plaintiff's claim:
Provided further that where the defendant fails to file the written statement within the said period of thirty days,
he shall be allowed to file the same on such other day as may be specified by the
Court, for reasons to be recorded in writing, but which shall not be later than ninety days from the date of
service of summons
2
Sukhdev Singh Gambhir v. Amrit Pal Singh AIR 2003 Del 280
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Rule 93

This Rule deals with the Delivery of Summons on the defendant. As a result of this Amendment,
the Summons would be served on the defendant by the Court either by its process servers or
through private courier agencies approved by the Court. In addition to the service of summons by
the Court, the plaintiff may also serve summons on the Court. The service of summons in
accordance with law gives the Court jurisdiction over the defendant. It is immaterial whether he
knows about a suit going on.4 The section permits the Court to decide the mode of service and
leaves it to its discretion. The provision of this Rule is applicable to first appeal, second appeal
and revision.5 It was also stated that the mode of service could also include service by courier,

3
Delivery of summons by Court.-(1) Where the defendant resides within the jurisdiction of the Court in which
the suit is instituted, or has an agent resident within that jurisdiction who is empowered to accept the service of
the summons, the summons s all, unless the Court otherwise directs, be delivered or sent either to the proper
officer to be served by him or one of his subordinates or to such courier services as are approved by the Court.
(2) The proper officer may be an officer of a Court other than that in which the suit is instituted, and, where he is
such an officer, the summons may be sent to him in such manner as the Court may direct.
(3) The services of summons may be made by delivering or transmitting a copy thereof by registered post
acknowledgment due, addressed to the defendant or his agent empowered to accept the service or by speed post
or by such courier services as are approved by the High Court or by the Court referred to in sub-rule (1) or by
any other means of transmission of documents (including fax message or electronic mail
service) provided by the rules made by the High Court:
Provided that the service of summons under this sub-rule shall be made at the expenses of the plaintiff.
(4) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-rule (1), where a defendant resides outside the jurisdiction of the
Court in which the suit is instituted, and the Court directs that the service of summons on that defendant may be
made by such mode of service of summons as is referred to in sub-rule (3) (except by registered post
acknowledgment
due), the provisions of rule 21 shall not apply.
(5) When an acknowledgment or any other receipt purporting to be signed by the defendant or his agent is
received by the Court or postal article containing the summons is received back by the Court with an
endorsement purporting to have been made by a postal employee or by any person authorised by the courier
service to the effect that
the defendant or his agent had refused to take delivery of the postal article containing the summons or had
refused to accept the summons by any other means specified in s b-rule (3) when tendered or transmitted to him,
the Court issuing the summons shall declare that the summons
had been duly served on the defendant: Provided that where the summons was properly addressed, pre-paid and
duly sent by registered post acknowledgment due, the declaration
referred to in this sub-rule shall be made notwithstanding the fact that the acknowledgment having been lost or
mislaid, or for any other reason, has not been received by the Court within thirty days from the date of issue of
summons.
(6) The High Court or the District Judge, as the case may be, shall prepare a panel of courier agencies for the
purposes of sub-rule (1).
4
Bengal & Co. v. Durga 1955, 1 Cal 119
5
Suo Motu v. Registrar, H.C. of Gujarat, AIR 2002 Guj 388
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fax, electronic mail or service by litigant directly. The personal service of summons has to be
under the authority of the Court. In case, a registered post is served upon the defendant, it will be
presumed that the summon has been served upon the defendant and the same will also be
assumed when the registered post is returned with the response rejected. It is assumed that the
defendant had the opportunity to look into the summoning and therefore, the Summon would be
considered served.6 When a courier service is chosen, the same must be done carefully as the
delivery result could be tampered with easily and the report of delivery could also be changed. 7

The introduction of the new methods of service has helped a great deal in speeding up the process
of the civil proceeding. With the recognition of deemed service, the Court can begin with
proceedings in case the same has not been complied with.
Rule 9A8

This rule expressly inserted by the Amendment Act, 2002 provides for the service of the
summons on the plaintiff to serve the same to the defendant and the same can be affected by the
Court. The provision for allowing the plaintiff to personally deliver the summons enables the
plaintiff to take steps to ensure that the same is delivered in the shortest possible time. This is
generally in the interest of the plaintiff and he would take all due care to deliver the same as soon
as possible.

6
P.T.Thomas v. Thomas Jacob, AIR 2005 SC 3575
7
Salem Advocate Bar Association v. Union Of India, AIR 2005 SC 3353
8
9A. Summons given to the plaintiff for service.-(1) The Court may, in addition to the service of summons
under rule 9, on the application of the plaintiff for the issue of a summons for the appearance of the defendant,
permit such plaintiff to effect ser ice of such summons on such defendant and shall, in such a case, deliver the
summons to such plaintiff for service.
(2) The service of such summons shall be effected by or on behalf of such plaintiff by delivering or tendering to
the defendant personally a copy thereof signed by the Judge or such officer of the Court as he may appoint in
this behalf and sealed with the seal of the Court or by such mode of service as is referred to in sub-rule (3) of
rule 9.
(3) The provisions of rules 16 and 18 shall apply to a summons personally served under this rule as if the person
effecting service were a serving officer.
(4) If such summons, when tendered, is refused or if the person served refuses to sign an acknowledgment of
service or for any reason such summons cannot be served personally, the Court shall, on the application of the
party, re-issue such summons to be served by the Court in the same manner as a summons to a defendant.
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Rule 219

This Rule expressly provides for the use of E-Mail and other modern and faster modes of serving
summons on people residing in farther areas which is cutting down the time taken in a civil
proceeding in a huge way. This Rule amended by Act of 1999 has empowered the High Court to
use alternate modes of service as has been effected already under Rule 9 & 9A.

9
A Summons may be sent by a Court by which it is issued whether within or without the State, either by one of
its officers or by post [or by courier service as may be approved by the High Court, by fax message or by
Electronic Mail service or by any other means as may be provided by the rules of the High Court]
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

ORDER VIII

WRITTEN STATEMENT, SET OFF & COUNTER-CLAIM


Rule 110

Under R.1 as amended by 2002 Amendment Act a defendant shall file Written Statement within
thirty days from the date of service of summons on him, the time can be extended upto 90 days
by the Court for the reasons to be recorded in writing. Rule 46 of the Calcutta High Court Rules,
would prevail over CPC, therefore, the Court is not powerless in accepting the Written Statement
beyond 90 days. But, this cannot be claimed as a right by the defendant.11 This rule therefore,
cannot be used as a mandatory rule, and this itself has defeated the purpose of the 2002
Amendment which sought to introduce the concept of speedy justice, but by interpreting this rule
as directory, the Judiciary itself has defeated the purpose of this Amendment.

Reading Order VIII Rules 1 & 9 together it appears that on failure to file written statement on the
day fixed or before the date on which issues are framed, the defendant has no right at all to file it.
But, again it was stated by the Himachal Pradesh High Court in the case of Tejwant Singh v.
Sheela Devi12 that the defence cannot be struck down only for the reason that the Written
Statement has not been filed. The only restriction placed is that if the defendant has been given
nine opportunities spread over a year to present his written statement, and he still fails to do the
same, the Court cannot be expected to take a liberal view of the same and still allow the
defendant another opportunity to file the written statement.13

Therefore, even after a number of changes for the speedy disposal of cases, the situation more or
less remains the same, and this is mostly due to the convenient interpretation adopted by the
Courts. In a very recent Supreme Court judgment the same has been reiterated by a three Judge
bench of the Supreme Court. It was stated that, “The purpose of providing the time schedule for
filing the Written Statement under Or.VIII R.1 of the CPC is to expedite and not to scuttle the

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Written statement.-The defendant shall, within thirty days from the date of service of summons on him,
present a written statement of his defence:
Provided that where the defendant fails to file the written statement within the said period of thirty days, he shall
be allowed to file the same on such other day, as may be specified by the Court, for reasons to be recorded in
writing, but which shall to be later than ninety days from the date of service of summons
11
A.V.Purushottam v. N.K.Nagaraj, AIR 2003 Kant 417
12
2002 AIHC 4016 (HP)
13
Shyam Kapoor v. Suraj Prakash AIR 2004 Del 302
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hearing. The provision spells out a disability on the defendant. It does not impose an embargo on
the power of the Court to extend the time. Though, the language of the proviso of R.1 is couched
in negative form, it does not specify any penal consequences flowing from the non-compliance.
The Provision being in the domain of Procedural Law, it has to be held directory and not
mandatory. The power of the Court to extend time for filing the Written Statement beyond the
time-schedule provided by Or.VIII R.1 of the CPC is not completely taken away.”14

The interpretation as given by the Supreme Court here possibly defeats the whole purpose of the
amendment as the irregularities have been reintroduced through Judicial Interpretation.

Rule 1015

This Rule is basically the teeth of Rule 1 & 9 of this Order. In case, a party has failed to file the
Written Statement within the specified time period, the Court has been empowered to pronounce
judgment against him. Therefore, this provides for the mechanism which ensures enforceability
of Rule 1 & 9.

ORDER XVIII

HEARING OF SUIT & EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES


Rule 216

A time limit for oral arguments may be fixed by the Court and with the leave of the Court; the
parties may be required to submit written arguments before concluding the oral arguments in the

14
Kailash v. Nanhku AIR 2005 SC 2441 at 2453
15
Procedure when party fails to present written statement called for by Court.-Where any party from whom a
written statement is required under rule 1 or rule 9 fails to present the same within the time permitted or fixed by
the Court, as the case may b , the Court shall pronounce judgment against him, or make such order in relation to
the suit as it thinks fit and on the pronouncement of such judgment a decree shall be drawn up
16
A Any party may address oral arguments in a case, and shall, before he concludes the oral arguments, if any,
submit if the Court so permits concisely and under distinct headings written arguments in support of his case to
the Court and such written arguments shall form part of the record.
3B A copy of such written arguments shall be simultaneously furnished to the opposite party.
3C No adjournment shall be granted for the purpose of filing the written arguments unless the Court, for reasons
to be recorded in writing, considers it necessary to grant such adjournment.
3D The Court shall fix such time-limits for the oral arguments by either of the parties in a case, as it thinks fit
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

case. Ordinarily, no adjournment shall be granted for the purpose of submitting written
arguments, unless the Court for reasons to be recorded in writing considers it necessary to do so.

The amendment introduces two important provisions by way of Clause 3C and 3D, the first i.e.,
Cl. 3C prevents the parties from obtaining adjournments over and over again in order to scuttle
the procedure. It is intended that there is no edge with a party who can keep adopting delaying
tactics by obtaining adjournments over and over again.17 This provision seeks to speed up the
hearing stage and with Cl. 3D which provides for specific periods to be assigned to both parties to
present their oral arguments, aims at the very root of the incessant delay as seen in our Justice
Delivery System. This Amendment seeks to weed out the delay out at the hearing stage itself.

Rule 418

The new rule as amended by the 2002 Act provides for the recording of evidence by the
Commissioner. Detailed procedure has been laid down in the rule. The Examination-in-Chief of a

17
Ram Das v. Ram Labhaya AIR 1998 P&H 233
18
Recording of evidence.-(1) In every case, the examination-in-chief of a witness shall be on affidavit and
copies thereof shall be supplied to the opposite party by the party who calls him for evidence:
Provided that where documents are filed and the parties rely upon the documents, the proof and admissibility of
such documents which are filed along with affidavit shall be subject to the orders of the Court.
(2) The evidence (cross-examination and re-examination) of the witness in attendance, whose evidence
(examination-in-chief) by affidavit has been furnished to the Court, shall be taken either by the Court or by the
Commissioner appointed by it:
Provided that the Court may, while appointing a commission under this sub-rule, consider taking into account
such relevant factors as it thinks fit.
(3) The Court or the Commissioner, as the case may be, shall record evidence either in writing or mechanically
in the presence of the Judge or of the Commissioner, as the case may be, and where such evidence is recorded
by the Commissioner he shall return such evidence together with his report in writing signed by him to the
Court appointing him and the evidence taken under it shall form part of the record of the suit.
(4) The Commissioner may record such remarks as it thinks material respecting the demeanour of any witness
while under examination:
Provided that any objection raised during the recording of evidence before the Commissioner shall be recorded
by him and decided by the Court at the stage of arguments.
(5) The report of the Commissioner shall be submitted to the Court appointing the commission within sixty days
from the date of issue of the commission unless the Court for reasons to be recorded in writing extends the time.
(6) The High Court or the District Judge, as the case may be, shall prepare a panel of Commissioners to record
the evidence under this rule.
(7) The Court may by general or special order fix the amount to be paid as remuneration for the services of the
Commissioner.
(8) The provisions of rules 16, 16A, 17 and 18 of Order XXVI, in so far as they are applicable, shall apply to the
issue, execution and return of such commission under this rule
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witness shall be recorded on affidavit. The cross-examination and re-examination of a witness in


the High Courts having original jurisdiction shall be recorded ordinarily by the Commissioner
and in Courts sub-ordinate to the High Court, such evidence shall be recorded either by the Court
or by the Commissioner appointed by it. The Commissioner shall also have the power to record
the demeanour of the witness and any objection made in regard of such matter shall be decided by
the Court at the time of arguments of the case. A Commissioner is required to submit his report
within six months from the date of the issue of the Commission.

In all cases, whether appealable or non-appealable the examination-in-chief of the witness has to
be conducted by way of affidavit.19 A Commissioner can be appointed by two mechanisms, one
by Or.XVIII R. sub-rule 6 of Rule 6 of the CPC and that under Or.XXVI R.4-A of the CPC. But,
in both cases, recording of evidence as contemplated under this Order cannot b by-passed and are
mandatory. The Court can examine defendant’s witnesses even before the cross-examination of
the plaintiff’s witnesses is complete20, thus, speeding up the process remarkably.

The object of amending Or.XVIII R. 4 is to sub serve the larger purpose of cutting down in the
delay in the disposal time of recording evidence, thereby reducing the period of disposal of the
case by dispensing with the lengthy procedure of the Court recording evidence of every witness
produced before it or summoned to appear before it. The earlier procedure resulted in the trial
being inordinately delayed and was on of the main reasons for the docket explosion in the Courts.
The Amendment seeks to obviate the same by permitting examination to be on affidavit instead
the examination-in-chief being recorded by the Court.21 Therefore, the moment these
examinations are submitted, the Court can proceed with the cross-examination of the witnesses,
thereby cutting down the time taken for the same.

Then again, this is only a discretion of the Court, and in cases where the Court deems fit, the
examination must take place before the Court. This has a justification to it as cases involving
complex disputes regarding property title, partition deeds, complex contracts, would require such

19
Rita Pandit v. Atul Pandit AIR 2003 AP 253
20
Kamal Kumar Modi v. Krishan Saigal AIR 2003 Del 349
21
Shamrao Vishnu Kunjir v. Suresh Vishnu Kunjir AIR 2005 Bom 294
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

an examination.22 Whether a witness shall be directed to file affidavit, or be required to be present


in Court for recording of evidence shall be at the discretion of the Court.23

Another interesting provision introduced by this Amendment is the feature to examine the witness
by way of video conferencing. The term ‘in attendance’ is not be confused with physical
presence. Therefore, there cannot be any impediment in examination of witnesses by way of
audio-video link. In the case of T.C.Fox Film Corp. v. N.R.I. Film Production Associates,24 the
Karnataka High Court has provided safeguards in case the use of mechanical methods is allowed.
They are as follows:

Before a witness is examined in terms of the Audio-Video Link, witness is to file an affidavit
before a notary or a Judge, which the person who is shown as the witness is the same person as
who is going to depose on the screen.

The person who examines the witness on the screen is also to file an affidavit before such
examination.

The witness has to be examined during work hours of the Indian Courts. Oath is to be
administered through the media.

The witness should not plead any inconvenience on account of any time difference between
some other country and India.

Before examination, a copy of the plaint, written statement, etc must be sent to the witness so
that he is aware of the proceedings and an acknowledgement

has to be filed before the Court in this regard.

Learned Judge is to record such remarks as is material regarding the demur of witness while on
the screen.

22
Salem Advocate Bar Association v. Union Of India AIR 2005 SC 3353
23
Ibid
24
AIR 2003 Kant.148
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Judge must also record the objections raised during recording of witness and to decide the same
at the time of arguments.

After recording of the witness, a copy is to be sent to the witness, for his signature in the
presence of the Notary Public, and thereafter it forms part of the suit proceedings.

The witness is also to be alone at the time of the examination and the same is to be certified to
the Notary.

The Learned Judge may also impose such other conditions as may be necessary in a given set
of facts.

The expenses and the arrangements are to be borne by the applicant who wants this facility.

Therefore, with the introduction of this provision the whole cumbersome procedure of waiting for
witnesses residing at far off places to be examined is effectively over. This revolutionizes the
civil proceedings in India.

ORDER XX

JUDGMENT & DECREE

Rule 125

The judgments are to be pronounced within the definite time frame after a case has been heard.
The general rule proposed is that a judgment is to be pronounced at once and where it is not
practicable to do so, the Court shall make an endeavour to pronounce judgment within thirty days
from the date on which the hearing of the case was concluded. Where it is not practicable for the

25
(1)The Court, after the case has been heard, shall pronounce judgment in an open Court, either at once, or as
soon thereafter as may be practicable and when the judgment is to be pronounced on some future day, the Court
shall fix a day for that purpose of which due notice shall be given to the parties or their pleaders:
Provided that where the judgment is not pronounced at once, every endeavour shall be made by the Court to
pronounce the judgment within thirty days from the date on which the hearing of the case was concluded but,
where it is not practicable so to do on he ground of the exceptional and extraordinary circumstances of the case,
the Court
shall fix a future day for the pronouncement of the judgment, and such day shall not ordinarily be a day beyond
sixty days from the date on which the hearing of the case as concluded, and due notice of the day so fixed shall
be given to the parties or their pleaders
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

Court to pronounce judgment within thirty days because exceptional and extra-ordinary
circumstances of the case, the court shall fix a day for the pronouncement of judgment which
shall not ordinarily be beyond sixty days from the date on which the case was heard.

The Proviso insists on the Court to record reasons for delay in pronouncing judgments beyond 30
days. Long delay in the delivery of judgment is sufficient to set aside the judgment under appeal
without examining the merits of the case.26 The case mentioned was an example where was
pronounced years after hearing the arguments.

26
Kanhailal v. Anoop Kumar AIR 2003 SC 689
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ANALYSIS

The topic of this project poses a question, which is definitely impossible to answer in clear terms
as black and white. This is because the effect has only been partial and even though the measures
introduced seem relevant and address contentious issues, their applicability has been marred by
practical aspects and the Courts have assumed some of the former styles by making the changed
ones almost redundant. Therefore, the process of cutting down delay has started but the same is
not anywhere near completion. This question therefore, is a little premature and on the face of it,
the answer seems to be a mixed one.

The CPC Amendment Act, 2002 was introduced with the primary motive of introducing changes
in the Code so as to speed up the civil proceedings and do away with all the unnecessary delay
which has led to the stupendous backlog that exists in our Courts as of now. These changes were
essentially meant to be made by way of the Amendment Act, 1999 but certain radical changes
were introduced which were opposed vehemently by some sections, including lawyers.

The primary aim of these amendments has been to expedite the Judicial Process and clear the
massive backlog plaguing Indian Courts at the moment. A figure released by the Government27 in
1999 put the number of undisposed cases at the sub-district level at 2,01,91,370 as on 1.1.99. This
figure in itself is alarming and needs to be addressed immediately and possibly the Amendment in
1999 was an attempt at the same. The changes introduced in the Code were supposed to reduce
this backlog by ensuring speedy disposal of cases that were filed in the present.

But, the primary problem at the moment seems to be that of applicability of these provisions as
has already been seen, a lot of these provisions have been interpreted by the Courts to suit the old
style and therefore, the purpose of this Amendment seems to be defeated. On the other hand just
saying that, would not suffice as the contribution of this amendment by means of the attempt to
curtail the time taken in recording of evidence has borne fruit, now witnesses are being examined
outside Courts and the time wasted earlier in the same has been reduced tremendously. The case
of Fox Film Corp.28deserves mention because of the guidelines it laid down for examining
witnesses through video conferencing have gone a long way in speeding up the process of civil
proceedings.

Similarly, the adoption of technology in the mode of delivery of summons to the defendant has
shortened the time taken in delivering them through standard post. The introduction of couriers as
well as Electronic Mail has done a world of good in achieving the aims of this amendment.
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

The requirement of filing Written Statement within 90 days at the maximum was intended to
revolutionize the Justice Delivery System, as it would have struck at the slackness of Judges as
well, but by judicial interpretation the same was reduced only to a directionary status to be
decided at the discretion of the Court. This reflects the practical aspect of this Amendment.
Another example of slackness of judges is reflected by the case of Kanhialal v. Anoop Kumar29
where after the completion of the hearing of the case the Judge reserved his judgment for years on
end. It has been stated in Or.XX R.1 that a Judge should attempt to pronounce judgment at the
end of sixty days at the most. But, this again is only a directory measure and is even justified in
being so. But, the case in question brings out the contribution of our Judiciary to the backlog of
cases as well.

Finally, the Amendment itself seems to be a case of too little too late as the Amendment has made
no changes to Or.XXI except for a two which were necessitated in view of the conflicting judicial
opinion and its redundancy. The procedure and pace of execution needs an overhaul, as many of
the 106 Rules under Order 21 in the First Schedule of the CPC, dealing with execution, are
frivolous, time-consuming and cumbersome. The outdated rules deny the fruits of justice to the
successful litigant. It is not surprising then that a decree remaining unexecuted even years after its
pronouncement is a common experience. Therefore, in order to provide justice, its execution must
be made a priority which is not so as there are umpteen examples where after lying for decades
before Courts for adjudication, a decree remains before another Court for even more time for
Execution. Then again, there are a number of delaying tactics that a judgment-debtor could
employ, such as stay of execution, which would scuttle the whole process and nullify any
progress whatsoever.

The introduction of Alternate Dispute Resolution techniques seems to be an effective measure.


Section 8930 of the CPC was substituted by the Amendment Act, 1999. It provides a sound
mechanism for all kinds of civil dispute resolution. The same has not been dealt with in this study
as it almost forms a completely separate branch of civil litigation.

CONCLUSION

Therefore, it can be concluded that the Amendment though still nowhere near achieving the aim
for which it was instituted, provides an effective speeding mechanism which was desperately
required by the Justice System of out country. There still is a lot of work required before it can be
rendered as effective as it can potentially be, but the groundwork seems to have been done quite
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

effectively. There needs to be a change in the perception of our Judges as well. There have been
suggestions that our judiciary is overburdened, which must also be looked into effectively and a
mechanism needs to be developed for relieving them of the same.

Arbitration and mediation seem to be good alternatives for relieving our judiciary of their loads
and a step in the right direction. The Arbitration & Conciliation Act, 1996 provides for the status
of a decree on any order passed under this Act by virtue of Section 36 of the Act. This would
solve the problem of backlog, and therefore, not only new proceedings, but even the pending
proceedings must be transferred to Arbitration Courts for their disposal.

The delay caused is possibly unavoidable because of their multitude and therefore, alternate
dispute resolution needs to be the order of the day and is suggested as a means to be adopted
more prominently and frequently.
-Cutting Down Delay in Dispensation of Justice post 2002 Amendment- a myth or reality-

BIBLIOGRAPHY

BOOK
Sudipto Sarkarn and V.R. Manohar, et al. (eds), Sarkar’s The Law of Civil Procedure,
(Wadhwa and Co., Nagpur, 11th edn., 2006)

WEB SOURCES

N.S. Saini, “Our overburdened, ill-equipped & clogged up courts: Time to rejuvenate the

system for prompt dispensation of justice”,


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20021110/edit.htm#1

K.K.K. Kurup, “Court Annexed Arbitration & Mediation”,

http://www.ficci.com/icanet/quterli/jan-march2002/ICA4.htm
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