The Allahabad High Court while rejecting an appeal for time-bound disposal of a case stated that cognizance needs to be taken of the matters in which meaningless litigation is being generated due to lawyers abstaining from work.
This statement was made by the Bench of Allahabad High Court consisting of Justice Vivek Kumar Birla while hearing the writ petition of one Gurudeen who had appealed for the speedy disposal of a mutation case under Section 34 of the Uttar Pradesh Land Revenue Act within a certain period of time.
CONTENTIONS OF THE PETITIONER
The petitioner contended in the High Court that the subordinate Court could not decide the case even after fixing various dates as per the 2019 Order of the High Court for the speedy disposal of cases.
Furthermore, the petitioner contended that the disposal of the case was not being processed due to the absence of the presiding officer on various dates. Therefore, the petitioner had appealed seeking direction from the Hugh Court for timely and speedy disposal of the case.
OBSERVATION OF THE COURT
The Court held that the presiding officer was busy due to certain administrative duties which were as per the order-sheet and hence it could be used as a valid reason. The Court stated that the officers who are presiding over such courts may have other tasks which may cause them to stay outside of their office. Therefore, this reason is understandable but cannot be ground for intentional adjournment of the matter.
CAUSE OF DEALY
Furthermore, the Court held that it needs to be decided that whether a substantial cause of the delay was on the part of the lawyers or not by pursuing the order sheet as it was noted by the Court that after passing the order for speedy disposal of cases on 37 dates the lawyers were not working and it was only on few dates they were present and proceedings were undertaken.
The Court further emphasized the case of Prafull Kumar v. State Of U.P And Another, where observations were made about the non-functioning of the lawyers specifically on the revenue side. The Court had stated in the mentioned case that the lawyers cannot take “the working of the Court for granted”, the Court held that the lawyers have taken their professional fees and also are abstaining from work along with asking the High Court to direct the subordinate Courts to pass an order.
The Court noted that in the case order had already been obtained from the Court and even after that the lawyers were abstaining from working and therefore, it was held that the experience of the Court in such matters is that initially the contempt petitions are also disposed of by giving one more opportunity to opposite party to decide the case/ comply the order of this Court.
"At times, again lawyers do not appear and second contempt petition is filed, whereon usually notices to Presiding Officers are issued. In such manner the Advocates on the one hand, charge their professional fees and on the other hand, even after direction of this Court to argue the matter, they do not appear to argue the case on the ground of call for strike or resolution of the concerned Bar Association to refrain from work for any reason whatsoever. Hence, meaningless litigation is generated before this Court without there being any fruitful relief granted to the litigant," it said.
ORDERS PASSED BY THE COURT
The following orders were delivered by the Court and the registrar was ordered to send a copy to each of the following authorities -
- A copy was supposed to be sent to the Bar Association which is related to the issue within 15 days so that the members of the said Bar Association would be aware and sensitized about the following condition.
- All the District Judges and Commissioners of the region and Board of Revenue for being forwarded to all the Bar Associations for the purpose of sensitizing the lawyers on the issue.
- U.P Bar Council and Bar Council of India also for consideration and doing the needful.