Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Justice Delayed is Justice Denied

P L D 2009 Lahore 76
Before Sayed Zahid Hussain, C.J.
HIBBATUL MANNAN KHALID OMAR and others---Petitioners
Versus
DISTRICT JUDGE, LAHORE and others---Respondents
C.R.No.1094 of 2008, decided on 6th October, 2008.
Administration of justice---
----Delay in trial---Duty of Court---Scope---Justice delayed is justice denied---Code of Civil Procedure and Law of Evidence (Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984), prescribed a meticulous procedure for initiation, defending, conducting of proceedings and conclusion of trial in suits and all possible steps required of a just and fair trial, had elaborately been mentioned in the laws---Very important and heavy duty was cast upon Presiding Officer of court to remain conversant, conscious and cautious about relevant provisions of law in conducting trial and to be vigilant that none of the parties should abuse/misuse process of law and of the court---Miscellaneous and interlocutory matters, some time, could take months and even years for their decisions, leaving main controversial issues aside---Such fragmentation of matters and piecemeal decisions resulted in delaying decisions upon real controversies at the cost of inconvenience to the parties and wastage of valuable time of courts---Such practices and tendencies needed to be curbed---High Court expected cooperation from parties to trial Court seized of matter so that suit could be decided within the time specified by High Court. 
Dr. Anjum Habib Vohra v. Waseem Ahmad Khan PLD 2006 Lah. 255 rel.
Dr. A. Basit for Petitioners.
Mian Zafar Iqbal Kalanauri for Respondent No.2.
ORDER
SAYED ZAHID HUSSAIN, C.J.---A suit for specific performance titled as "Mrs. Fozia Nasir v. Hibbatul Mannan Khalid Umar and others" is pending before the Civil Court, Lahore. The petitioners who are defendants Nos.1 to 4 therein are aggrieved of the manner in which the proceedings are being conducted therein and have filed this petition under section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
2. The petition is still at the motion stage, however, Mian Zafar Iqbal Kalanauri, Advocate has entered appearance today for respondent No.2 (the plaintiff in the suit). The learned counsel have been heard.
3. Though the prayer made in the petition has lost its efficacy yet the learned counsel contends that the tendency to prolong the cases on conclusion of the trial by making interlocutory applications, should be discouraged and deprecated which tends to delay the decision of the cases. No-one can have cavil with such a proposition as the justice delayed is said to be justice denied. The Code of Civil Procedure and the law of Evidence (Qanun-e-Shahadat Order now since 1984) prescribes a meticulous procedure for initiation, defending, conduct of proceedings and conclusion of trial in the suits. All possible steps required of a just and fair trial, have elaborately been mentioned in these laws. A very important and heavy duty is cast upon the Presiding Officer of the Court to remain conversant, conscious and cautious about the relevant provisions of laws in conducting the trial and to be vigilant that none of the parties abuses/misuses the process of law and of the Court. Miscellaneous and interlocutory matters some time take months and years for their decisions, leaving the main controversial issues aside. Such fragmentation of the matters and piecemeal decisions obviously result in delaying the decisions upon real controversies at the cost of inconvenience to the parties and wastage of valuable time of the Courts. Such practices and tendencies of course need to be curbed. I had the occasion of attending to such matters in Dr. Anjum Habib Vohra v. Waseem Ahmad Khan (PLD 2006 Lahore 255).
4. In the instant matter, the perusal.of the proceedings of the trial Court will show that miscellaneous applications consumed much of the time of the Court.
The Presiding Officers seized of the matter should have been conscious of the same and should have dealt with the matter uninfluenced by any factor whatsoever. On receipt of the reference from the Presiding Officer for transfer of the case, the learned District Judge, Lahore entrusted it to another Civil Judge on 24-5-2008. I am informed today by the learned counsel for the parties that the miscellaneous applications (for production of the record and for making up of deficiency of stamp duty along with penalty) now stand disposed of by the trial Court. It should not take long now to conclude and decide the matter. The learned counsel for both sides have candidly stated that none of the parties will make any miscellaneous application as they would like the main case to be decide at the earliest.
In view of the above, this petition is disposed of with the expectation of cooperation from the parties to the trial Court seized of the matter so that the suit is decided in accordance with law before the commencement of winter vacation of year 2008.
The petition is disposed of accordingly.

M.H./H-26/L                                                                                       Order Accordingly.

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