1. In all these matters the trial Court while decreeing the suits inter alia for possession, unconditionally granted to the defendants time of more than six years to vacate the suit premises. It is against this granting of such an inordinately long time to vacate that the plaintiffs have preferred these writ petitions.
2. Now, though it would normally be in the discretion of the Court to grant reasonable time to vacate, grant of time of years and years together, as done here, can by no stretch be a reasonable exercise of that discretion. Indeed, it would be, and here it pre-eminently is, an arbitrary exercise of discretion and one which tends to defeat the ends of justice.
3. The grant of such inordinately long time in the instant matters is, I understand at the Bar, frequently set up as precedent in a number of subsequent matters before the trial Court. If that is so, it is most unfortunate and the earliest that is stopped, the better. By way of a general guideline, it may be observed that it would be reasonable to grant three or four months time in the Court's own discretion. However, if the defendant or occupant wants more time, the request and prayer in that behalf may then - in view of paucity of accommodation in Bombay -- be considered to the extent of one year or, at the most, two years but that only if the defendant or occupant or both, as the case be, agree to minimum terms and conditions viz.,
(a) agreeing to pay up the money part, if any, of the decree;
(b) undertaking not to transfer, alienate, encumber or part with possession of the suit premises as also not to create any third party interest therein;
(c) undertaking to handover quiet, vacant and peaceful possession of the suit premisesby the extended time;
and also agree to such other conditions as the circumstances from case to case justify.
4. These guideline observations are made to maintain the efficacy of decrees passed and the suggested terms and conditions are intended to act as vital safeguards in favour of the decree holders who only then would feel fairly assured of realising at least in due time the fruits thereof. Reasonable time to vacate with vital safeguards attached thereto can alone result in an order fair and just to both sides.
5. So far as the present matters are concerned, considering the fact that not only the defendants but also the occupants of the respective suit premises have filed in this Court undertakings inter alia to vacate the same by 31st March 1987, this Court is inclined to accept the said undertakings and grant to the defendants and occupants of the respective premises time to vacate the same latest by 31st March 1987 together with directions as indicated in the order below.