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Smt. Kamal Devi Vs. Deep Chand - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 235-D of 1966
Judge
Reported inAIR1967P& H444
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Order 26, Rule 6
AppellantSmt. Kamal Devi
RespondentDeep Chand
Appellant Advocate T.C.B.M. Lal, Adv.
Respondent Advocate H.R. Dhawan, Adv.
DispositionPetition allowed
Cases ReferredDr. Hardit Singh v. Bhagat Jaswant Singh
Excerpt:
.....professional lawyer has to safeguard the interest of his client and due consideration to and recognition of this aspect by the courts will not only enhance the reputation of our judicial tribunals but also serve the cause of justice better......and patwari for the purpose of demarcation of the plot. this application was disposed of by the learned subordinate judge on 19-3-1966. the opening portion of the order may usefully be reproduced at this stage :--'the plaintiff has filed an application that the patwari be directed to measure the plot at sate and then appear for evidence. but this application is 'fazul'. this application has been given merely to prolong the case. a commissioner cannot be appointed for this purpose. the application is, therefore, dismissed. * * * * * * * * *'.it appears that the plaintiff on the same day presented another application pointing out to the court what transpired in the court-room during the proceedings. apparently, there was some unpleasantness between the court and the lawyer for the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

I.D. Dua, J.

1. It is unnecessary to go into the history of the litigation in the Court below. Suffice it to say that on 3-2-1966, the learned Subordinate Judge, Shri R. K. Synghal, passed the following order : --

'I wrote the statements of three witnesses. The Patwari is present but the counsel for the plaintiff does not want to examine him today. First they want to get the plot measured by him and then examine him as their witness. It is directed the witness should come after measuring the plot. Case to come up for remaining evidence tomorrow'.

On 4-3-1966, an application was filed by the counsel for the plaintiff stating that in order to have the confusion removed in regard to the plots bearing Nos. 171 and 172 an application had been presented to the Revenue Assistant to depute the Girdawar and Patwari of the area to demarcate plot No. 171, Khasra No. 1593/624, Block No. D. S. Bholanath Nagar, Jharkhandi, Village Shahdara, Delhi. It was further averred in the application that the Court had also on the previous hearing directed the Patwari to come after measuring the plot. The Girdawar and the Patwari, according to the averments in this application, felt that demarcation of the plot would take some time and those being Giridwari days, it was not possible for them to do so.

After stating these facts, it was prayed that the Court may be pleased to address the Revenue Assistant, Delhi to direct the Girdawar and Patwari for the purpose of demarcation of the plot. This application was disposed of by the learned Subordinate Judge on 19-3-1966. The opening portion of the order may usefully be reproduced at this stage :--

'The plaintiff has filed an application that the Patwari be directed to measure the plot at sate and then appear for evidence. But this application is 'Fazul'. This application has been given merely to prolong the case. A Commissioner cannot be appointed for this purpose. The application is, therefore, dismissed. * * * * * * * * *'.

It appears that the plaintiff on the same day presented another application pointing out to the Court what transpired in the Court-room during the proceedings. Apparently, there was some unpleasantness between the Court and the lawyer for the plaintiff. That this was so is also clear from the order dated 22-3-1966, the wording of which need not be reproduced here. The Court has by mistake put 22-2-66 under this order as its date. I find from the record that after the incidents mentioned above, the plaintiff also moved an application for transfer of the case under Section 24, Code of Civil Procedure in the Court of the learned District Judge which is apparently pending there.

On 22-4-1966, the plaintiff's counsel applied to the learned Subordinate Judge for staying the case in view of the application for transfer pending in the Court of the District Judge. The learned Subordinate Judge rejected this application by observing that prayer for stay of the case had apparently not been granted by the learned District Judge. The Court adjourned the case to 25-5-1966 on payment of Rs. 50/- by way of costs by the plaintiff, whose witnesses were not present. The case being old, the learned Subordinate Judge fixed the responsibility of service on the plaintiff and directed that the plaintiff would himself produce his witnesses. An order was further given that the witnesses should be summoned within two days.

2. Before me, the learned counsel for the plaintiff-petitioner has submitted that the learned Subordinate Judge has not dealt with the plaintiff's application under Order 26, Rule 9 and Section 151, Code of Civil Procedure, in a judicial manner and has apparently rejected it arbitrarily by merely describing it as 'Fazul'.

3. The learned counsel for the respondent has on the other hand attempted to show that there was really no purpose for issuing a commission on the facts and circumstances of this case. He has sought some assistance for his submission from an order of the Court dated 28-8-1965 and also from the order dated 6-9-1965, but I am wholly unable to get any assistance from those orders for the purpose of discerning the reasons on the basis of which prayer under Order 26, Rule 9, was disallowed by the Court below.

4. Starting with the order dated 3-2-1966, it is obvious that the learned Subordinate Judge did not find anything wrong with the prayer that the Patwari first measures the plot and then comes and gives his evidence. The reasons given by the plaintiff in the application praying for direction to the Revenue Assistant to direct the Girdawar and Patwari to demarcate this plot at the spot and praying in the alternative that some retired revenue official be appointed as Local Commissioner to take measurement with the help of the revenue official have not been adverted to by the learned Subordinate Judge. Omission on the part of the learned Subordinate Judge to deal with those reasons gives the impression of some lapse in the proper discharge of his judicial duty and an inappropriate deviation from the normal path that judicial mind is expected to treat.

Merely describing the application as 'Fazul' with the intention of prolonging the case, without assigning any rational reasons, has created a somewhat unhappy impression in this Court and I am far from satisfied with the manner of me disposal of this application by the Court below. In my opinion, the order dated 19-3-1966 as also the order dated 22-3-1966 (though bearing the date 22-2-66) and the latest order stated 22-4-1966 must be quashed and a direction be issued that the application under Order 26, Rule 9, be heard and disposed of afresh after considering all the relevant facts and circumstances of the case.

5. I consider it my duty on the present occasion to point out that justice must be administered without emotion or passion which is compatible with its very nature. When passion comes in at the door justice is often seen to fly out at the window Indignation or oven strong dislike may be carried to emotional extremes but in a reasonable person occupying She seat of a judicial office, it is temperate and controlled contributing to the required judicial poise. A judicial officer must exercise his function in a way which fulfils the need for consistency, for equality for judicious detachment and for certainty. His administration must be objective and impartial and he must state explicitly the reasons for his decision. He must suppress his personal emotions and instinctive prejudices and encourage his sense of fairness

For one, thing, be must not allow himself to he party to public exhibition or publicity of his close association with those who generally practice law in his Court or with those who may be interested in the causes he may have to adjudicate upon. In this country, particular care has to be taken in this respect by the judicial officers, if our indicial process is to withstand the onslaughts on its efficiency and impartiality A judicial officer must not only be impartial but must also have the reputation of impartiality and, therefore, must be seen to be so. He must also resist the common temptation of succumbing to the infirmity of seeking publicity of popularity and public applause which may in a subtle invisible manner detract from judicial detachment and aloofness.

It may be remembered that the judicial wing of our governmental set-up has no secret archives; it functions in the open under the public gaze for, there is nothing confidential or hidden, from the public. The judicial officer has to come to the case with an open mind The Rule of Law about judicial conduct is both old and strict. A judicial officer is expected to be serene and even-handed even though his patience may be sorely tried and the time of the Court appear to be wasted. This is apparently based on the oftquoted maxim that justice should not only be done but should also be seen to be done. No suitor may leave the Court, reasonably feeling that his case was not dealt with on his merits with an impartial mind, anxious to mete out even-handed justice according to law. If a suitor does so leave, then justice though done, fails in the doing of it because it is accompanied with a feeling or mistrust and absence of faith in the judicial process.

'Consistently with this object, the language used by judicial officers must be temperate and dignified, reflecting the working of a calm, composed and deliberative judicial mind uninfluenced by fear or favour, unjudicial prejudice or sympathy, affection or ill-will, rather than the working of an undisciplined mind. Without further dilating on this matter, I feel content to draw the attention of the judicial officers to the canons of judicial ethics contained in Vol IV of the High Court Rules and Orders. These canons, if I may say so with respect, go for all judicial officers irrespective of their rank in the judicial hierarchy in this Democratic Republic. I have considered it necessary to take pains to devote some time to this aspect because I have recently come across some unhappy lapses in this respect in some of the Courts in Delhi. Immediate attention is required to be paid to remove the causes of suck lapses.

6. On the facts and circumstances of this case, I also consider it more consonant with the cause of justice that the matter of appointment of a Local Commissioner be dealt with and disposed of afresh by some other Court. I have been constrained to adopt this course because of the unhappy incidents in the Court below which gave rise to unpleasant feelings between the Presiding Officer of the Court and the counsel. Without apportioning or even attempting to apportion blame, I consider it necessary to point out that the Bench and the Bar are two indispensable adjuncts of the judicial administration. Both of them have to discharge their sacred and solemn duty in promoting the cause of justice conscientiously and this can be done by reciprocity of co-operation on both sides.

No Court in our set-up can claim to function satisfactorily in deciding controversies between suitors without assistance from the bar and of course, the professional bar mainly functions in presenting their clients' cases before the Courts and judicial and quasi-judicial Tribunals. Mutual hostility towards each other or absence of regard and co-operation between them can only injure the cause of justice for the promotion of which alone they both exist, leave alone other undesirable consequence flowing from such situation, I had an occasion to say something about the duty of a practising lawyer in Dr. Hardit Singh v. Bhagat Jaswant Singh, (1964) 66 Pun LR 331: (AIP 1964 Punj 277) which it is unnecessary to repeat on the present occasion. The Courts, I may add, are also expected to realise that the professional lawyer has to safeguard the interest of his client and due consideration to and recognition of this aspect by the Courts will not only enhance the reputation of our judicial Tribunals but also serve the cause of justice better. Recognising this function of the professional lawyer, the Court has after hearing both sides, to safeguard judiciously the interests of all the contestants before it in accordance with law on the established facts, addressing its task in much the same way as the counsel, but keeping the scales of justice even.

7. For the foregoing reasons, I allow this revision-and setting aside the orders dated 22-3-1966, (erroneously dated as 22-2-66) 19-3-1966 and 22-4-1966, I remit the case to the Court of Miss Santosh Mehta, Subordinate Judge Ist Class, Delhi, for disposal of the application under Order 26, Rule 9, Code of Civil Procedure, and for further proceedings in the suit in accordance with law in the light of the observations made above. Parties are directed to appear in the transferee Court on 30-5-1966 when a very short date would be given for disposing of the application under Order 26, Rule 9. Thereafter the suit should be proceeded with due despatch and promptitude. There would be no order as to costs in this Court.


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