Lawyers seeking “undue” adjournments of cases have got a sharp rap on their knuckles from the Delhi High Court. The court has ruled that a high penalty should be imposed on such advocates for prolonging the case.
The court said “paltry costs” only encourage the party to seek adjournments, because anybody would happily pay such a cost and keep the case dragging.
“The costs imposed by trial courts must be realistic, taking into account the time of the court wasted every
time when the case is called and also taking into account the harm which is being caused to the entire judicial system by such kind of adjournments,” Justice S N Dhingra said in a recent judgement in which it imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 for seeking an adjournment.
“I consider that trial courts, while exercising the discretion of giving adjournments must be careful and should not impose paltry costs of Rs 250 or Rs 500 which seem to be no deterrent at present,” the court said.
“While adjournments are given on grounds which a trial court may consider compelling, such adjournments must be given subject to realistic cost and not paltry and unrealistic cost,” the court said.
“When the costs are realistic (keeping in view the present-day value of money) only then will a defendant
seeking adjournments be deterred from seeking them frequently,” the court said.