In a rare admission, a Delhi judge has accepted responsibility for the inordinate delay of almost three decades by its predecessors in deciding a tenancy row, saying the prolonged trial denied justice.
"As I have written this judgment, I shoulder all the responsibility on behalf of all my predecessors for delay caused in present case and will endeavour in future to give speedy justice to litigants," judge Abhilash Malhotra said.
"Before closing this case, I am unable to keep my eyes off from the famous maxim 'Justice delayed is Justice denied'. The present suit was instituted in 1982.
"This case has seen seasons in trial court for around 29 years and approaching the appellate court is still a legal remedy which is available to the parties. Pendency of huge number of cases can never be made an excuse to run away from expeditious disposal of cases," the judge said.
The court's observation came in a judgment on a case filed by two Delhi-based brothers seeking repossession of a plot from their tenant at Karol Bagh here.
In law, welfare of the people is paramount but giving a decision after such a long period (29 years) could not be said to be a welfare exercise, the judge said.
"A sincere effort is required on part of all of us to provide expeditious disposal to old cases. The delay in decisions may kill the legislative intent and there is huge possibility of suit becoming infructuous," he said.