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Is litigants? interest really supreme?

The most publicised slogan of the judiciary, "litigant's interest is supreme?, seems to have lost its significance with the lapse of time and (has) become a myth rather than a reality.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 00:29 IST

The most publicised slogan of the judiciary, "litigant's interest is supreme”, seems to have lost its significance with the lapse of time and (has) become a myth rather than a reality.

On the contrary, long-drawn legal battle, huge pendency of cases, heavy court fees, strike by lawyers or the staff on trivial issues and above all, the courts lying vacant for years together, actually add to the miseries of the litigants.
In Lucknow alone as many as 17 courts are lying vacant on the civil side for a considerable period and 2 out of 3 principal courts of civil judges (Junior division), are lying powerless to try civil cases valued beyond Rs. 10,000/- and upto Rs. 25,000/- for want of notification by the Allahabad High Court since about a couple of years.

The result being that these twin courts of Civil Judges (Junior Division) North and Havali respectively are lying powerless to try civil suits valued beyond Rs. 10,000/- while their counterpart, i.e. civil Judge (JD) South can try civil suits valued upto Rs. 25,000/-

As per amended provisions of the Bengal, Agra and Assam Civil Courts Act 1887,the High Court has to confer specific jurisdiction upon the civil Judges (Junior division), by name extending their pecuniary jurisdiction from Rs. 10,000/- to not exceeding Rs. 25,000/-

The Allahabad High Court has been issuing notifications from time to time, conferring such jurisdiction upon the civil judges (JD). However no such notification has been issued by the Allahabad High Court regarding the incumbents of the said twin courts at Lucknow, since nearly a couple of years, which has resulted in the present-day crisis.

In the backdrop of the situation the trial of suits of the value exceeding Rs. 10,000/- is staying put in these courts since last nearly two years and such cases are being adjourned repeatedly with the remark that the PO lacks pecuniary jurisdiction to try the same.

In net result, the litigants in the state capital are suffering constantly on account of the delay in issuing requisite notification by the High Court. And since the process of filing the suits of the value beyond Rs. 10,000/- and upto Rs. 25,000/- is still on in these courts, the cases are simply piling up which are likely to become unmanageable some day.

Besides above, the courts of Additional Judge small causes (I) and (II) are lying vacant since last nearly three years while as many as six courts of Additional civil Judges (JD), two courts of Additional civil judges (senior division) and seven courts of Additional District Judges are lying vacant in the capital city for a considerable time, adding to the plight of the city litigants.

In the given scenario it appears that the term " litigant's interest is supreme" has lost its meaning and has merely become a tool for the striking lawyers or the staff to call off their prolonged, unsuccessful or unfruitful strikes, in the name of the litigants interest.

First Published: Mar 06, 2006 00:29 IST