Markets Ltd. & ANR. Vs. H.Sujan Singh & Ors.  INSC 725 (13 April
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.2380 OF 2009 (Arising out
of SLP(C) No. 22584 of 2008) M/s. Foodworld Super Markets Ltd. & Anr.
..........Appellants Versus Shri H. Sujan Singh & Ors. ........Respondents
the issue involved in this appeal lie in a narrow compass, by consent of both
the learned counsel, the matter is taken up for final hearing.
appellant is the tenant of a business premises measuring 4000 Sq. fts. situated
at No. 1133, HAL 2nd Stage, Corporation Ward No. 74, Bangalore. The appellant
is the defendant before the trial court.
respondents herein are the landlords. They have filed a Civil Suit O.S. No.
1894 of 2007 for ejectment of the defendants from the suit schedule premises.
exchange of pleadings, the Suit was posted for evidence of the plaintiffs. The
plaintiff (P.W.1) has filed his affidavit by way of his evidence. On the
request made by learned counsel for the defendant, the matter had been adjourned
twice for cross examination of plaintiff (P.W.1) and finally, it was posted on
28.2.2008. Since the learned counsel for the defendant was not present before
the court, when the matter was called out, the learned trial Judge has closed
the evidence of the plaintiff and has posted the matter for the evidence of the
defendants, if any.
the defendants have filed application (I.A.No.2) for recalling the order dated
28.2.2008 and permit them to cross examine the plaintiff (P.W.1). In the
affidavit filed along with the application, they have assigned the reasons for
not being present before the court when the case was called out twice.
learned trial Judge not impressed by the explanation offered by the defendants,
has rejected the application (I.A. No. 2). Being aggrieved by the said order,
the defendants had carried the matter 2 by filing a Writ Petition under
Article 227 of the Constitution of India before the High Court to issue a writ
in the nature of certiorari and direct the trial court to afford one more
opportunity to the defendants to cross examine plaintiff (P.W.1).
writ court has dismissed the writ petition. Hence, this appeal.
have heard learned counsel for the parties to the lis. We have also carefully perused
the affidavit filed with the application (I.A.No. 2) to recall the order dated
28.2.2008, discharging P.W.1 from cross examination. In our considered view,
the explanation offered by the defendants appears to be not only satisfactory
and also bonafide. This aspect of the matter is not properly appreciated both
by the trial court and the High Court. In our view, the foreclosure of the
defendants right to cross examine the plaintiff (P.W.1) has resulted in grave
prejudice to the right of defence of the defendant/appellant herein. Therefore,
we cannot sustain the impugned orders.
view of the above discussion, we allow this appeal and set aside the impugned
orders. Now a direction is issued to the trial court to recall the plaintiff's
witness and permit the defendants/appellants to cross examine plaintiff's
witness (P.W.1) in O.S. No. 1894 of 3 2007. Since the matter is pending from
last two years, we direct the trial court to dispose of the suit as
expeditiously as possible at any rate within an outer limit of six months from
the date of receipt of this court's order. No order as to costs.
[ TARUN CHATTERJEE ]
[ H.L. DATTU ]
Delhi, April 13, 2009.