Report No. 76
8.39. The expression "step in the proceedings".-
Tlie expression "steps in the proceedings" in section 34 has led to considerable controversy as would appear from the case law.1 The expression has been construed as including even a step in an interlocutory proceeding.2 Even an application for adjournment to file the written statement has been regarded as a step in the proceeding.3-4
An oral application for extension of the time to file an affidavit in an interlocutory application for injunction has been held to amount to taking a step in the proceeding.5 It would thus appear that while the general principle6-7 that the step in proceeding should display an unequivocal intention to proceed with the suit is well established, its application in actual practice leads to difficulties. This position causes hardship, and unnecessarily deprives a party of taking advantage of the arbitration clause.
1. Duni Chand Sons and Company v. F.G. Industries Ltd., AIR 1962 Cal 541 (reviews history and case law).
2. Amrit Raj v. Dolichia Finnanshiah, AIR 1966 Cal 315.
3. Radhakrishna v. State of Jammu & Kashmir, AIR 1964 J&K 75.
4. Union of India v. Girish Chandra, AIR 1953 All 149.
5. Delux Film Distributors Ltd. v. Sukumar, AIR 1960 Cal 206.
6. Nur-ud-din v. Abu Ahmed, AIR 1951 Born 357.
7. Subal Chandra v. Mohamed Ibrahim, AIR 1943 Cal 484.