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Report No. 238

3.2.1 129th Report (1988) of the Law Commission of India:

The Law Commission recommended introduction of the Conciliation Court system which had been in vogue in Himachal Pradesh to deal with house rent/possession litigation as well as other litigations such as disputes as to inheritance/succession, partition, maintenance and wills which are usually between near relations. The Commission referred to Order XXVII Rule 5B of the CPC which bears the heading "Duty of court in suits against the Government or a public officer in arriving at a settlement" and then observed:

"Though rule 5B is limited in its application to a suit to which the Government or the public officer acting in his official capacity is a party, it is time to expand the coverage of the method of resolution of disputes therein provided to all suits in civil courts, including the claim for compensation before the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal. Rule 5B provides that in a suit to which it applies, it should be the duty of the court to make, in the first instance, every endeavour where it is possible to do so consistently with the nature and circumstances of the case to assist the parties in arriving at a settlement in respect of the subject matter of the dispute.

Where the court is of the opinion that there is a reasonable possibility of a settlement between the parties to the suit, the proceedings may be adjourned for such period as it thinks fit to enable attempts to be made to effect such settlement. Rule 5B expects the court before which the suit is pending to itself attempt to conciliate the dispute".

The features of Conciliation Courts set up in Himachal Pradesh were then adverted to by the Commission. The Commission, with a view to remove the difficulty experienced by the Conciliation Court in H.P., in cases in which the parties do not appear in person before the court, considered it necessary to introduce a provision in Order X of the CPC to the following effect:

'(i) The following may be added as sub-clause (c) immediately after sub-clause (b), clause (i) rule 2 of Order X of the Code of Civil Procedure:

"may require the attendance of any party to the suit or proceedings, to appear in person with a view to arriving at an amicable settlement of the dispute between the parties and make an attempt to settle the dispute between the parties amicably".

'(ii) The following may be added as clause (3) immediately below clause (2) of rule 4 of Order X Code of Civil Procedure:

"Where a party ordered to appear before the court in person with a view to arriving at an amicable settlement of the dispute between the parties, fails to appear in person before the court without lawful excuse on the date so appointed, the court may pronounce judgment against him or make such order in relation to the suit as it thinks fit".

3.2.2 With these additions, the Law Commission was of the opinion that the scheme will be very effective and must be made obligatory in all courts, while removing the limitations that are implicit in rule 5B of Order XXVII in the matter of application of the procedure to suits other than those set out therein. In fact, the scheme must apply to all suits of a civil nature coming before the civil courts, it was observed.

Amendment of Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and allied Provisions Back

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