Report No. 163
Refusal to Answer
Q.23. Order 10, rule 4 (Refusal to answer material questions): Clause 20(ii) of the Bill
Where the party's pleader, appearing at the pre-trial hearing, is unable to answer material questions, and the court is of the opinion that the party himself can answer those questions, it can, under Order 10, rule 4, "postpone the hearing of the suit to a future day" and direct that such party shall appear in person on the day so specified. The Bill proposes that such "future day" shall not be later than seven days from the date of first hearing.
The object, obviously, is to cut short the interval. But a few important aspects may have to be kept in mind, while evaluating this proposal.
(i) The volume of business before the court may be such, that in the next week, it has no free time left.
(ii) The defendant (assuming that he is well-connected with his counsel) may not necessarily be able to arrange for his travel in five or six days.