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Report No. 79

VI. Paper Books

5.15. Paper books.-

We now come to the stage of preparation of paper books. Experience has shown that much time is taken in the High Court in the preparation of paper books of appeal, but the system of preparing paper books has proved helpful and of use in an expeditious decision of the appeal. Hearing of appeal by a Bench consisting of more than one judge is not possible without a separate paper book for each one of the judges constituting the Bench. Besides this, the paper book also facilitates the hearing.

The paging of the original record in the trial courts, it has been seen, is often confusing and not very systematic. Paper books prepared in accordance with the rules of the High Court eliminate that difficulty and save the time of the court when arguments are heard. There is, however, scope for improvement in certain matters of detail, to which we address ourselves.

5.16. Sending for records.-

While dealing with the question of paper books, we should advert to the necessity of sending for the records of the courts below as contemplated by Order 41, rule 13(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure. We feel that except for appeals against interlocutory orders1 and except in cases wherein those records have already been sent for under Order 41, rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the High Court should, immediately after an order for the admission of appeal has been made, send for the records of the courts below.

Much delay in the preparation of paper books can be eliminated by sending promptly for the records of the courts below. As would appear from what follows subsequently,2 we are fastening responsibility upon the appellant to file paper books containing certain copies. This can be done only if the records are promptly sent for by the High Court. In a large number of cases the counsel for the appellant would not be able to furnish the requisite copies unless the records of the courts below are in the High Courts.

5.17. Records in appeal against interlocutory orders.-

So far as appeals against interlocutory orders are concerned, we are of the view that the records of the courts below should be sent for only as and when a specific order is made by High Court for that purpose. Our experience tells us that many cases in the trial courts remain stayed because of transmission of records to High Courts, even though no stay order has been made by the High Court.

5.18. Translation.-

Another question in the context of preparation of paper books relates to translation of documents and depositions, where such translation is necessary under the rules of the High Court. In our opinion, it should be the duty of the party who has to file the requisite copy to also get the deposition or document translated. The translation should be done by a counsel, who would normally be a junior counsel, and should bear his certificate about its correctness. The translated copy, along with other necessary copies, should be filed in the High Court within the time suggested hereafter.3 In case the opposite party questions the correctness of the translation, the deposition or document in question should be translated by the official translator of the High Court.

1. Para. 5.28, infra.

2. See discussion as to copies, para. 5.20, infra.

3. Para. 5.20, infra.

5.19. Recommendation for typing.-

According to the prevalent practice, the paper books are printed either in the Government printing press or in private printing presses selected by the High Court for that purpose under the supervision and on the direction of the High Court. This process involves a lot of delay and entails expense which it is possible to curtail. As compared with printing, the cyclostyling or typing of records is not only cheaper, but also more expeditions. We therefore recommend that except in cases where the court otherwise directs, the printing of paper books may be dispensed with, and liberty may be allowed to the parties to have the records typed or cyclostyled in accordance with the Rules of the High Court.

5.20. Paper book.- copies to be filed by appellant.-

After the records of the trial court are sent for, the next step would be the preparation of the paper book. For this purpose, we are of the view that as soon as the records are received in the High Court, intimation about that fact should be sent to the counsel for the appellant and also to the counsel for the respondent, or the respondent in case no lawyer has put in appearance on his behalf. It shall be the responsibility of the appellant in all regular first appeals in civil matters to file within four months, or such further time as may for sufficient cause be allowed by the court, of the date of intimation of the receipt of the records of the trial court in the High Court, properly bound paper books containing copies of the following documents:

(a) plaint;

(b) written statement;

(c) issues;

(d) judgment;

(e) decree sheet;

(f) memorafidum of appeal;

(g) admission order;

(h) documents, depositions, applications, replies thereto, and interlocutory orders upon which the appellant wants to rely at the time of arguments; and

(i) documents, depositions, applications, replies thereto and interlocutory orders referred to by the trial court in its judgment while dealing with issues, findings on which are sought to be challenged by the appellant.

The copies to be included in the paper books, should, as already mentioned1 be either cyclostyled or typed. The number of paper books should be sufficient for the purpose of supply to the respondents and for the use of the court.

1. Cf. para. 5.19, supra.

5.21. Paper book to be supplied to respondents.-

Within two weeks of the filing of the abovementioned paper books, one or more such paper books, as may be necessary, should be supplied to the counsel for the respondents.

5.22. Respondent's paper books.-

It would be necessary for the respondents to file in court within two months, or such further time as may, for sufficient cause, be allowed by the court of the receipt of the above, properly bound paper books containing copies of depositions, documents, applications, replies thereto and interlocutory orders, upon which they wish to rely and which have not been filed by the appellant. The number of these paper books would be the same as that of the paper books filed on behalf of the appellant. One or more paper books, as may be necessary, filed by the respondents shall be supplied to the counsel for the appellant and counsel for other respondents within a period of one week of the filing of the same in court.

5.23. Translation and exempted documents.-

Reference to "copies" in the above paragraphs1 would include reference to the translation of the plaint, written statement, issues, depositions, documents, applications and replies thereto, when translated copies or the same are required according to the rules of the High Court. Nothing in the above paragraphs should make it necessary to include in the paper book copies of documents in respect of which exemption has been granted for the purpose of printing by the High Court rules.

1. Paras. 5.20 to 5.22, supra.

5.24. Existing rules.-

We are aware of the fact that rules have already been framed by the various High Courts regarding most of the matters referred to above. We have made the above suggestion just with a view to introducing uniformity in the practice prevailing in the different High Courts and also with a view to accelerating the process of preparation of paper books, the above procedure, if accepted by the High Courts, will not cause any delay in making a case ready for hearing, and will also save the parties from a certain amount of the expenses of litigation.

5.25. Delegation to Registrar of powers in connection with paper books.-

For the completion of the record of appeal and preparation of the paper books, power may be delegated by the court to the Registrar or any other officer of the court specially empowered in this behalf, with the proviso that in case the order passed by the Registrar or such officer is not complied with, the appeal shall be placed before the court for appropriate orders or directions.

If the court finds that the omission to comply with the order was wilful or without sufficient cause, it may dismiss the appeal for non-prosecution, or award conditional costs against the defaulting party, or may unconditionally give such further time as it may consider proper to do the needful. It should also be open to the court, in appropriate cases, if it thinks it just and proper, to direct that the appeal shall be heard without, any further documents or papers being tiled, and an such an event such documents and papers will not be allowed to be referred to at the time of hearing.

5.26. Paper book not to be burdened with unnecessary documents.-

It is important from the point of view of saving both cost and time in the hearing of the appeal that the paper books should not be burdened with unnecessary and irrelevant documents. If in a given case, this is not done and the court, at the time of hearing of the appeal, finds that irrelevant documents have been included in the paper book, the court may, irrespective of the decision of the appeal, order that the cost occasioned by inclusion of those documents should be paid by the party at whose instance they were typed or cyclostyled. The preparation of paper book and the older in which the papers are to be arranged in it should be left to conform to the rules that may be framed by the High Courts for the purpose.

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