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Report No. 77

6.10. Adjournments.-

In the matter of adjournments certain changes hive been made in Order XVII of the Code of Civil Procedure with effect from February 1, 1977 by Act 104 of 1976. The new provisions, if enforced strictly, would prevent unnecessary adjournment of cases. We have referred above1 to one of those provisions in connection with avoiding the recording of evidence in instalments. The other provisions are2:

"(b) No adjournment shall be granted at the request of a party, except where the circumstances are beyond the control of that party.

(c) The fact that the pleader of a party is engaged in another court shall not be a ground for adjournment.

(d) Where the illness of a pleader or his inability to conduct the case for any reason, other than his being engaged in another court, is put forward as a ground for adjournment, the court shall not grant the adjournment unless it is satisfied that the party applying for adjournment could not have engaged another pleader in time.

(e) Where a witness is present in court but a party or his pleader is not present or the party or his pleader, though present in court, is not ready to examine or cross-examine the witness, the court may, if it thinks fit, record the statement of the witness and pass such order as it thinks fit dispensing with the examination-in-chief or cross-examination of the witness, as the case may be, by the party or his pleader not present or not ready as aforesaid."

It is further provided:

"Where the evidence or a substantial portion of the evidence of any party has already been recorded and such party fails to appear on any day to which the hearing of the suit is adjourned, the court may, in its discretion, proceed with the case as if such party were present."

1. Para. 6.8, supra.

2. Order 17, rule 1(2), Proviso, CPC.

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