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Report No. 77

1.9. Criterion for treating a case as an old civil cases.-

One of the important questions which we have to consider is as to what should be the criterion to determine as to when a judicial case can be treated as an old case in the trial court. So far as this question is concerned, we are of the opinion that a civil case, which would include a civil suit as well as a case under a Special Act should be treated old if a period of one year elapses since the date of its registration till the pronouncement of the final judgment in the case.

We are conscious of the fact that suits of higher value generally require voluminous evidence to be recorded. At the same time, we cannot lose sight of the fact that before 1947, in a number of States, which were then known as provinces, the subordinate judges who tried these cases managed to finish majority of them within a year. It may be that in some cases the period taken for disposal of the case was longer, and this would remain true even in future. Such cases should, in our opinion, be treated to be of an exceptional nature. The target for most of the cases, in our opinion, should be a period of one year.

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