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Report No. 14

12. Delays in civil courts.-

Though the position in the civil courts was comparatively better, there were delays in the civil matters also. Witnesses attributed these delays to the inefficiency of the presiding officers of most courts and to lack of devotion to duty on their part and also to the dilatory tactics of the lawyers and the litigants.

13. The process-serving staff attached to courts, it was said, besides being inadequate in strength and amenable to corruption and other undesirable practices are mostly illiterate and cannot submit reports as to the manner of service, the reasons for non-service and similar matters. Very often, trial of suits is delayed on account of the fact that either the defendant is not served properly or. if served, service of summons has not been effected on witnesses.

14. The disposal of civil suits is frequently delayed because when the trial starts the presiding officer does not know what the case is about. The case is not opened and the presiding officers do not previously go through the pleadings and are not seized of the facts of the case. According to a Senior Advocate, very few officers follow the case during the trial. We have not been able to obtain statistics to show the periods for which different categories of proceedings have been pending in the subordinate civil courts. Nevertheless, the accompanying Table (Table No. 2) setting out the year of institution, the date of framing issues, the date of the final disposal and the duration of trial of certain proceedings selected at random shows the delays that occur.

An instance was brought to our notice where a preliminary decree was passed for a sum of Rs. 700 in 1941 and the final decree in 1955. We have been told that interlocutory applications are kept pending for long periods. Most of these delays could be prevented by a stricter and methodical supervision by the High Court and the District Courts. No effective system of inspection seems to prevail at present. A district judge admitted that lack of effective control and supervision by the District Judges was the primary cause for delays in the subordinate courts. The Advocate-General stated that the District Judges do not adhere to the rules prescribed for purpose of inspection of the subordinate courts.

Table No. 2

Suit No.

Date and year institution

Date of framing issues

Date of final disposal of final stage

Duration of trial

1

2

3

4

5

Year

11 of 1949 (Balotra)

1-3-49

22-12-49

20-11-56 (Pending)

7-1/2

9 of 1954 (Banswara)

26-8-1954

7-2-55

31-8-56

2

10 of 1953 (Bhartpur)

9-10-53

17-3-54

27-3-57 (Pending)

3-1/2

4 of 1946 (Sikar)

13-2-1946

6-7-46

19-12-56(Pending)

10

155 of 1953 (Sikar)

10-2-53

16-3-55

20-12-56 (Pending)

3-1/2

24 of 1951 (Ajmer)

5-11-51

19-8-52

31-12-56

5

24 of 1946 (Alwar)

30-11-1946

6-5-47

5-6-54

8

366 of 1949 (Jaipur City)

5-9-49

7-1-50

22-10-56

7

22 of 1953 (Pali)

4-6-53

8-1-54

24-11-56(Pending)

3-1/2

9 of 1951 (Jaipur City)

31-8-1951

4-3-52

5-12-56 (Pending)

5

14 of 1947 (Kotah)

26-11-1947

6-1-49

14-11-56 (Pending)

9

4 of 1952 (Bhilwara)

5-4-1952

14-7-53

18-12-56 (Pending)

4-1/2

16 of 1951 (Bikaner)

10-8-1951

20-12-51

4-2-57 (Pending)

5-1/2

16 of 1953 (Merta)

23-231952

13-1-55

26-10-56 (Pending)

3-1/2

16 of 1952 (Udaipur)

29-8-1952

28-7-53

27-10-56

4

71 of 1944-45 (Jodhpur)

28-7-1945

24-1-1946

26-2-57 (Pending)

11-1/2

1 of 951 (Ganganagar)

2-1-51

4-3-52

6-12-56 (Pending)

6

238 of 1946 (Jodhpur)

15-5-1946

23-10-47

30-11-50

10

503/48-49 (Sajat)

8-2-49

2-11-50

13-11-56 (Pending)

7

763 of 1952 (Ajmer)

8-1-52

31-3-53

17-1-57

4-1/2

495 of 1946 (Jaipur)

28-9-1946

12-1-48

13-9-55

9

34 of 1952 (Bharatpur)

9-2-52

9-2-53

3-1-57 (Pending)

5

14/521/65 of 43 (Baran)

20-12-1943

16-5-44

18-12-56 (Pending)

13

2 of 1955 (Hanumangarh)

4-1-55

(Not issues yet)

6-11-56 (Pending)

2

123 of 1952 (Partabgarh)

13-12-1952

4-7-53

1-12-56 (Pending)

4

140 of 1955 (Bhilwara)

20-10-1955

25-1-56

30-8-56

1

230 of 1953 (Neem Ka Thana)

29-10-1953

22-7-53

29-10-56

3

211 of 1952 (Udaipur)

21-11-1944

19-7-46

20-2-57 (Pending)

13

Table No. 3

Nature of proceeding

1954 Number of Judges working-6

1955 Number Number of Judges working-7

1956 Number of Judges working-7

Pending at the beginning

Institutions

Disposal

Pending at the beginning

Institutions

Disposal

Pending at the beginning

Institutions

Disposal

Pending on.-1-1957

Regular First Appeals

353

180

103

430

167

73

524

135

110

549

Regular Second Appeals

1658

671

465

1864

613

481

1996

579

493

2082

Appeal against Orders

142

83

74

151

94

58

187

122

69

240

Letters Patent or Special Appeals

6

8

4

10

3

6

7

2

3

6

Writs

977

692

1257

412

365

476

301

471

423

349

Reviews

12

17

20

9

23

20

12

28

26

14

Revisions

640

512

495

647

511

349

809

561

434

936

References

64

51

90

25

32

19

38

44

53

29

Leave to appeal to Supreme Court

77

99

160

16

19

27

8

34

26

16

Original Suits

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

..

Miscellaneous

285

252

265

272

243

228

287

234

217

304

Criminal appeals

329

433

386

376

378

420

334

388

432

290

Criminal Revisions

366

439

470

335

424

48

273

435

529

179

Confirmation Cases

6

9

15

..

6

3

3

8

6

5

References

122

209

269

62

222

225

59

187

210

36

Miscellaneous

62

227

262

27

198

190

35

228

217

46

15. Our attention was drawn to a rule framed by the High Court to the effect that if a witness summons handed over to a party at his request for service was not served, fresh service would not be ordered a second time. Criticism was also directed against another rule which disallowed from the taxed costs the travelling and subsistence allowance of witnesses attending courts at the request of a party without a summons. Both these rules naturally tend to make parties averse to bringing witnesses without a summons or to serve them themselves-measures which we have earlier recommended to speed up the trial of suits. We recommend the repeal of these rules.



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