Read Order: Khushi Ram v. Karan Singh 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh,  May 16, 2022: While allowing the petitioner-plaintiff one more opportunity to lead evidence on payment of costs for delay, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has referred to the judgement of the Top Court in S. Amarjit Singh Kalra (dead) by L.Rs. and others vs. Smt. Pramod Gupta dead by L.Rs. and others and reaffirmed that laws of procedure are meant to regulate effectively, assist and aid the object of doing substantial justice and not to foreclose even an adjudication on merits of substantial rights of citizen. 

The Bench of Justice Pankaj Jain held, “In the considered opinion of this Court it will be in the interest of justice that the plaintiff is granted one opportunity to lead evidence in form of handwriting and fingerprint expert.”

Under present revision petition challenge was to order dated May 30, 2018 passed by the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Panipat whereby evidence of the plaintiff was ordered to be closed.

The Trial Court held in its order that the petitioner’s counsel (originally plaintiff) availed twelve effective opportunities, but failed to conclude its entire evidence, thus the Lower  Court did not find justification in allowing adjournment of the case for said purpose.

The Counsel for the plaintiff did not dispute the factual position as recorded in the impugned order but submitted that the attesting witnesses to the agreement to sell having resiled, the only way to prove the agreement to sell, in question left with the plaintiff was by way of examining the handwriting expert. 

Thus, the Counsel submitted that it would be in the interest of justice that one opportunity be granted to the plaintiff to produce the same.

The evidence on behalf of the defendant was yet to start; only affidavit was tendered as examination-in-chief and the witnesses were not yet cross-examined. 

Thus, the Court was of the considered opinion that it would be in the interest of justice that the plaintiff was granted one opportunity to lead evidence in form of handwriting and fingerprint expert. 

Accordingly, without commenting upon the merits of the impugned order, the same was set aside.  In order to balance the equities, the petition was allowed subject to payment of Rs. 20,000/- as costs to be paid to the respondent/ defendant before the petitioner/ plaintiff availed the opportunity to lead the evidence as prayed for in the revision.

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