High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Kuldip Singh & Anr. v. Smt.Meenakshi Gupta & Ors. - CR-6778-2005  RD-P&H 5288 (7 August 2006)
In the High Court of Punjab and Haryana at Chandigarh.
Civil Revision No.6778 of 2005.
Date of decision:25.8.2006.
Kuldip Singh and another.
Smt.Meenakshi Gupta and others.
Coram: Hon'ble Mr. Justice S. N. Aggarwal.
Present: Mr.Parminder Singh Advocate for the petitioners.
Mr.R.K.Aggarwal Advocate for the respondents.
S .N. Aggarwal, J.
The petitioners are the defendants in the learned trial Court.
Their defence was struck off on 30.9.2003 as the written statement was not filed within the statutory period. The petitioners filed an application for setting aside the order by which the defence of the petitioners was struck off but the said application was dismissed by the learned trial Court vide order dated 28.9.2005.
Hence the present petition.
The submission of the learned counsel for the petitioners Civil Revision No.6778 of 2005.
was that the petitioners be granted one opportunity to file written statement which is in the interest of justice so that the petitioners may project their version to the suit filed by the respondents.
On the other hand, the submission of the learned counsel for the respondents was that the respondents have filed civil suit for the recovery of Rs.1,62,375.48P on 13.10.1998. The petitioners were proceeded against ex parte on 12.10.2000 as they failed to appear in spite of service. The petitioners had filed an application for setting aside the ex parte proceedings on 11.2.2002. The said application was dismissed in default on 15.4.2002 which was restored on 31.5.2002 and the ex parte proceedings were set aside on 21.2.2003. The petitioners had again failed to file written statement till 30.9.2003 when their defence was struck off. The petitionera filed an application for setting the order dated 30.9.2003 only on 22.3.2005 which application was dismissed by the learned trial Court by impugned order dated 28.9.2005.
On these facts, the submission of the learned counsel for the respondents was that the petitioners do not deserve any opportunity to file written statement as the civil suit filed in October, 1998 is still at the preliminary stage.
On the other hand, the submission of learned counsel for the petitioners was that ex parte proceedings were set aside vide order dated 21.3.2003 on payment of costs of Rs.500/-. Therefore, the proceedings prior to that cannot be taken into consideration.
Civil Revision No.6778 of 2005.
Even if this submission is accepted, the petitioners are guilty of not filing written statement for seven months as after the ex parte proceedings were set aside on 21.2.2003, the case was adjourned to 25.3.2003 for filing of written statement by the petitioners and they had failed to file written statement for six months. It was only on 30.9.2003 that their defence was struck off. Even if this six months period is ignored, the petitioners filed an application for setting aside the order dated 30.9.2003 only on 22.3.2005 i.e. 18 months after the said order was passed.
No doubt, in the interest of justice, the petitioners should be granted an opportunity to file written statement in order to permit them to project their version of the case but they deserve to be penalized with heavy costs. Accordingly, this petition is accepted on payment of costs of Rs.20,000/-. Rs.10,000/- have already been deposited by the petitioners in the High Court against receipt number 1063 dated 3.1.2006 in compliance with the interim order dated 20.12.2005 passed by this Court. This amount be remitted to the plaintiff No.1-respondent.
The remaining amount of Rs.10,000/- shall be deposited by the petitioners in the learned trial Court on 18.9.2006 which shall be payable to the respondents (plaintiffs in the learned trial Court). The petitioners will also file the written statement on the same day. If the petitioners fail to make payment of Rs.10,000/- on 18.9.2006 or if they fail to file written statement on that day, then they would not be entitled to any further adjournment, of course unavoidable situations are Civil Revision No.6778 of 2005.
Since the case has already become eight years old,therefore, the learned trial Court should dispose of the suit expeditiously preferably within one year.
Dasti on payment of usual charges.
August 25,2006. ( S. N. Aggarwal )
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