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1-min read

Pay 10,000 for Each Adjournment, SC Tells 89-year-old Woman’s Opponents in Land Dispute

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur expressed regrets that the trial court was liberal in granting adjournments even though the property dispute involved an octogenarian woman fighting for over a decade.

Utkarsh Anand | News18.com

Updated:June 15, 2018, 4:50 PM IST
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Pay 10,000 for Each Adjournment, SC Tells 89-year-old Woman’s Opponents in Land Dispute
A file photo of the Supreme Court. (PTI)
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has sped up a case involving an 89-year-old woman litigant and pre-independence era documents by imposing a unique condition – the other side will have to shell out at least Rs 10,000 for every adjournment.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur expressed regrets that the trial court was liberal in granting adjournments even though the property dispute involved an octogenarian woman fighting for over a decade.

During the hearing, the bench noted from the case papers that “a very large number of adjournments” have been taken in this matter particularly by the respondents, Tanvir Singh and others.

“The defendant in the suit and the petitioner before us (Surinder Kaur) is said to be about 89 years of age. It has been recorded in the order of the High Court that she is suffering from spinal tuberculosis. Under these circumstances, we are somewhat surprised that the trial court is liberally granting adjournments,” stated the Court order issued recently.

The bench further took note of the fact that although the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued a specific directive in 2015 for speeding up proceedings, the trial court remained unmoved.

It observed that the other side should not be allowed to have a walkover and win the case by default in case Surinder Kaur loses her battle with life due to overstretched trial.

Thus, the bench directed the trial court to expedite the hearing and decide the case as soon as possible. About the unnecessary adjournments, the apex court set a condition.

“We make it clear that the trial court must hear the matter expeditiously and if any adjournment is sought on behalf of the plaintiff, it may be granted for a period not more than a week and subject to minimum costs of Rs 10,000,” ordered the top court.

The case involves large chunk of lands and farmhouses in Patiala and Amritsar districts. The two sides are fighting over who is in real possession of these properties and who is the rightful owner.

The documents in the case include papers when the ancestors of the parties owned properties in West Pakistan and were allotted land at various places in Punjab after the partition in 1947.

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| Edited by: Parth Sharma
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