Courts Should Endeavour To Dispose Of Cases On Merit Rather Than On Default: Kerala High Court
The Kerala High Court has held that a Court should make every endeavor to dispose of a case on merits rather than on default.
The Court noted, "The Court below ought to have granted the petitioners an opportunity to cure defect in the written statement, instead of taking the drastic step of rejecting the application. It is trite, Courts should make every endevour to dispose of a case on merits rather than on default."
The Single Bench of Justice C.S. Dias made this observation while adjudicating upon a plea seeking setting aside of the order of the additional subordinate judge.
In this case, the respondent had filed a suit seeking a decree for the realization of money and the petitioners were the defendants. The petitioners were set ex-parte. They approached the lower Court to set aside the ex-parte order. The Trial Court set aside the order on the condition that the petitioners file their written statement on or before 17 December 2018.
The petitioners filed a written statement on the said date but there was a formal defect in the same. Therefore the Trial Court dismissed the application and confirmed the ex-parte order.
The High Court observed that the Court below even after noticing that the written statement was filed, rejected the application while holding that no written statement was filed.
The Court held that the course adopted by the lower court was hyper-technical and unwarranted.
The Court observed that the lower court should have granted the petitioners an opportunity to cure the defect in the written statement instead of rejecting the application.
The Court set aside the order of the lower court and permitted the petitioners to cure the defect in the written statement.