The Punjab and Haryana High Court has sensitized the Presiding Officers of the Trial Courts about the significance and importance of timely disposal of injunction applications while dealing with a matter.

A Single Bench of Justice Arun Monga held, “Resultantly, the present revision petition is allowed. Ld. Trial Court shall dispose of pending application within a period of 4 weeks from the date of receipt of the instant order or a copy of the web print being produced before it by petitioner/defendants. Registry to convey this order to Ld. Presiding Officer of the Trial Court as well as to Ld. District Judges of the States of Punjab, Haryana and U.T. Chandigarh for sensitizing Ld. Presiding Officers of Trial Courts about the significance and importance of timely disposal of injunction applications in such like pending cases.”

The Bench said that it is unable to countenance the most lackadaisical manner in which the Trial Court has proceeded in complete disregard of the duty cast upon as per provisions under Order 39, Rule 3A CPC.

Advocates N.K. Verma and Ankush Verma appeared on behalf of the petitioners.

In this case, the petitioners were seeking direction to finally dispose of the application for ad interim injunction filed under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 of the CPC. The Court below after granting ex-parte ad interim injunction in favour of petitioners was adjourning the matter again and again and was not disposing of the application for ad interim injunction which was against the provisions as well as settled law.

The High Court after hearing the arguments of both parties asserted, “… there was a certain zero period in between starting somewhere around March-2020 until May-2021 caused by the intervening pandemic, during which physical hearings in Courts in the entire country were suspended. To that extent, no fault can be found with Ld. Court below in further progress for disposal of the pending application.”

The Court noted that the duty has been cast by way of self-contained protection in those cases where ex-parte injunctions are required to be revisited after hearing both sides.

“I am conscious of the fact that there are judicial precedents to the effect that procedural provisions ordinarily are directory in nature and not mandatory but having noticed the way this case has been dealt with by Court below, there seems no justification to overlook as many as 51 adjournments granted, most of which without recording any reason by simpliciter stating ‘Adjourned for consideration’”, said the Court.

The Court directed that the Trial Court shall make an earnest endeavour to finally dispose of the injunction application within a period of 30 days in all those cases where ex parte injunctions have been granted in favour of petitioners and where it may not be possible to do so, duty is cast on the Trial Courts to record valid reasons for not being able to do so.

“I am fully alive to the situation that delay is not attributable to any one particular Presiding Officer. … it is a duty of every Presiding Officer to be self vigilant and mindful of the duty as envisaged under the provisions of Order 39 Rule 3A CPC. The current incumbent though joined as Presiding Officer in the Court in question only in the month of July, 2022 but ought to have been careful in mechanically adjourning the pending application even that the same had already been pending before his predecessors for about 4 years”, the Court further noted.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the plea.

Cause Title- Jaspal Singh and others v. M/s Omaxe Chandigarh Extension Developers Pvt. Ltd. (Neutral Citation: 2023:PHHC:037251)

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