Suggests pragmatic approach for securing records in time
Keeping an appeal pending for 14 long years is a disturbing feature and certainly not a palatable one, and merely despatching reminders to the authorities concerned to send the records to court will not suffice.
This is what the Madras High Court has observed while disposing of a civil revision petition seeking a direction to the Principal Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore, to dispose of an appeal against an order of the Special Deputy Collector (SDC) (Stamps), Coimbatore, with regard to payment of deficit stamp duty.
Justice M. Venugopal wrote: “A pragmatic, practical, purposeful and common sense approach should be adopted by a court of law to secure the records in time so that the case/cause of the litigant is resolved early. It reminds this court of the saying that a ‘litigant’ is mortal and a ‘litigation’ is an immortal one.”
M. Mariappan’s had challenged an order of the SDC of August 1998, before the Principal Sub-Judge, Coimbatore. For want of records, the matter could not be disposed of. The petitioner said that he was not at fault in regard to the pendency. He was ready and willing to proceed with the case.
Mr. Justice Venugopal said that the Principal Sub-Judge had ordered notice to the SDC and the Joint Sub-Registrar, Peelamedu, in November 1998.
A perusal of the judge’s notes paper indicated that on the next hearing date on January 5, 1999, the Government Pleader had filed a memo of appearance and from that day onwards the appeal was pending for “want of records.” Moreover, on the last hearing date of June 28 this year, the matter had been adjourned to August 31 for the reason “Await records.”
Mr. Justice Venugopal said that on the basis of equity, fair play, good conscience and even as a matter of prudence to prevent aberration of justice, he was directing the Principal Sub-Judge to procure the records from the authorities concerned without fail in two weeks and dispose of the appeal within three months.
The High Court directed Mr. Mariappan to lend a helping hand in regard to the completion of the proceedings before the Coimbatore court. It also directed the Principal Sub-Judge to report compliance of the High Court order.