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Written by Bibek Debroy |
Updated: November 12, 2021 7:23:24 am
For most civil cases, the moment issues are framed, one can predict the outcome within a range, with a reasonable degree of certainty.

cricket all death,The average person will not have heard of Dipali Biswas or Nirmalendu Mukherjee and may not be aware of the case decided by the Supreme Court on October 5, 2021. The case was decided by a division bench, consisting of Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian and the judgment was authored by Justice V Ramasubramanian. Justice Ramasubramanian observed (not part of the judgment), “Not to be put off by repeated failures, the appellants herein, like the tireless Vikramaditya, who made repeated attempts to capture Betal, started the present round and hopefully the final round.” Other than smiling about a case that took 50 years to be resolved and making wisecracks about “tareekh pe tareekh”, shouldn’t we be concerned about rules and procedures (all in the name of natural justice) that permit a travesty of justice?

cricket ipl 2020 rcb,Innumerable judgments have quoted the maxim, “justice hurried is justice buried”. By the same token, justice tarried is also justice buried and inordinate delays mean the legal system doesn’t provide adequate deterrence to mala fide action. In my view, for most civil cases, the moment issues are framed, one can predict the outcome within a range, with a reasonable degree of certainty. (Obviously, I don’t mean constitutional cases before the Supreme Court.) With no disrespect to the legal system, I think AI (artificial intelligence) is capable of delivering judgments in such cases, freeing court time for non-trivial cases.

In other words, once issues are framed — since litigants can also predict the outcome — one side has a vested interest in ensuring the continuation of the status quo and in the name of natural justice, court rules and procedures permit this. More judges/benches and filling vacancies won’t solve the problem. Take this case. Sasadhar Biswas borrowed Rs 3,000 from Rama Devi. When he didn’t repay the loan, in 1971, she filed a suit in District Munsif Court, Bongaon, West Bengal, to recover money that was rightfully hers. In 1974, in an ex parte decision, Sasadhar Biswas was directed to repay in six equal instalments, with a default clause. He couldn’t be bothered. In fairness, perhaps he didn’t have the money. Rama Devi went to court again. Sasadhar Biswas possessed a plot of land (7,450 sq feet) in Bongaon. In 1975, the court ordered this should be sold off to pay Rama Devi. Sasadhar Biswas (through his lawyer) contested the auction process. With that objection dismissed in 1975, an auction was held in 1979 and Sachindra Nath Mukherjee and Dulal Kanti Mukherjee (two brothers) offered Rs 5,500 and as the highest bidder, deposited the amount with the court. End of the matter — or so you might think. Rama Devi gets her money back (now Rs 3,360, probably because of interest) and the Mukherjee brothers get the plot of land. Or so common sense suggests.,youth tennis lessons omaha

betvictor free bet club,However, legal processes are not always about common sense. The October 2021 Supreme Court judgment refers to five rounds, reminiscent perhaps of two boxers in two corners (read lawyers), rather than King Vikramaditya. The first round was from 1979 to 1992. Ignoring other aspects of Sasadhar Biswas trying to delay, in 1980, he ignored Rama Devi and entered into an agreement with the Mukherjee brothers: Shorn of legal niceties — I’ll return your money, let’s cancel the auction. With that mutual agreement in place, Biswas paid (as in, deposited with the court) Rs 3,700, not the Rs 5,500 the Mukherjee brothers had paid. Common sense suggests this shouldn’t be acceptable. It took till 1992 for the court to establish that common sense is right. In the second round (1992), the debtor’s lawyers tried to abort the auction again, without success. In the third round (1992 to 2001), the debtor’s lawyers argued against issuance of a sale certificate. In the fourth round (2002 to 2005), the Mukherjee brothers went back to court, now wanting possession. Matters were complicated because Sasadhar Biswas had constructed a building on that land, which had to be demolished. Finally, there was the fifth round (2005 to 2021).

In his observations (not part of the judgment), Justice Ramasubramanian remarked this case should be included in law school syllabi to illustrate how litigants can avoid execution of a civil decree. Some graduates of law schools will become lawyers, acting on behalf of litigants. What will they specifically learn? Since Sasadhar Biswas had a vested interest in preserving the status quo, his lawyers used orders and sections of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC, 1908) to delay matters. Surely, budding lawyers shouldn’t learn that. Instead, they and anyone interested in legal reform (this includes the judiciary) should learn how those weaknesses in the CPC need to be plugged.

jackpot lotto result,There was a substantive amendment to the CPC in 2002. At that time, the then law minister promised, with the amendment, that an average civil case would be resolved in one-and-a-half years. Nothing of the sort has happened, primarily because of a judgment in the Salem Advocate Bar Association case. Litigants and lawyers (at least on one side of a civil case) have no incentive to finish a case fast (Does the judiciary have it?). In case you haven’t noticed, the fifth round didn’t involve Sasadhar Biswas and the Mukherjee brothers. The case was fought by their heirs. As for Rama Devi (or her heirs), the October 2021 judgment doesn’t indicate whether she has been paid. She wasn’t a party and may well need a sixth round. If you need to go to court, never a lender be.

This column first appeared in the print edition on November 11, 2021 under the title ‘Long case of Sasadhar Biswas’. The writer is chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the PM. Views are personal

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