Maharashtra Guv Promulgates Ordinance To Delete Sec. 9A CPC, 1908 [Read Notification]
In a move that may have a significant impact in decreasing pendency in civil courts, Governor C Vidyasagar Rao of the State of Maharashtra has promulgated an ordinance deleting Section 9A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
The said provision was added to the Code of Procedure Code, 1908, in 1970 with a view to undo the effect of a judgment of the high court in the case of Institute Indo-Portuguese v Borges [(1958) 60 Bom. L.R. 660]
At the time, when a suit was filed against the government in the Bombay City Civil Court without a valid notice being issued under Section 80 of the Code, the court would, without going into the question of jurisdiction, grant an ad-interim injunction and an adjournment to the plaintiff. This would enable the plaintiff to issue a notice to the government. After the expiry of the period of the notice, the plaintiff would then withdraw the suit with liberty to file a fresh one and in the freshly filed suit seek continuation of the ad-interim injunction granted earlier.
It was, therefore, felt that the practice of granting injunctions, without going into the question of jurisdiction even though raised, was leading to grave abuse. It was against the backdrop that Section 9A was introduced into the Code.
In 1976, the said Code was extensively amended by the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1976, enacted by the Parliament. The Maharashtra Amendment Act of 1970 was repealed and again Section 9A was re-enacted by the Code of Civil Procedure (Maharashtra Amendment) Act, 1977.
Today, Section 9A has become a cumbersome and tedious provision which has contributed to the judicial backlog as it became a tool for those intending to delay the proceeding.
Section 9A gave rise to at least two judicial bottlenecks which hampered the speedy disposal of cases. Firstly, when an issue is raised under the said provision, a court cannot dispose of a motion until the trial into such an issue is concluded and the issue is finally decided. This means that motion remains pending for several years, and ad-interim relief masquerades virtually as a final relief. Secondly, when such an issue is raised, two trials have to be conducted, one on the preliminary issue and the other on the remaining issues, each subject to its own round of appeals and Special Leave Petitions.
Consequently, the statement of the ordinance lays out why the said provision was deleted-
“All this needlessly burdens the Court with duplication and results in a waste of judicial time and resources. In fact, in Madhuriben K. Mehta vs. Ashwin Rupsi Nandu ((2012) 5 Bom. CR 27), the Bombay High Court took the view that section 9A has led to the “abuse of duplication of work by repeated applications which has become an endemically circuitous practice.
It is, therefore, considered expedient to amend the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, in its application to the State of Maharashtra, by deleting the said section 9A.”Read the Notification Here