Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

"Inordinate Delay Would Frustrate Decree Holders From Reaping Benefits": Delhi High Court Modifies Guidelines For Expediting Execution Of Decrees, Awards

Nupur Thapliyal
30 Jun 2021 2:11 PM GMT
Inordinate Delay Would Frustrate Decree Holders From Reaping Benefits: Delhi High Court Modifies Guidelines For Expediting Execution Of Decrees, Awards
x

Observing that an inordinate delay would frustrate the decree holders from reaping benefits, the Delhi High Court has modified the guidelines issued by it with regards to the execution of decrees and awards by directing the lower courts to expedite the proceedings within one year of their institution. A single judge bench comprising of Justice JR Midha observed thus: "Delays and...

Observing that an inordinate delay would frustrate the decree holders from reaping benefits, the Delhi High Court has modified the guidelines issued by it with regards to the execution of decrees and awards by directing the lower courts to expedite the proceedings within one year of their institution.

A single judge bench comprising of Justice JR Midha observed thus:

"Delays and difficulties in execution of decrees/awards erode public confidence and trust in the justice delivery system. Execution jurisdiction deserves special attention and expeditious disposal considering that the decree-holders have already succeeded in the litigation and hold a decree/award in their favour."

The Court further opined "Justice is the ideal to be achieved by law. Justice is the goal of law. ̳Law as it is', may fall short of 'Law as it ought to be' for doing complete justice in a cause. The gap between the two gives an occasion to the Court to develop the law by evolving juristic principles for doing complete justice according to the current needs of the society."

The development came while modifying the guidelines issued earlier by the High Court in the judgments of Bhandari Engineers-I and Bhandari Engineers-II vide judgments dated 05th December, 2019 and 05th August, 2020 respectively.

Execution proceedings instituted within two years of the decree/award

The Court directed that the Executing Court shall, on the first date of hearing, issue notice to the judgment-debtor, attach the assets of the judgment-debtor and direct the judgment-debtor to deposit the decretal amount within 30 days of the receipt of the notice.

"The Executing Court shall direct the judgment-debtor that if the decretal amount is not deposited, the judgment-debtor shall file the affidavit of assets on the date of cause of action, date of the decree/award as well as on the date of the swearing of the affidavit in Form 16A of Appendix E under Order XXI Rule 41(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure within thirty days of the receipt of notice. The oral prayer/application of the decree-holder for issuance of such direction shall be considered sufficient compliance of Order XXI Rule 41(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure." The Court said.

Furthermore it is also clarified that if the decretal amount is deposited within 30 days of the receipt of the notice, the judgment-debtor is not required to file the affidavit/additional affidavit before the Court.

For the Execution proceedings initiated after two years of the decree/award, the Court has directed that the Executing Court shall, in the first instance, issue notice to the judgment-debtor to show cause as to why the decree be not executed against him.

"The Executing Court is empowered, at the initial stage itself, to restrain the judgment-debtor from transferring, alienating or disposing of or otherwise parting with the possession of any assets to the tune of the decretal/award amount except in the ordinary course of business such as payment of salary and statutory dues." The Court held.

Detention of the judgment-debtor for failure to file the affidavit of assets

The Court has further directed that in the event of default of the judgment-debtor to file the affidavit, Court shall consider detention of the judgment-debtor in civil prison for a term not exceeding three months under Order XXI Rule 41(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure.

"However, before passing the detention order, the Executing Court shall issue a show cause notice to the judgment-debtor and afford an opportunity of hearing." The Court clarified.

The Court has also formulated three affidavits for filing of assets and income in the prescribed formats.

"The Executing Court shall ensure that the filing of the affidavits by the judgment-debtor is not reduced to a mere ritual or formality. If the affidavits of the judgment-debtor are not in the prescribed format or are not accompanied with the relevant documents, the Court may take the affidavits on record and grant reasonable time to the judgment-debtor to remove the defects/deficiencies and simultaneously act on the information available in the deficient affidavit as per law." the Court said.

Along with this, the Court has further modified powers of the execution court, Restitution of the decree-holder for the loss(es) on account of delay and obstruction in execution proceedings, Imposition of costs on the judgment-debtor etc.

In view of the aforesaid modifications, the Court directed that a copy of the judgment and modified format of affidavits of assets, income and expenditure be sent to the Registrar General of this Court who shall circulate it to all the District Judges for being circulated to all the concerned courts.

"Copy of this judgment be sent to Mr. Rahul Mehra, learned Standing Counsel for GNCTD who shall circulate it to all the SDM‟s dealing with execution cases as arrears of land revenue. The Principal Secretary (Revenue) shall ensure the compliance of these directions by all SDMs in execution cases." The Court directed.

Furthermore, it is also directed that a judgment copy is sent to Delhi Judicial Academy to sensitize the judges about the modified directions.

Title: M/S BHANDARI ENGINEERS & BUILDERS PVT LTD v. M/S MAHARIA RAJ JOINT VENTURE & ORS

Click Here To Read Judgment

Next Story