1 March 2022 4:35 AM GMT
"Reason is the heartbeat of every conclusion, and without the same it becomes lifeless," the Gujarat High Court has remarked today. Justice Ashokkumar Joshi was hearing a writ petition challenging the judgement of the First Appellate Court which condoned delay of 2 years and 5 months in the filing of execution petition against the judgement of the Civil Judge, without assigning...
"Reason is the heartbeat of every conclusion, and without the same it becomes lifeless," the Gujarat High Court has remarked today.
Justice Ashokkumar Joshi was hearing a writ petition challenging the judgement of the First Appellate Court which condoned delay of 2 years and 5 months in the filing of execution petition against the judgement of the Civil Judge, without assigning proper reasons.
"Reasoned order furthers the cause of justice as well as avoids uncertainty it helps in the observance of law of precedent. Lack of reasons introduces an element of uncertainty, dissatisfaction and give entirely different dimensions to the questions of law raised before the higher/appellate courts. The Court should provide its own grounds and reasons for rejecting claim/prayer of a party whether at the very threshold i.e. at the admission stage or after regular hearing, howsoever precise they may be...The aforesaid should be weighed with by all the Presiding Officers while dealing with a case."
The Respondents/Original Plaintiffs filed a civil suit against the Petitioners/Original Defendants for declaration and permanent injunction wherein compromise took place between the parties. In filing the execution petition, there was a delay of about 2 years and 5 months by the Respondents. Subsequently, when they filed the appeal for condonation of delay, it was accepted by the First Appellate Court.
The Petitioners submitted that the grave error was committed by condoning the delay in filing the execution petition which was filed almost after 15 years of the judgement and decree was passed in the civil suit without any reasons. No sufficient cause was shown by the opposing parties, as well.
Per contra, the Respondents stated that the Bench had observed that material facts while condoning delay. Further, when the compromise decree was passed, the Respondent had died and his heirs did not know about the decree. The wife of the Respondent also did not know the legal nitty gritty and could not file the execution petition in time.
referred to the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. and Ors. vs. Subrata Borah Chowlek and Ors. [MANU/SC/1252/2010] judgement to address the question of condonation of delay:
"It is trite that in a delay application, sufficient cause is the paramount consideration and if sufficient cause is shown, them Court should generally condone the delay. However, if the sufficient cause is imbibed with the laxity on the part of the delayer despite due knowledge, then Court should restrain itself from encouraging such practice and condone the delay."
To address the issue of the wife being ignorant of the nitty-gritty of law, the Bench enunciated the principle of ignorantia juris non excusat ie, ignorance of the law excuses not. Yet, the Court observed:
"Nonetheless, it is also trite that every case should be decided on merits rather than mere technicalities, save and except they are inexcusable. Accordingly, in the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, this Court is of the opinion that the learned first appellate Court has rightly exercised the discretion with a view to advance the substantial justice."
Finally, the High Court also considered the issue of lack of a reasoned order by the First Apellate Judge.
The Bench noted that the first appellate Judge, while allowing the appeal by way of the impugned judgment and order, had recorded the submissions on behalf of the parties in detail, but so far as the findings are concerned, they are sans recording the detailed reasons and only reference is made.
In this context, it referred to State of Rajasthan v. Rajendra Prasad Jain [Criminal Appeal No. 360/2008] cautioned:
"Providing of reasons in orders is of essence in judicial proceedings. Every litigant who approaches the Court with a prayer is entitled to know the reasons for acceptance or rejection of such request. Either of the parties to the lis has a right of appeal and, therefore, it is essential for them to know the considered opinion of the Court to make the remedy of appeal meaningful."
Therefore, per the Bench, at least brief reasoning must be provided in judicial orders to secure the ends of justice, even in cases where judicial discretion is exercised.
However, after analyzing the record, the High Court found itself in agreement with the impugned judgement and dismissed the petition.
Case Title: AYESHABEN WD/O. AHMED ADAM ALINATHA & 8 other(s) Versus HURIBEN ISMAIL ALI SINCE DECEASED THROUGH LEGAL HEIRS
Case No.: C/SCA/12535/2018
Click Here To Read/Download Judgment