In a Judgment on a Civil Appeal [BanwariLal (d) VsBalbirSingh] which it pronounced today, the Supreme Court reiterated that ‘Procedure is meant only to facilitate the administration of justice and not to defeat the same.’ On sufficient cause, delay in bringing the legal representatives of the deceased party on record should be condoned. A Bench of Justices T.S.Takur and R. Bhanumathi, set aside Delhi High Court order dismissing a Second Appeal on the ground that no steps were to bring on record the legal representatives. The court said ‘in our view, it would be unjust to non-suit the appellants on the ground of technicalities.”
The court observed that without passing specific order on three applications which was filed for condonation of delay and to set aside the abatement and to bring on record the legal representatives of appellant, High Court was not right in dismissing the second appeal as abated qua the second appellant.
As regards the second appeal filed by the second appellant, the court observed “When the second appeal was filed, the High Court Registry should have checked up the names of the parties as occurred in the decree of the courts below and the memo of second appeal and the defects should have been pointed out at that time”. The court added that prescribed procedure cannot be circumvented by filing application under Order I Rule 10 CPC read with Section 151 CPC. However the court said it would be unjust to non-suit the appellants on the ground of technicalities.
Citing the dictum laid down in Sardar Amarjit Singh Kalra v. Pramod Gupta and Sital Prasad Saxena (D) by Lrs. v. Union of India, the court held “Provisions of Order XXII CPC are not penal innature. It is a rule of procedure and substantial rights of theparties cannot be defeated by pedantic approach by observingstrict adherence to the procedural aspects of law”.
Read the Judgment here.