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Jitender Kumar Kushwaha vs. Albert Joseph & Anr. (Neutral Citation: 2024:DHC:2900) - (High Court of Delhi) (10 Apr 2024)

Time limit for filing the written statement is only directory and not mandatoryin non- commercial suits



The present petition assails the impugned orders passed by Trial Courtwhereby the learned trial court did not take on record the written statement of the Petitioner in absence of any application for condonation of delay and subsequently, after filing the application for condonation of delay under Section 5 of limitation Act along with an application under Order VIII Rule 1 read with Section 151 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), the same were dismissed thereafter.

Trial Court vide order had issued summons to the petitioner. The Petitioner entered appearance and requested for time to file the written statement, acceding to the request, the learned Trial Court granted 30 days time to the petitioner to file the written statement in the suit.

Notably, the time limit granted by the learned Trial Court to the Petitioner to file written statement expired on 4th August, 2022, being the 30th day, however, the Petitioner filed his written statement on 12th August, 2022 with a delay of eight days. Moreso, without an application seeking condonation of delay explaining the reasons caused for such delay. Thereafter, the learned Trial Court vide order took the written statement off the record.

The position of law is well settled and is no longer res-integra as held by the Supreme Court in catena of judgments that, in non- commercial suits, the time limit for filing the written statement is only directory and not mandatory. Furthermore, it is trite in law that the rules of procedure are handmaid of justice and the Court should aim to do substantial justice in a given matter, provided that the other party can be well compensated in terms of order of cost.

In view of the discussion and in the peculiar facts of this case, the written statement is allowed to be taken on record, subject to cost of Rs. 5,000 to be paid to the Respondent no. 1 before the learned Trial Court on the next date of hearing. Petition disposed of.


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