To ensure speedy justice and better utilisation of limited resources, the Delhi High Court has directed district courts to allocate work as per a judicial officer’s expertise, dispose of cases within realistic timelines and not give more than three adjournments.
The administrative directions were issued by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal to ensure proper implementation of civil procedure code provisions related to adjournments, timelines as well as electronic filing of cases and service of summonses. The high court has said that the rule of three adjournments and imposition of compensatory costs has to be followed strictly.
This assumes significance as in June this year a government-appointed panel had said that the rule of maximum of three adjournments per case was not being followed in over 50 per cent of the matters being heard by the courts, leading to a rising pendency of cases.
The high court, in its circular issued through the registrar general, has also said that for electronic service of summons, a person who wishes to avail this option will have to file an affidavit stating that the recipient’s email is correct to the best of his knowledge.
The circular also directs the district court judges to “ensure that each and every case is being heard effectively and disposed of as early as possible”, but “within realistic timelines”. The acting chief justice has also told the district judges to allocate work by taking into consideration the field of expertise of the judicial officer so as to ensure “optimum utilisation of limited resources”.