Supreme Court dismisses SLP against Delhi High Court decision holding 45-day period for filling replication as mandatory in even Non- Commercial Suits.

On Monday, the Supreme Court of India rejected your preferred SLP and upheld the Delhi High Court’s ruling that even a normal non-commercial civil claim requires up to 45 days to refute, and the court no longer approve copying.

Judge D. Chandrachud, R. Subhash Reddy and Ravindra Bhat heard the SLP against an October 2020 decision by the divisional court of the Delhi High Court confirming the Single judge’s order that the court of the joint registrar and / or the court was not empowered to remove the delay in filing the response beyond 45 days, which is the period provided for in the Delhi High Court Rules (original page), 2018.

“It can be stated that Rule 5 of chapter 7 of the Rules, 2018 gives that the replication, if any will be filed inside 30 days of receipt of the written statement”. If the court is also convinced that for exceptional and unavoidable reasons, the plaintiff was unable to provide the reply within 30 days, it may extend the reply period for a further period of up to 15 days. If there is no response within the extended period, the secretary shall immediately submit the matter to the court in accordance with the relevant order.

Judge Chandrachud said: when we say that rule is prescriptive and non-binding, all the provisions of the Commercial Court Act and the Civil Procedure Code have been pushed into the context of quick resolution of the problem.

Judge Bhat asked: The introduction of the Commercial Court Act and the deadline revision of C.P.C. are not unreasonable. Why delay the power of either party?

Judge Chandrachud added to that is here the issue is regarding the replication not of a written statement. Rule 5 does not say that the plaintiff “must” answer. If there is no answer, how will they hurt you? This does not mean that you accept a written complaint. This is a sec 92 (CPC) litigations. The plaintiff is not obliged to refute the written statement. These are written principles. You can submit evidence after the written statement.

Justice Bhat remarked that: according to the CPC, a written statement must be approved by the court before a reply can be made. This is not an absolute right. This practice only existed 35-40 years before the establishment of the High Court, so it was legal. You can’t ask that when the entire country is moving in one direction, and the High Court of Delhi should move in the other direction. So someone will start to insist on one answer, one answer.

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