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A person cannot be subjected to prejudice merely because of difficulty in having his application for restoration listed before the court: The High Court of Delhi

In the present strained circumstances, it is not in the interest of justice that a person be denied the opportunity to file an application for restoration of the case and the same must be treated on urgent basis by the authorities. The aforesaid has been established by the Delhi High Court in the case of Ajay Garg v. Delhi Development Authority [W.P.(C) 6033/2021 & C.M APPLs. 19090-091/2021] which was decided by a single judge bench comprising Justice C. Hari Shankar on 28th June 2021.

The facts of the case are as follows, It is stated that Suit No. 82888/2016 had been preferred by the petitioner before the learned Senior Civil Judge, Saket, challenging the proposal of the DDA to demolish the property of the petitioner located at D66/3, Gautam Nagar, New Delhi. Said suit was dismissed by the learned Senior Civil Judge, vide order dated 8th April, 2021, under Order XVII Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Thereafter, the petitioner moved an application for restoration of the suit.

Counsel for petitioner submitted that, as the presiding officer of the court which was dealing with the petitioner’s suit is not sitting, the application for restoration has not been listed. Given the present scenario, in which the trial courts are functioning only on a virtual and restricted mode, he submits that despite his client’s best efforts, it has not been possible to have the restoration application listed before the Court. Learned Standing Counsel for the DDA, submits that the property of the petitioner has already been demolished, though the said assertion is disputed by counsel for petitioner on instructions.

After a perusal of the facts and arguments presented, the court was of the opinion that “the petitioner cannot be subjected to prejudice merely because of difficulty in having his application for restoration listed before the court, given the present strained circumstances. Therefore, the learned District Judge (South), Saket is requested to assign a suitable court to consider the application filed by the petitioner for restoration of SCJ 82888/2016 and have the matter listed before the said court on 7th July, 2021. The DDA shall maintain status quo as of now, as it exists at 05:30 p.m. on 28th June, 2021, till and subject to the decision of the appropriate court on the petitioner’s application for restoration.”

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