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Courts are supposed to decide cases on merits and not on technicalities: High Court of Uttarakhand.

The liberal approach has to be adopted in such matters to do complete justice between the parties, particularly in cases where the other side can be compensated with costs. A single Judge bench comprising Hon’ble justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari, in the matter of Mohd. Yunus Vs. Sri Naveen Jha (WRIT PETITION (M/S) No. 806 of 2021).

In the present case, the respondent had sought the release of a shop by filing an application under Section 21(1)(a) of U.P. Act No. 13 of 1972, in which the petitioner is the respondent. The petitioner was aggrieved by the order, whereby the adjournment application moved on his behalf was rejected and his opportunity for filing objection was also closed on the ground that adequate time has already been given to the petitioner for filing the objection.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that due to fever, the petitioner’s counsel could not file an objection to the release application within the given time. In support, they referred to the writ petition, which indicated that the petitioner’s counsel was vaccinated for COVID-19. The counsel also gave an undertaking that objection to the release application shall be filed positively within one week.

The counsel for the respondent contested that the petitioner is trying to delay, as several opportunities were granted to him, but he did not file his objection. The court observed- “Courts are supposed to decide cases on merits and not on technicalities. The liberal approach has to be adopted in such matters to do complete justice between the parties, particularly in cases where the other side can be compensated with costs.”  It also referred to the Supreme Court’s statement in the case of the State of Punjab & another Vs. Shamlal Murari & another, reported in (1976) 1 SCC 719, where it stated that “Courts are to do justice, not to wreck this end product on technicalities.” Thereby the writ petition was allowed and the petitioner was given liberty to file an objection to 3 the release application within ten days from today, subject to payment of the cost of ` 10,000/- to the respondent within one week.

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