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An innocent litigant should not suffer for the default of his chosen Advocate: Allahabad High Court

A litigant who has done everything in his power expected of him should not suffer for the inaction, deliberate, omission, or misdemeanor of his Advocate. Such an observation was made by the Hon’ble Allahabad High Court before Hon’ble Justice Ramesh Sinha in the matter of Shiv Kumar Pandey vs State Of U.P. Through Secy. Agriculture & Ors [SPECIAL APPEAL DEFECTIVE No. – 417 of 2021] on 26.10.2021.

The facts of the case involved a recall appeal with an appeal for condonation of delay which was rejected by the learned Single Judge on 14.09.2021. The contention of the applicant was that he was knew nothing about the order dated 26.03.2014 by which his writ petition was dismissed.

Having heard the counsels for both the parties the Hon’ble High Court took in reference t the case of Rafiq and Anr. v. Munshilal and Anr. : AIR 1981 SC 140 and Smt. Lachi and Ors. v. Director of Land Records and Ors. : AIR 1984 SC 41 in which while dealing with a similar issue the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that “What is the fault of the party who has done everything in his power expected of him, would suffer because of the default of his advocate…. The problem that agitates us is whether it is proper that a party should suffer for the inaction, deliberate omission, or misdemeanor of his agent…. We cannot be a party to an innocent party suffering injustice merely because his chosen advocate defaulted.” Additionally, The Hon’ble High Court also took into account the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in which it was held that “It is true that in certain situations, the Court may, in the interest of justice, set aside a dismissal order or an ex parte decree notwithstanding the negligence and/or misdemeanor of the advocate where it finds that the client was an innocent litigant but there is no such absolute rule that a party can disown its advocate at any time and seek relief. No such absolute immunity can be recognized. Such an absolute rule would make the working of the system extremely difficult.

Finally, the Hon’ble High Court allowed the instant appeal by stating that in the interest they deem it appropriate to allow the instant appeal and set aside the order date 14.09.2021.

Click Here To Read The Judgment.

Judgment Reviewed by: Rohan Kumar Thakur

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