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The plaintiff has only itself to blame in case where defendant thwarts any prospect of hearing the suit : The High Court of Calcutta

In the case where a party defendant deliberately, intentionally, mischievously thwarts any prospect of the hearing of the suit, the plaintiff has only himself to blame for the appalling state of affairs. In the case of The Calcutta Stock Exchange Limited v. Sudhir Satnaliwala[CS/293/2002 & CS/GA/4/2019] led by the bench of Mr Justice Ravi Krishan Kapur in the Hon’ble High Court of Calcutta.

An application is filed by the defendant for further and better particulars with alternative prayer for extension of time to file the written statement.

On 3 July 2002, the plaint was presented before this Hon’ble Court. A copy of the plaint was served on the defendant on 7 October 2002. On 8 April 2003, an application was filed by the defendant whereby the time to file the Written Statement was extended by a period of six weeks. The original time period for filing the written statement expired. Thereafter, on 30 October 2017, the present Advocate-on-Record on behalf of the plaintiff was appointed. In May 2018 the plaintiff filed an application for amendment of the name of the plaintiff. On 23 June 2018, the amended plaint was served on the defendant. On 18 July 2018, the defendant prayed for leave to file Vakalatnama which was granted on 29 August 2018 and the defendant was also granted 4 weeks’ time to file his written statement. On 29.09.2018 the stipulated time period for filing of the written statement expired. On 4 December 2018, the suit was dismissed for default due to the non-appearance of the plaintiff. On 20 December 2018, the order of dismissal of the suit was recalled and a further weeks’ time period was granted to the defendant to file the written statement. On 23 January 2019, the time period to file the 3 written statements expired. Thereafter, on 24 January 2019, the defendant filed the instant application seeking further and better particulars and alternatively praying for an extension of time to file his written statement. In the said application the parties filed their respective pleadings. The matter thereafter had appeared on 23 September 2021 at the instance of the Department. Significantly, neither the plaintiff nor the defendant has made any effort to have this application listed for hearing.

it was submitted on behalf of the defendant that the written statement was ready and the same be taken on record. On behalf of the plaintiff, it was submitted that there has been an undue and inordinate delay on the part of the defendant.

The High Court of Calcutta directed “this is another case where a party defendant deliberately, intentionally, mischievously thwarts any prospect of the hearing of the suit. And of course, if the defendant has been scheming then the plaintiff has only itself to blame for the appalling state of affairs.”

The court concluded, “that the defendant has prepared the written statement and prays for liberty to file the same and keeping in mind the adversarial nature of litigation which our jurisprudence encourages, the time to file the written statement is extended peremptorily by a period of 1 week from the reopening of the ensuing Puja Vacation upon payment of costs assessed at Rs.5 lakhs payable to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, West Bengal within a period of 2 weeks from the date of this judgment.”

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