The Court cannot compel a counsel to conclude cross-examination on the same day in the rarest of circumstances: Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court observed that the Court cannot compel a Counsel to conclude cross-examination on the very day when it starts except in the rarest of circumstances. This was seen in the case of SUNITA Vs. PREMWATI (CM 1097/2022) and the case was presided over by HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE C. HARI SHANKAR.


Through his learned counsel, the petitioner (defendant in this suit) informed the court that, following the questioning of the witness in issue, the cross-examination started at 3 PM and lasted for three hours until 6:10 PM. Following this, a request for an adjournment for more cross-examination was made, but the civil judge refused it. The petitioner appealed in the higher court.


The Court observed that the trial court was not justified in denying the petitioner’s request for permission to continue cross-examining the witness on the next day of the hearing because the cross-examination of the witness just started at 12:15 PM.

“That apart, the factors which have been made with the learned Civil Judge in refusing the petitioner’s request for further opportunity to cross-examine PW-1, as reflected in the impugned order dated 14th September 2022, cannot be treated as relevant. All that the learned Civil Judge observes is that the plaintiff was 80 years of age and several irrelevant questions had been put to her,” said Justice Shankar.

The court granted the petition and stated that the petitioner should be permitted to continue questioning the witness until the next hearing date when the case is scheduled before the civil judge.

 “The petitioner is commanded to use all effort to wrap up PW-1’s cross-examination on the specified date. The petitioner would not be given an adjournment in that regard, “As it considered the plea, the court made an order.


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