Delhi HC issues Directions for Service of Copies of Documents/Pleadings to Opposite Parties

Team SoOLEGAL 19 Sep 2019 1:30pm

Delhi HC issues Directions for Service of Copies of Documents/Pleadings to Opposite Parties

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh of the Delhi High Court on August 29, 2019 has passed precised directions with regards to the issue of service & acknowledgment of documents/pleadings amongst parties.

The Court was hearing arguments in a matter but during the course of arguments, Advocate Naushad Ahmed Khan, Additional Standing Counsel for Respondent No. 1 relied upon an affidavit filed by him earlier. At the same time, the Counsel for Petitioners Advocate V. P. Rana informed the Court that did not have the copy of the said affidavit with him.

The Court then informed Mr. Rana that the court record showed that a copy was served to him against acknowledgment on the index page. Moreover, the counsel for respondent no. 1 also submitted that his court clerk had duly supplied another copy to Mr. Rana afterward.

Thereafter, the matter was passed over by the Court for clarification amongst the counsels with respect to supply of the copy of the affidavit.

After lunchtime, both the counsels mentioned the matter before the Court and submitted that the said issue of service of the affidavit was enquired into with their respective court clerks and now stood clarified amongst both the parties. The Court observed that the copy of the said affidavit in question was never actually served and the same was supplied at that time only.

Justice Singh, however, took careful note of the issue and held that:

On several occasions wrong acknowledgments are put on the documents and pleadings, without serving copies. On the other occasions it is noticed that even if copies are served legitimately, the same is denied or it is stated that complete pleadings/documents are not supplied. In order to reduce this perpetual and perennial problem in respect of service of copies between counsels and court clerks, it is deemed appropriate to pass the following directions:

  1. The acknowledgment of advance copies shall be taken on the first or second page of the index. The person acknowledging shall sign, write his name, court clerk’s registration number and his mobile number as also the party for whom the acknowledgment is being taken (Petitioner/Plaintiff/Respondent/Defendant no. 1 or 2 etc..)

  2. That Counsels shall ensure that their court clerks do not give wrong acknowledgments of service in the original pleadings/documents index filed before the Court.

  3. That any court clerk, who puts wrong signatures or ghooghi or wrong acknowledgment of the opposing counsel or court clerk would be liable for strict action.

  4. That the Counsel shall ensure that on the index at the time of filing pleadings or documents, their full names, enrolment numbers, and mobile numbers along with their e-mail addresses are specified.

  5. Advance copies in addition to the hard copies or courier copies, may also be served through email so that service is not disputed by the parties.

  6. It is made clear that in cases where counsels do not have copies of the record, they are permitted to obtain electronic copies of the Court record from the Registry of this Court”.

The Court ruled that the aforementioned directions deemed necessary in view of the fact that several adjournments were taken from the Court by parties on the ground of non-supply or non-receipt of the copies of complete documents/pleadings. It was further held that this step would make sure that court clerks are made accountable in case they give wrong acknowledgments of opposite counsels or their clerks on documents.

The focal point of the order was also, the warning passed by the Court stating that henceforth, if any court clerk is found to be indulged in any such activities as mentioned above, would be liable for strict action against him by the Court in accordance with the law.

It has further been directed by the Court that above directions be circulated on the notice board, in the cause list of the DHCBA, District Judges and District Court Bar Associations as also to the Court Clerks Association for necessary caution.

Tagged: Delhi High Court   Directions   Justice Prathiba M Singh   Service of Documents   Acknowledgement  
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