Shailendra Kumar Sisodiya vs Rani Sisodiya @ Ranjana – CPC – Written Statement

Code Of Civil Procedure, 1908; Order VIII Rule 1 –As regards the timeline for filing of written statement in a non-commercial dispute, the unamended Order 8 Rule 1 CPC continues to be directory and does not do away with the inherent discretion of courts to condone certain delays – Referred to Atcom Technologies Ltd. v. Y.A. Chunawala & Co. reported in (2018) 6 SCC 639- Although the unamended Order 8 Rule 1 CPC is directory, it cannot be interpreted to bestow a free hand to on any litigant or lawyer to file written statement at their own sweet will and/or to prolong the lis. The legislative objective behind prescription of timelines under CPC must be given due weightage so that the disputes are resolved in a time-bound manner. Inherent discretion of courts, like the ability to condone delays under Order 8 Rule 1 is a fairly defined concept and its contours have been shaped through judicial decisions over the ages. Illustratively, extreme hardship or delays occurring due to factors beyond control of parties despite proactive diligence, may be just and equitable instances for condonation of delay – Referred to Desh Raj v. Balkishan, (2020) 2 SCC 708. (Para -9)

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