Where hearing of a suit has begun, the same must be continued day to day and an adjournment must be allowed only for unavoidable reasons.
- The power to grant adjournment is not subject to definite rules and is upto the courts discretion. It is generally granted in such cases where the parties or their pleaders or witnesses are sick or where there is non-service of summons or where reasonable time is required for preparation of the case or due to withdrawal by the pleader at the last instance, etc.
- But, it cannot be granted in cases where the pleader is engaged in a different case or where there is refusal to examine or cross-examine witnesses or due to unreasonable conduct of the party or his pleader, etc.
- The court may refuse to grant an adjournment on the basis of past conduct of the party. However, the court shall not refuse adjournment on grounds which are too technical but it must also grant an adjournment only when there is sufficient cause for the same.
- The proviso to Rule 1(1) provides that no party shall be granted an adjournment more than 3 times in a hearing.
- The court may order the party asking for the adjournment to pay costs or additional costs to the other party as under Rule 1(2). However, the same must be reasonable and commensurate to the costs incurred by the other side.
- This sub-rule also provides the following conditions for adjournment-
(a) The hearing shall ordinarily be continued till the suit is finally disposed of unless an adjournment is required for unavoidable reasons.
(b) No adjournment shall be granted on the request of a party unless it is shown that the circumstances have gone beyond the control of such party.
(c) Where adjournment is requested due to sickness of the pleader, the same shall be granted only when the party shows that he could not have arranged for another pleader within the requisite time.
(d) The fact that the pleader is engaged in another court shall not be reason enough for an adjournment.
(e) Where the parties or their pleaders are absent but the witnesses are present, the court may go ahead and conduct the cross-examination or examination in chief of such witnesses.
- Rule 2 provides that where the parties fail to appear on the day fixed, it shall proceed to decide the case as per Order IX.
- Rule 3 further states that if the parties fail to produce evidence or bring witnesses or fail to do with anything for the purpose of progress of the suit, the court shall if the parties are present, decide the suit and if they are absent, proceed with the case as provided under Rule 2.
Submitted By –
(Editor @ Legal Bites)
Author: Mayank Shekhar
Mayank is a student at Faculty of Law, Delhi University. Under his leadership, Legal Bites has been researching and developing resources through blogging, educational resources, competitions, and seminars.