Says given enormous and inevitable delays, winner in judicial process turns to be actual ‘loser’; upholds trial court’s verdict
SRINAGAR: A court here has observed that due to “enormous and inevitable delays in judicial adjudication, most of the times, the winner turns out to be the actual loser.”
The Court of 4TH District Judge Srinagar, Gowhar Majid Dalal, made the remarks while upholding a judgment of the trial court, which had on 31 December last year ordered a tenant— Mohammad Syed Nazki— to handover shop to landlords at Killi Masjid Saraf Kadal Srinagar to bring to close a litigation instituted nearly two decades ago.
“Given the enormous and inevitable delays in judicial adjudication, most of the times, the winner turns out to be the actual loser. The victory remains hollow: a pyrrhic victory (a victory that is not worth winning because the winner has lost so much in winning it),” the appellate court, 4th District Judge Srinagar, said while taking cue from Kerala High Court’s verdict in Sunil Mathew v. Union of India.
“Interim order or no interim order, procedural delays or other reasons, unless the blame rests on the petitioner, the delay in the court’s disposing the matter should not hurt him,” the court said, as per the order copy with GNS, adding, “If mere delay with nothing more were to defeat a person’s right, it would only put a premium on those who take delight in delaying and dragging the proceedings.”
Referring to the case in hand, the court said, the appellant (Nazki) besides doing business, is a retired government employee, with an alternate shop of SDA, which is vacant.
“It is also not indisputable that landlord is having big family, where as tenant retired, his sons are settled. There is Bona-fideness and reasonableness in the grounds projected by respondents (landlords),” the court said and upheld the verdict by trial court, observing that “there is no error on facts and law in the judgment and needs no interference by this court.”
The trial court—Sub-Registrar /Civil Judge Srinagar—had on 31 December 2022 ordered the tenant to vacate and handover the possession of the shop to the landlords within a period of two months and in default he was held liable to pay to the landlords the damages at the rate of Rs. 1,000 (Rupees One Thousand Only) per day till the suit shop was handed over to landlords.
The landlords had actually filed the case in 2004, seeking directions to the tenant, Mohammad Syed Nazki, to vacate the shop situated at Killi Masjid Saraf Kadal Srinagar.
As per the landlords, they rented out the shop to the tenant in March 1987 and according to an agreement between them, the shop was to be handed over after one year. However, the court trial observed that the tenant did not vacate the shop after the expiry of the agreement and handed it over to them despite their repeated demands. The landlords, through their counsel Sajad Sofi, had contended that they need the shop back for their personal requirement as they were repeatedly in need of it so as to have a source of income to support their family. The landlords said that the tenant neither vacated the shop nor did he pay the rent from April 2002.
After hearing the parties, the trial court, besides ordering the tenant to vacate the shop within two months, also ordered him to pay the rent on account of occupation of the shop from April 2002 at the rate of Rs 75 per month alongwith 9% interest per annum. (GNS)