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Inordinate Delay Would Frustrate Decree Holders From Reaping Benefits: Delhi HC Modifies Guidelines For Expediting Execution Of Decrees and Award

 

While very rightly, remarkably and reasonably observing that an inordinate delay would frustrate the decree holders from reaping benefits, the Delhi High Court in a latest, landmark, laudable and landmark 108-page judgment shortly termed Bhandari Engineers – III and titled M/s Bhandari Engineers & Builders Pvt Ltd v. M/s Maharia Raj Joint Venture & Ors in EX.P.275/2012 & EX.P. 276/2012 has modified the guidelines issued by it with regards to the execution of decrees and awards by directing the lower courts to expedite the proceedings within one year of their institution. It merits no reiteration that inordinate delay would frustrate decree holders from reaping benefits. To avoid this unpalatable situation, the Delhi High Court has very rightly modified guidelines for expediting execution of decrees, award which shall be dealt with later.

To start with, this brief, brilliant and balanced judgment dated 05th August, 2020 as modified by judgment dated 24th June, 2021 authored by a Single Judge Bench of Delhi High Court sets the ball rolling by first and foremost putting forth in para 1 that, “In execution proceeding, the Executing Court has to ascertain the assets and income of the judgment-debtor to determine, whether the judgment-debtor has the means to satisfy the money decree. In many developed countries, the law prescribes a comprehensive format of affidavit of assets, income, expenditure and liabilities to be filed by the judgment-debtor at the very threshold of execution proceedings to ascertain the financial means of judgment-debtor. However, Form 16A of Appendix E under Order XXI Rule 41(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure is not exhaustive to ascertain all the assets, income, expenditure and liabilities of the judgment-debtor.”

As we see, the Bench then observes in para 2 that, “Vide judgment dated 05th December, 2019, this Court, after considering the best international practices with respect to mandatory filing of an affidavit of assets, income, expenditure and liabilities by the judgment-debtor, formulated the formats of affidavits to be filed by the judgment-debtor at the very threshold of the execution proceedings. This Court also laid down the guidelines for expeditious hearing and disposal of execution cases.”

In hindsight, the Bench then enunciates in para 3 that, “Vide judgment dated 05th December, 2019, this Court sought the response and suggestions of the Courts below as well as the Delhi High Court Bar Association on the working of the aforesaid guidelines. The Trial Courts have submitted their response. Suggestions have been received from the Bar members, which have been considered by this Court.”

Simply put, the Bench then states in para 4 that, “This Court is of the view that the directions issued by this Court in the judgment dated 05th December, 2019 and formats of the affidavits (Annexures A, B and C) formulated by this Court require modification, in order to make them more comprehensive. The judgment dated 05th December, 2019, is hereby modified. The modified directions are as under:

       Modified Directions

Of course, the Bench then rightly underscores in para 5 stating that, “Delays and difficulties in execution of decrees/awards erode public confidence and trust in the justice delivery system. Execution jurisdiction deserves special attention and expeditious disposal considering that the decree-holders have already succeeded in the litigation and hold a decree/award in their favour.”

While citing the relevant case law, the Bench then envisages in para 6 that, “In Satyawati v. Rajinder Singh, (2013) 9 SCC 491, the Supreme Court quoted the Privy Council’s judgment of 1872 that the ‘difficulties of a litigant in India begin when he has obtained a decree’ and observed that the position has not improved and the decree-holders still face the same problems. The Supreme Court further observed that if there is an unreasonable delay in execution of a decree, the decree-holder would be unable to enjoy the fruits of his success and the entire effort of successful litigant would be in vain. The relevant observations of the Supreme Court are reproduced as under: – ―

……. In relation to the difficulties faced by a decree-holder in execution of the decree, in 1872, the Privy Council had observed [General Manager of the Raj Durbhunga v. Coomar Ramaput Sing, (1871-72) 14 MIA 605 : 20 ER 912] that: (MIA p. 612)

… the difficulties of a litigant in India begin when he has obtained a decree.‖

2. Even today, in 2013, the position has not been improved and still the decree-holder faces the same problem which was being faced in the past……………

xxx           xxx            xxx

12. It is really agonising to learn that the appellant-decreeholder is unable to enjoy the fruits of her success even today i.e. in 2013 though the appellant-plaintiff had finally succeeded in January 1996. As stated hereinabove, the Privy Council in General Manager of the Raj Durbhunga v. Coomar Ramaput Sing, (1871-72) 14 MIA 605 : 20 ER 912] had observed that the difficulties of a litigant in India begin when he has obtained a decree. Even in 1925, while quoting the afore-stated judgment of the Privy Council in Kuer Jang Bahadur v. Bank of Upper India Ltd. [AIR 1925 Oudh 448 (PC)] the Court was constrained to observe that: (AIR p. 448) ―

“Courts in India have to be careful to see that the process of the Court and the law of procedure are not abused by judgment-debtors in such a way as to make courts of law instrumental in defrauding creditors, who have obtained decrees in accordance with their rights.”

13. In spite of the afore-stated observation made in 1925, this Court was again constrained to observe in Babu Lal v. Hazari Lal Kishori Lal [(1982) 1 SCC 525] in para 29 that: (SCC p. 539) ―

29. Procedure is meant to advance the cause of justice and not to retard it. The difficulty of the decree-holder starts in getting possession in pursuance of the decree obtained by him. The judgment-debtor tries to thwart the execution by all possible objections.”

xxx         xxx        xxx

16. ……… the position has not been improved till today. We strongly feel that there should not be unreasonable delay in execution of a decree because if the decree-holder is unable to enjoy the fruits of his success by getting the decree executed, the entire effort of successful litigant would be in vain.” (Emphasis Supplied)

Be it noted, the Bench then specifies in para 28 that, “Delhi High Court Rules for Execution of Decrees

The Delhi High Court Rules for execution of decrees [Volume I of High Court Rules and Orders, Part C, Chapter 12 – Part A – ‘General’] provides for expeditious disposal of the execution cases by District Courts. Rule 2 provides at least one day every week to be reserved for execution work to ensure expeditious disposal. Rules 4 and 5 provide for close supervision and control of the execution cases by the District Judge and report to the High Court in the event of any delay in the disposal of execution cases. Rules 2, 4 and 5 of Volume I of High Court Rules and Orders, Part C, Chapter 12, Part A – General of Delhi High Court Rules are reproduced hereunder: ―

CHAPTER 12

Execution of Decrees

Part A – GENERAL

2. Special Day To Be Reserved For Execution Work           Execution of decrees should receive the same attention from the Courts as original civil work and should be methodically and regularly dealt with, as expeditiously as possible. Where parties have to be heard or evidence recorded in the course of execution proceedings, notice should be given, processes issued and dates fixed as in the case of original suits. As a rule one day during the week should be reserved for execution works so as to ensure proper attention being paid to it; some times two days are necessary. District Judges are responsible for seeing that proper arrangements are made for execution work by all courts subordinate to them.

xxx           xxx          xxx

4. Distribution Of Execution Work By District Judge

District Judges should record standing orders regulating the distribution of applications for the execution of decrees among the Courts subordinate to them, providing for the disposal of cases in which decrees were passed by officers who have ceased to be attached to the district, and for carrying on the execution proceedings already pending before such officers at the time of their ceasing to be employed therein. In framing such orders, every Court should be required as far as possible, to execute all decrees passed by itself; but, where this is not possible and it is necessary to send the decree to another Court for execution, care should be taken to see that it is a Court of competent jurisdiction [Section 39(2)]. Court shall demand to be a Court of Competent jurisdiction, if at the time of making the application for the transfer of decree to it, such Court would have jurisdiction to try the suit in which such decree was passed [Section 39(3) added by Amending Act, 1976].

5. District Judge To See That Execution Work Is not Neglected In Lower Courts

Close supervision and control should be exercised by District Judges over the execution of degree business pending in all Courts subordinate to them; and where any officer is found habitually to neglect this branch of work or to dispose of it in a perfunctory manner, he should be reported to the High Court.”‖

Truth should be the Guiding Star in the Entire Judicial Process        

It is a no-brainer that the Bench then postulates in para 29 that, “It is the duty of the Court to ascertain the true assets and income of the judgment-debtor. Truth is the foundation of justice. Dispensation of justice, based on truth, is an essential feature in the justice delivery system. People would have faith in Courts when truth alone triumphs. The justice based on truth would establish peace in the society.”

 False Claims and Defences

No doubt, the Bench then points out in para 37 that, “The greatest challenge before the judiciary today is the frivolous litigation. The judicial system in the country is choked with false claims and such litigants are consuming Courts’ time for a wrong cause. False claims are a huge strain on the judicial system. False pleas are often taken and forged documents are filed indiscriminately in the Courts. The reluctance of the Courts to order prosecution encourages the litigants to raise false claims before the Court.”

             Imposition of Costs  

Needless to say, the Bench then holds in para 49 that, “Imposition of actual and realistic costs in appropriate cases would go a long way in controlling the tendency of filing false cases.”

As we see, the Bench then states quite  explicitly, elegantly and effectively in para 54 that, “The execution of decrees/awards deserve special attention considering that inordinate delay in execution proceedings would frustrate the decree-holders from reaping the benefits of the decrees/ awards.”

Conclusion 

To say the least, the Bench then states in para 54 that, “The execution of decrees/awards deserve special attention considering that inordinate delay in execution proceedings would frustrate the decree holders from reaping the benefits of the decrees/awards.”

Execution proceedings instituted within two years of the decree/award 

Briefly stated, the Bench then observes in para 55 that, “If the execution is filed within two years of the decree/award and the decree holder has disclosed the assets of the judgment debtor the Executing Court shall, on the first date of hearing, issue notice to the judgment-debtor, attach the assets of the judgment-debtor and direct the judgment-debtor to deposit the decretal amount within 30 years of the receipt of the notice.”

It is worth noting that the Bench then observes in para 56 that, “If the execution is filed within two years of the decree/award but the decree-holder has not disclosed the assets of the judgment-debtor, the Executing Court shall issue notice, attach the assets and direct the judgment-debtor to deposit the decretal amount within 30 days of the receipt of the notice.”

  Execution proceedings initiated after two years of the decree/award

It is then postulated in para 61 that, “If the execution proceedings are initiated after two years of the decree/award, the Executing Court shall, in the first instance, issue notice to the judgment-debtor to show cause as to why the decree be not executed against him. The directions relating to the deposit of amount, attachment of assets, filing of affidavit/additional affidavit of assets and the injunction to restrain the judgment-debtor from transferring/ disposing of its assets, shall be considered after the service of the judgment-debtor, unless the decreeholder has made out a case under Order XXI Rule 22 of Code of Civil Procedure.”

Restraint against judgment-debtor from transferring its assets

It is then postulated in para 62 that, “The Executing Court is empowered, at the initial stage itself, to restrain the judgment-debtor from transferring, alienating or disposing of or otherwise parting with the possession of any assets to the tune of the decretal/award amount except in the ordinary course of business such as payment of salary and statutory dues. The Executing Court shall restrain the judgment-debtor from discharging any financial liability, other than the liabilities of Banks/financial institutions, without the permission of the Executing Court.”

Detention of the judgment-debtor for failure to file the affidavit of assets

Strictly speaking, the Bench then envisages in para 64 that, “In the event of default of the judgment-debtor to file the affidavit in Form 16A Appendix E Order XXI Rule 41(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure within the stipulated time, the Executing Court shall consider detention of the judgment-debtor in civil prison for a term not exceeding three months under Order XXI Rule 41(3) of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, before passing the detention order, the Executing Court shall issue a show cause notice to the judgment-debtor and afford an opportunity of hearing. The Court may also consider examining the judgment-debtor in terms of Order XXI Rule 41(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure before detaining the judgment-debtor. After the detention order is passed, the Executing Court shall direct the decree-holder to deposit the applicable subsistence allowance which at present is @ Rs.40/- per day per person with the Executing Court for detention of the judgment-debtor. Upon deposit of the subsistence allowance, the Executing Court shall issue non-bailable warrants against the judgment-debtor for his detention.”

Frankly speaking, the Bench then makes it known in para 66 that, “The aforesaid affidavits are very comprehensive and are useful to determine whether the judgment-debtor has the means to satisfy the decree/award. In the aforesaid affidavits, the judgment-debtor is required to disclose his occupation and income from all sources in the last five years; particulars of immovable properties in his name as well as joint names; financial assets including all bank accounts, DEMAT accounts, safety deposit lockers; investments including FDRs, stocks, shares, insurance policies, loans, foreign investments; movable assets including motor vehicles, mobiles, computer, laptop, electronic gadgets, gold, silver and diamond jewellery etc.; intangible assets; garnishee(s)/trade receivables; corporate/business interests; disposal and parting away of properties; properties acquired by the family members, inheritance. A salaried judgment-debtor has to disclose the particulars of his employment including salary, D.A., commissions, incentives, bonus, perks, perquisites and other benefits, Income Tax, pension and retirement benefits etc. A self-employed judgment-debtor has to disclose the nature of business/profession, share in business/profession, net worth of the business, number of employees, amount of regular monthly withdrawals, Income Tax, net income, annual turnover/gross receipts, gross profits etc. The judgment-debtor is also required to disclose the income from other sources, namely, agricultural income, rent, interest on bank deposits and investments, dividends, profit on sale of movable/immovable assets, mutual funds, annuities etc. The judgment-debtor is also required to disclose whether he has ever been arrested or kept in detention; whether any Court has issued bailable/non-bailable warrants against him; whether he has ever been released on bail/anticipatory bail; whether he has ever been prosecuted and/or convicted; whether he has ever been declared as proclaimed offender/proclaimed person; particulars of all pending litigations, decided/disposed off litigations as well as unsatisfied decrees/awards. The judgment-debtor is further required to disclose his standard of living and lifestyle, namely, credit/debit cards, membership of clubs and other associations, loyalty programmes, social media accounts, domestic helps and their wages, mode of travel in city and outside city, category of hotels for stay, category of hospitals for medical treatment, frequency of foreign travel, frequent flyer cards, brand of mobile, wrist watch, pen, expenditure ordinarily incurred on family functions, festivals and marriage of family members, etc. Annexure C1 requires the disclosure of expenditure on housing, household expenditure, maintenance of dependents, transport, medical expenditure, insurance, entertainment, holiday and vacations, litigation expenses, discharge of liabilities etc.”

Going further, the Bench then points out in para 67 that, “The affidavit of assets, income, expenditure and liabilities is to be treated as Guidelines to determine the true financial capacity/status of the judgment-debtor. The Courts are at liberty to determine the nature and extent of information/documents necessary and to direct the judgment-debtor to disclose relevant information and documents to determine the financial capacity/status. The Courts are at liberty to pass appropriate directions as may be considered necessary to do complete justice between the parties.”

What’s more, the Bench then enunciates in para 68 that, “The Executing Court shall ensure that the filing of the affidavits by the judgment-debtor is not reduced to a mere ritual or formality. If the affidavits of the judgment-debtor are not in the prescribed format or are not accompanied with the relevant documents, the Court may take the affidavits on record and grant reasonable time to the judgment-debtor to remove the defects/deficiencies and simultaneously act on the information available in the deficient affidavit as per law.”

Without mincing any words, the Bench then states in para 69 that, “If any ground for lifting of the corporate veil of a judgment-debtor company is made out as per law, then all the Directors/Promoters (other than independent/non-executive and nominee directors) of the judgment-debtor Company shall be directed to disclose their personal assets and income in the format of Annexure A1.”

What’s more, it is then stated in para 70 that, “If any objections are filed raising claims such as HUF character or transfer, agreement to sell, mortgage, tenancy etc. to the property of the judgment-debtor (as existing on the date of the institution of proceedings in which decree was passed), the Executing Court may direct the objector to file a detailed affidavit along with all the relevant documents evidencing his claim including subsequent conduct in relation thereto.”

 Verification of assets of the judgment-debtor

It cannot be lost on us that the Bench then specifies in para 71 that, “Upon filing of affidavit in Form 16A of Appendix E under Order XXI Rule 41(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure and the additional affidavits namely Annexures A1, B1 and C1, the decree-holder shall verify the disclosures made in the affidavits, either himself or through an investigator. In appropriate cases, the Executing Court may order investigation by a Government Agency including a forensic audit, cost of which shall be borne by the decree-holder.”

   Service of interrogatories on the judgment-debtor

For the sake of clarity, the Bench then mentions in para 72 that, “If the judgment-debtor does not truly disclose all his assets and income, the decree-holder is at liberty to serve the interrogatories under Order XI of the Code of Civil Procedure and/or seek production of the relevant documents from the judgment-debtor.”

Furthermore, the Bench then holds in para 73 that, “In appropriate cases, the Court may order interrogatories, discovery, inspection, production of any document and/or order any fact to be proved by affidavit under Section 30 of Code of Civil Procedure.”

Examination of judgment-debtor under Section 165 of Indian Evidence Act

It would be pertinent to mention here that the Bench then observes in para 74 that, “The Executing Court shall, thereafter, consider whether the oral examination of the judgment-debtor is necessary under Order XXI Rule 41(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure read with Section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act. If the Executing Court considers it necessary, the Executing Court shall examine the judgment-debtor to elicit the truth. The principles relating to the scope and powers of the Court under Section 165 of the Indian Evidence Act have been summarized in Ved Parkash Kharbanda v. Vimal Bindal, (2013) 198 DLT 555, which may be referred to.”

Attachment of assets of the judgment-debtor

The Bench then hastens to add here in para 75 that, “Sections 51(b), 60 to 64 and Order XXI Rules 41 to 57 of the Code of Civil Procedure contain the provisions for attachment of properties in execution. Before attaching a property, the Executing Court shall ensure that the property does not fall in the list of properties which are exempt from attachment/sale under the Proviso to Section 60(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Executing Court shall ensure the compliance of Sections 60 to 64 and Order XXI Rules 41 to 57 of the Code of Civil Procedure with respect to the attachment of properties in execution of decrees/awards.”

Detention of judgment-debtor

To put it simply, the Bench then elucidates in para 76 stating that, “If the judgment-debtor does not satisfy the decree/award despite having means/capacity to pay, the decree-holder has to file an application for the detention of the judgment-debtor whereupon the Executing Court shall issue a show cause notice to the judgment-debtor to show cause as to why he should not be committed to civil prison. The Executing Court shall, upon being satisfied that the judgment-debtor has means to pay the decretal amount or substantial part thereof and has refused or neglected to pay the same, pass an order for detention of the judgment-debtor in civil prison for a period not exceeding three months in terms of Section 58(1)(a) of the Code of Civil Procedure. Even after release from detention, the judgment-debtor shall remain liable to satisfy the decree/award in terms of Section 58(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure. The Court shall follow the procedure laid down in Sections 51(c), 55 to 59 and Order XXI Rules 37 to 40 of the Code of Civil Procedure for detention of the judgment-debtor.”

Restitution of the decree-holder for the loss(es) on account of delay and obstruction in execution proceedings

Of course, the Bench then cogently observes in para 78 that, “The Executing Court shall pass appropriate order of restitution to reimburse the loss suffered by the decree-holder on account of delay and obstruction in the execution proceedings caused by the judgment-debtor. The Executing Court shall endeavour to place the decree-holder in the same position as he would have had been if the decree had been satisfied soon upon it being passed.”

     Imposition of costs on the judgment-debtor

Quite commendably, the Bench then strikes the right note stating in para 79 that, “Imposition of actual, realistic or proper costs and/or ordering prosecution would go a long way in controlling the tendency of introducing false claims by the judgment-debtor. The cost should be equal to the benefits derived by the litigants, and the harm and deprivation suffered by the rightful person so as to check frivolous litigations and prevent people from reaping a rich harvest of illegal acts through Court. The costs imposed by the Courts must be the real costs equal to the deprivation suffered by the rightful person and also considering how long they have compelled the other side to contest and defend the litigation in various courts. In appropriate cases, the Courts may consider ordering prosecution otherwise it may not be possible to maintain purity and sanctity of judicial proceedings.”

 

Consequences for raising false claims

It cannot be glossed over that the Bench then makes it amply clear in para 80 that, “If the judgment-debtor makes a false claim/statement in his/her affidavit, the decree-holder is at liberty to invoke Section 340 CrPC for prosecution of the judgment-debtor under Section 209 IPC. Whenever a false claim is made before a Court, it would be appropriate, in the first instance, to issue a show cause notice to the judgment-debtor to show cause as to why a complaint be not made under Section 340 CrPC for having made a false claim under Section 209 IPC and a reasonable opportunity be afforded to the judgment-debtor to reply to the same. If the facts are sufficient to return a finding that an offence appears to have been committed and it is expedient in the interest of justice to proceed to make a complaint under Section 340 CrPC, the Court need not order a preliminary inquiry. But if facts are not sufficient and there is suspicion, albeit a strong one, the Court may order a preliminary inquiry. For that purpose, the Court can direct a State agency to investigate and file a report along with such other evidence that they are able to gather. Once it prima facie appears that an offence under Section 209 IPC has been made out and it is expedient in the interest of justice, the Court should not hesitate to make a complaint under Section 340 CrPC. Reference be made to Sanjeev Kumar Mittal v. State, (2010) 174 DLT 214 for principles relating to Section 340 CrPC and H.S. Bedi v. National Highway Authority of India, 2016 (155) DRJ 259 for principles relating to Section 209 IPC.”

Quite appropriately, the Bench then observes in para 81 that, “The Courts below shall expedite the execution proceedings and shall make an endeavor to decide the execution cases within one year of their institution. The Courts below shall send the list of all pending execution cases which are more than one year old, through their respective Principal District Judges. The list shall contain the name of the case; date of institution; number of hearings that have taken place; whether the judgment-debtor has filed the affidavits of assets and income and the reasons for delay in disposal. List be prepared according to the seniority i.e. the oldest case shall be mentioned first. The Courts below shall also send a list of execution cases decided in the last one year. The Principal District Judges shall compile the lists of all their Courts and shall send them to the Registrar General of this Court by 31st October, 2021.”

For the sake of clarity, the Bench then notes in para 82 that, “These modified directions/guidelines shall apply to all execution proceedings, including the execution proceedings under Section 36 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act; execution proceedings before Motor Accident Claims Tribunals; execution proceedings before the SDM empowered to execute decree/awards as arrears of land revenue; execution proceedings before Debt Recovery Tribunals; execution proceedings under Consumer Protection Act and proceedings before NCLT/NCLAT.”

It is worth noting that the Bench then makes it pretty clear in para 83 that, “The affidavits formulated by this Court namely Annexures A1, B1 and C1 or such information from the affidavits as is considered necessary, can be directed to be filed in any proceedings in which the Court considers it necessary to ascertain the financial capacity or status of a party such as proceedings under Order XXXVIII of the Code of Civil Procedure and proceedings under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. The Arbitral Tribunals are also empowered to direct a party to file the aforesaid affidavits i.e. Annexures A1, B1 and C1 or such information from the affidavits as is considered necessary, in the proceedings under Section 17 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act to ascertain the financial capacity/status of a party.”

 

Quite forthrightly, the Bench then minces just no words to hold in para 85 that, “This Court is of the view that the mandatory filing of the affidavit of assets, income, expenditure and liabilities by judgment-debtor in a detailed prescribed form at the very threshold of execution litigation should be incorporated in the statutes, as in the developed countries. Let this suggestion be considered by the Central Government. Copy of this judgment along with Annexures A1, B1 and C1 be sent to Mr. Chetan Sharma, learned ASG for taking up the matter with Ministry of Law and Justice.”

Going ahead, the Bench then states in para 86 that, “The modified directions and format of the affidavits (Annexures A1, B1 and C1) be uploaded on the website of the District Court (in .pdf format) to enable the lawyers/litigants to download the same.”

Furthermore, the Bench then directs in para 87 that, “Copy of this judgment and modified format of affidavits of assets, income and expenditure Annexures A1, B1 and C1 be sent to the Registrar General of this Court who shall circulate it to all the District Judges for being circulated to all the concerned courts.”

Adding more to it, the Bench then also directs in para 88 that, “Copy of this judgment be sent to Mr. Rahul Mehra, learned Standing Counsel for GNCTD who shall circulate it to all the SDM’s dealing with execution cases as arrears of land revenue. The Principal Secretary (Revenue) shall ensure the compliance of these directions by all SDMs in execution cases.”

Moving on, the Bench then also states in para 89 that, “Copy of the judgment along with Annexures A1, B1 and C1 be sent to the Delhi Judicial Academy to sensitize the judges about the modified directions laid down by this Court.”

Interestingly enough, the Bench then also makes it clear in para 90 that, “National Judicial Academy is reporting the best practices of the High Courts on their website (www.nja.nic.in) under the head of Practices & Initiatives of various High Courts. Copy of this judgment along with Annexures A1, B1 and C1 be sent to National Judicial Academy.”

Adding more, the Bench then also holds in para 91 that, “Copy of the judgment along with Annexures A1, B1 and C1 be sent to the Delhi Judicial Academy to sensitize the judges about the modified directions laid down by this Court.”

Finally, the Bench then holds in para 92 that, “National Judicial Academy is reporting the best practices of the High Courts on their website (www.nja.nic.in) under the head of Practices & Initiatives of various High Courts. Copy of this judgment along with Annexures A1, B1 and C1 be sent to National Judicial Academy.”

On a concluding note, it has to be said with consummate ease that the Single Judge Bench of    Justice  JR Midha of Delhi High Court in this leading case has very rightly observed that, “Delays and difficulties in execution of decrees/awards erode public confidence and trust in the justice delivery system. Execution jurisdiction deserves special attention and expeditious disposal considering that the decree-holders have already succeeded in the litigation and hold a decree award in their favour.” The Bench also further rightly held that, “Justice is the ideal to be achieved by law. Justice is the goal of law. ‘Law as it is’, may fall short of ‘Law as it ought to be’ for doing complete justice in a cause. The gap between the two gives an occasion to the Court to develop the law by evolving juristic principles for doing complete justice according to the current needs of the society.” The developments as stated hereinabove in this notable judgment came while modifying the guidelines issued earlier by the High Court in the judgments of Bhandari Engineers-I and Bhandari Engineer-II vide judgments dated 5th December 2019 and 5th August 2020 respectively. It needs no rocket scientist to conclude that the Delhi High Court Single Judge Bench led by Justice JR Midha has very rightly modified the guidelines for expediting execution of decrees, award as inordinate delay would frustrate decree holders from reaping benefits. All these guidelines must be promptly implemented! There can be just no denying it!

Sanjeev Sirohi

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