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Delhi court settles 100 cases in two days
December 09, 2007 15:55 IST
It was a century with no applause or standing ovation, but nevertheless an outstanding feat in itself as a court in New Delhi settled in just two days exactly 100 civil cases, which included suits dating back to 15 years.
Additional District and Sessions Judge Kamini Lau did not mind spending extra hours to finish the cases, pertaining to theft of electricity, claims with various power companies and malfunctioning of the infrastructure.
While the judiciary faces the huge arrears of cases pending at different levels in the courts, Lau showed a way out by resorting to 'conciliation proceedings' of the Civil Procedure Code, which was brought into effect in 2002 with an aim to amicably solving the dispute between the parties on expeditious basis and cut short future litigations.
The court recently settled 100 such cases, mostly over seven years old, through conciliation proceedings. The court personally intervened in advising, convincing and persuading the parties to get their rows straightened out.
As the conciliation was offered by the court, the willing parties came up with their proposals regarding the terms of settlement and the judge then helped them reconcile the matters harmoniously by reaching a meeting point where the decision was just and fair for all.
Subsequently, consent orders were prepared by the court, containing the statements of the litigants and the companies' representatives, binding them to the terms they agreed upon, and thereby cutting short future litigations like revisions or appeals that might otherwise become protracted affairs.
In what may be taken as a win-win situation, the parties' court fees were also refunded and the companies like NDPL and BSES, involved in the suits, further nodded to drop criminal proceedings against some of the consumers.
The court decided 100 such issues in two sittings in the last fortnight with the total demand of the consideration in the consent orders being over Rs 6 crore and the success ratio of the proceedings at over 60 per cent.
Kuldeep Mittal, a 62-year-old man who was coming to the court for last 12 years and got his matter settled through conciliation, said, "This is the first time I got a hearing during the span of litigation and fortunately a reprieve too."
Concurring with the court's idea of conciliation, advocate B P Aggarwal representing around 25 such consumers said, "These proceedings should be used frequently by courts as it provides an opportunity to both the sides to avert procedural wrangles and multiplicity of suits."