Delhi HC chides litigants for using ‘due process of law’ defense without merit

Ashutosh Gambhir

The Delhi High Court recently passed a judgment wherein it chided certain litigants for not placing any valid defense and blindly arguing that due process of law has to be followed in their matter.

The judgment was delivered in a suit filed by one Sanjay Gupta for ejectment from a property and for recovery of arrears of rent and mesne profits.

The Court had proceeded against the defendants’ ex parte as none appeared on their behalf and passed a decree for ejectment from the premises and for recovery of Rs. 61,00,000 with interest and for recovery of mesne profits at the same rate.

The defendants then approached the Court and prayed that the order is set aside. On being asked as to what their defense was to the suit, the advocates for the defendants stated the following: –

  • That the defendants had paid the rent and were not in arrears of rent.
  • That the defendants have to be given a proper opportunity to defend the suit.
  • That all provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) have to be
    complied with and the defendants cannot be called upon at this stage,
    to state what their defense is to the claim of a decree for ejectment.
  • That the defendants should be given an opportunity to place documents
    in support of their defense.
  • That the ‘due process of law’ has to be followed.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw observed that the due process of law does not entitle a litigant to force the Court to blindly put all suits through the process of trial when the defendants in their pleading have been unable to disclose any defense. He further held that,

“A suit in which the defendants in the written statement have not disclosed any defense or raised any substantial question of law or fact which if decided in favour of the defendants, can defeat the suit claim, does not require any issues to be framed and the suit has to be decreed forthwith.

In the name of ‘opportunity’, ‘compliance with provisions of CPC’ and ‘observing due process of law’, the time of the Court is not to be wasted.”

The Court, therefore, upheld the order with regard to the decree of ejectment but set aside the recovery of Rs. 61,00,000 and disposed of the application on the condition that the defendants, till further orders, continue to pay Rs. 3,00,000/- per month to the plaintiff.

The Court then framed the issues in the matter for recovery of arrears of rent and future mesne profits and directed that the evidence is recorded in the matter.

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