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Verdict After 29 Years, Trial Judge Owns Responsibility

PTI 14 Aug 2011, 11:43:28 IST

New Delhi, Aug 14:  In a rare admission, a Delhi court has accepted responsibility for the inordinate delay of almost three decades by its predecessors in deciding a tenancy row, saying the prolonged trial denied justice.

“As I have written this judgment, I shoulder all the responsibility on behalf of all my predecessors for delay caused in present case and will endeavour in future to give speedy justice to litigants,” judge Abhilash Malhotra said.

“Before closing this case, I am unable to keep my eyes off from the famous maxim ‘Justice delayed is Justice denied'.  The present suit was instituted in 1982.

“This case has seen seasons in trial court for around 29 years and approaching the appellate court is still a legal remedy which is available to the parties. Pendency of huge number of cases can never be made an excuse to run away from expeditious disposal of cases,” the judge said.

The court's observation came in a judgment on a case filed by two Delhi-based brothers seeking repossession of a plot from their tenant at Karol Bagh here.

In law, welfare of the people is paramount but giving a decision after such a long period (29 years) could not be said to be a welfare exercise, the judge said.

“A sincere effort is required on part of all of us to provide expeditious disposal to old cases. The delay in decisions may kill the legislative intent and there is huge possibility of suit becoming infructuous,” he said.

“It is common for people in 80s and 90s to get partial hip replacement surgery done. Hip fractures are quite common in this age-group but it was actually the grit of Vidyavati Chopra which makes her stand-out,” Dr Magazine said. 

Even with faded eye sight and hard of hearing, Vidyavati does not fail to recognise Dr Magazine who gave her this new lease of life. As soon as she sees him, she immediately clogs on to her walker to help her demonstrate and assure the doctor that she can now walk around with no help from others.  “He is my dear friend,” she keeps humming as Dr Magazine expresses happiness over the success of the surgery.

“Even as her family members were in doubt to give a go ahead for the surgery, Vidyavati was ready to go under the scalpel and this was an assuring sign,” he said.

A team of doctors led by Dr Magazine replaced her fractured bone with an artificial one made of steel using special bone cement as her bones are too fragile to take the load of screws. PTI