Chandigarh, May 26
In a significant judgment liable to cut undue delay in disposal of the proceedings pending before the revenue courts in the states of Punjab, Haryana and the Union Territory of Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued five commandments, including use of messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
Justice Arvind Singh Sangwan asserted it was necessary to issue the directions to the Chief Secretaries of the states of Punjab and Haryana, as well as the UT Administrator, to further issue necessary guidelines to the revenue courts.
The direction came on a contempt of court petition alleging non-compliance of an HC order passed on October 10, wherein a direction was issued to dispose of a partition application within six months considering the fact that the plea had been pending for the last 19 years.
Breaking new ground in the country’s judicial system, Justice Sangwan asserted the service of notices, summons and exchange of pleadings might be done by e-mail, FAX and commonly used instant messaging services such as WhatsApp, Telegram and Signal. While accepting the pleadings, all revenue courts would insist upon the parties and the advocates representing them to provide e-mail address and phone number with WhatsApp facility.
Justice Sangwan added all notices to the lawyers in future might be issued on e-mail or other commonly used instant messaging services. The Bench also called for doing away with the procedure of “munadi” or drawing public attention through the beat of drums in cases where a party was avoiding the service of summons.
Describing it as an “obsolete procedure”, Justice Sangwan asserted the system was required to be discarded in wake of advancement of technology.
Justice Sangwan asserted: “So far as the filing the appeals/revisions under the Act is concerned, the original record may not be requisitioned by the appellate/revisional court and only the scanned copy/photocopy of the record be sent to the appellate/revisional court.”
Justice Sangwan also directed the HC Registrar-General to communicate the order to the Chief Secretaries of Punjab and Haryana, as well as the UT Administrator, for necessary compliance. Directions were also issued for the filing of a compliance affidavit by the next date of hearing in October first week.
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