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`Civil courts not to give suo-motu findings`

Last Updated: Friday, October 2, 2009 - 12:56

New Delhi: A civil judge cannot give suo-motu findings on a proposition which has neither been raised nor denied during the proceedings as it amounts to arbitrary use of discretionary power, a Delhi court has said.

"Civil courts can only decide on aspects asserted by one party and denied by the other. No findings can be given suo-motu on aspects and proposition neither pleaded nor
affirmed," Additional District Judge Kamini Lau said.
The court also came down heavily on the judge for granting relief of possession under the "garb of injunction" to persons who were neither in actual or deemed possession of
the property despite the fact that they had already availed the benefit of alternative accommodation.

"Discretion can only be used to do justice. Arbitrary use of discretionary power is nothing less than judicial abuse if allowed to go unchecked," Lau said.

"What is most shocking is that when the plea of the occupants having availed the benefit of alternative accommodation was raised, the trial judge lightly brushed it aside...," the court added.

The court`s observations came on an appeal filed by Slum and JJ Department of the MCD against the judgement of a lower court restraining the department and the DDA from
demolishing constructions raised on different plots at Angoori Ghatta in old Delhi.

The alleged claimants of the properties had already been provided with alternative accommodations, the court noted.

ASJ Lau rapped the lower court for going beyond the pleadings of the case, while granting relief to the claimants of the properties.
The court expressed surprise on the order of the civil judge questioning the legality of acquisition proceedings relating to the properties which were conducted in 1950.

"The trial court has seriously erred in going into the legality of the acquisition proceedings of the year 1950 despite the fact that they were never challenged before it,"
Lau said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, October 2, 2009 - 12:56

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