Parties and their counsel are responsible for delay in disposal of the cases: CompAT imposed cost of Rs. 20,000/- upon a party for causing adjournment

Competition Appellate Tribunal: The Chairperson, Justice G.S. Singhvi, of the Competition Appellate
Tribunal who alone is hearing a large number of appeals against CCI orders,
compensation applications under the Competition Act, 2002, and transferred
cases under the erstwhile MRTP Act, 1969 took a serious note of delays cased by
the parties of the cases before the tribunal. It is noteworthy that the CompAT
is functioning without its members since last one year, as the government has
not filled the vacancy.

The present case
for compensation under S. 12-B of the MRTP Act, pending for last seven years, has been adjourned on one or the
other pretext in seven years time. In the last one year, as the chairperson
observed, there have been five adjournments at hearing before the registrar.
Parties were neither appearing nor were submitting any affidavit. The tribunal
said that:

“The manner in which the parties have conducted
this case gives impression that both the sides are extremely casual and they
have taken benefit of the extra liberal attitude exhibited by the erstwhile
Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission and the Tribunal. In
recent times, it has become a fashion to blame the courts and other
adjudicatory bodies for delay in disposal of the cases, though in most of the
cases, the parties and their counsel are responsible for this. It is they who
seek adjournments on one or the other ground and succeed in delaying final
adjudication of the matter.”

To curb such practices of causing delay the
tribunal imposes cost of Rs. 20,000 on the respondent company for causing
adjournment for the days proceeding. Also, in one of
its order in another leading case the tribunal warned Cement Manufacturing
Association and the CCI that
the cases shall not be adjourned on the next date of hearing and if any
miscellaneous application is filed to prolonging the hearing and then the
concerned applicant may have to suffer heavy cost.  [James Kutty v. Tread Stone Limited, order on 07.08.2015]

Source: Legal news India

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