The Calcutta High Court on Monday directed a party to pay costs of  Rs 20,000 to the Bharat Sevasram Sangha, Kolkata for unnecessarily delaying trial in a commercial suit.

The order was given by the single-judge bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya, who imposed the costs since the party (defendant number 2 in a commercial suit) sought adjournment by stating before the Court that its witness “is not willing to take the risk of travel by reason of the pandemic”.

The advocate-on-record prayed for time since his witness is not in a position to come to Court for continuing the cross-examination which had commenced sometime in February 2020.

On December 7, 2020 this matter had been fixed on January 11, 2021 as is evident from the order passed on that date. The defendant no 2 was represented but as it appears from the order, no such ground of inconvenience or otherwise was taken on that date. It is also not clear as to how the additional two weeks would encourage the witness to travel to the Court for the cross-examination,”

the bench said.

However, since it has been submitted before the Court that the advocate-on-record was “not in a position to prevail upon the witness to continue with the cross-examination”, the matter was adjourned till February 2, 2021.

“The defendant no.2 is directed to pay costs at Rs 20,000 to be paid to Bharat Sevasram Sangha, Kolkata for unnecessarily delaying the trial in a commercial suit,” the order reads, adding it is made clear no further adjournment will be given in the matter.

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