CPC Case Brief – Kokkanda B. Poondacha v. K.D. Ganapathi

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Facts – Respondent wanted to bring appellant’s lawyer as a witness. The trial court doesn’t allow stating that it is important for them to give a reason for what purpose they intend to use him as a witness. On appeal, HC decided no reasons were required to be given.

Issue – Whether the High Court could interfere with the order of the trial Court without considering the question whether the said order was vitiated due to want of jurisdiction or the trial Court had exceeded its jurisdiction in deciding the application of the Respondents and the order passed by it has resulted in a failure of justice?

Holding – Article 227 gives supervisory power to High Court. The power is discretionary and has to be exercised very sparingly on equitable principle. The object of superintendence under Article 227, both administrative and judicial, is to maintain efficiency, smooth and orderly functioning of the entire machinery of justice in such a way as it does not bring it into any disrepute. The power of interference under Article 227 is to be kept to the minimum to ensure that the wheel of justice does not come to a halt and the fountain of justice remains pure and unpolluted in order to maintain public confidence in the functioning of the tribunals and courts subordinate to the High Court. Held, that there was a misuse of this power in this case.

One of the most important duty imposed upon an advocate is to uphold the interest of the client fearlessly by all fair and honourable means. An advocate cannot ordinarily withdraw from engagement without sufficient cause and without giving reasonable and sufficient notice to the client. If he has reason to believe that he will be a witness in the case, the advocate should not accept a brief or appear in the case.  – In this case, doesn’t allow as they never objected to this lawyer representing the other side and all of a sudden wanted to make him a witness after 11 years so as to compel him to drop the case.

It would be a prudent exercise of discretion by the Court to insist that the party filing the list of witnesses should briefly indicate the purpose of summoning the particular person as a witness.

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