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Whether print out of order taken from official website of High court is admissible in evidence?

IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY
(NAGPUR BENCH)

Civil Application No. 411 of 2018 in Second Appeal No. 157 of 2017

Decided On: 19.03.2018

Ibrahim Sk. Rasool
Vs.
Mohommad Zahir Mohammad Sharif and Ors.

Hon’ble Judges/Coram:
Manish Pitale, J.

Citation: 2018(5) MHLJ 455

1. This is an application filed on behalf of the appellant in this disposed of appeal seeking extension of time for depositing amount of costs, in terms of judgment and order dated 4.9.2017 passed by this Court while disposing of Second Appeal No. 157 of 2017.

2. By the said judgment and order dated 4.9.2017, this Court had held that the First Appellate Court ought to have condoned the delay and the applicant/appellant was directed to pay costs of Rs. 5,000/- to the respondent No. 1 within a period of four weeks from the date of the said judgment and order. The parties were directed to appear before the Appellate Court on 18.9.2017.

3. It is stated in this application that the counsel for the applicant had approached the office of the Appellate Court in order to deposit the aforesaid amount of Rs. 5,000/- in terms of the judgment and order dated 4.9.2017, relying upon the copy of the said judgment and order obtained from the official website of this Court. But, the office of the Court below refused to accept the said amount on the ground that it would do so, only when an official copy of the order dated 4.9.2017 was received from this Court. An affidavit of the local counsel appearing on behalf of the applicant/appellant has been annexed to this application, wherein the said counsel has vouched for the aforesaid facts stated in the application filed on behalf of the applicant/appellant. It is further pointed out in the application that eventually the official copy from this Court reached the office of the Court below on 3.10.2017, by which time the period of four weeks granted by this court had expired. In this backdrop, this application for extension of time to deposit costs has been filed.

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4. It is indeed unfortunate that the office of the Court below refused to accept the copy of the judgment and order dated 4.9.2017 passed by this Court, which was downloaded and obtained from the official website of this Court to permit the applicant/appellant to deposit the amount of costs in terms of the said judgment and order. The insistence on an official copy of the order of this Court was absolutely uncalled for and the applicant/appellant ought to have been permitted to deposit costs on the basis of the copy of the judgment and order obtained from the official website of this Court. In fact, in a recent order dated 2.2.2018 passed by this Court at Aurangabad in Misc.Civil Application No. 244 of 2017 (Shital Krushna Dhake v. Krushna Dagdu Dhake), in the context of refusal of Courts in accepting copies of orders obtained from the official website of this Court, it has been held as follows:-

1. I am of the view that this apprehension is misplaced since the print out of the orders of this Court from the official website has sanctity and the trial Courts are expected to consider the said orders, if they are cited after taking a print out from the official website. The said orders are also available before the trial Court from the official website and there can be a counter verification to find out whether such an order is actually uploaded to the official website or not. In this backdrop, there is no harm if such a print out from the official website is placed before this Court.

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3. It is informed by the learned Advocates that, in several cases before various trial Courts, the learned Judges insist on production of the certified copy of the order and they are not inclined to consider the print out of an order from the official website of the Bombay High Court, as being are liable document. As observed in the foregoing paragraphs, in the event of any doubt in the mind of the learned Judge, it can be checked from the official website of the Bombay High Court as to whether such an order has been uploaded or not? Once the order is uploaded on the official website, it is a reliable document to be considered by the Court before whom it is cited.

4. Since several lawyers in the Court room have addressed this Court on this common issue, the learned Registrar (Judicial) of this Court is directed to circulate this order to all the learned Principal District judges of the District Courts in Maharashtra, so as to bring this aspect to the notice of all the learned Judges working in the judicial districts in this State.”

5. Following the aforesaid observations made by this Court, it is evident that in the present case also the office of the Court below was not justified in refusing to permit the applicant/appellant to deposit costs in terms of the judgment and order dated 4.9.2017 passed by this Court, on the basis of a copy of the same obtained from the official website of this Court. As observed in the aforementioned order passed by this Court, a copy of order passed by this Court obtained from the official website of this Court cannot be doubted and the veracity of the same can be very well confirmed by the Courts below by accessing the official website of this Court to see whether such order has been indeed uploaded on the website. Therefore, the insistence on ”official copies” is wholly misplaced and it leads to unnecessary delays and multiplicity of applications and proceedings leading to waste of valuable time of the Court. The approach of Courts cannot be archaic and it must keep pace with the march of technology. In fact, advancements in technology must be utilized by the Court system in aid of accelerating procedural aspects of the justice delivery system.

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6. In this backdrop, the instant application is allowed. The applicant/appellant is granted extension of time of ten days from today to make deposit of amount of costs, as directed in the judgment and order of this Court dated 4.9.2017. It is made clear that if the applicant/appellant and/or his counsel approaches the Court below with a copy of the order passed today, taken from the official website of this Court, the Court below shall abide by the directions given in this order.

7. The application is disposed of accordingly.

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