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Calcutta High Court on Monday imposed Rs 20,000 cost on the defendant for unnecessarily delaying the trial in a commercial suit by seeking adjournments continuously. The defendant had sought an adjournment in the matter citing the risk of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The adjournment was sought by the second defendant in a 2016 commercial suit of Pioneer Property Management Limited v. Amazon Sellers Private Limited and anr.

The defendant’s advocate submitted that the witness is not in a position to come for the cross-examination in view of the ongoing pandemic situations. The cross-examination had started in February 2020.

The advocate stated before the court that the witness is not willing to take the risk to travel in such conditions and therefore urged the court to adjourn the matter till February 2021.

Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya pulled up the defendant while observing that no such inconvenience was stated on the last date of hearing on December 7 when the next date was fixed on January 11, 2021.

“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,” said Justice Bhattacharya. The matter has been adjourned to February 2 with a strict instruction that no further adjournment will be given in the matter.

“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 court order stated.

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