By Shadrack Muyesu
In a most curious decision, The Supreme Court of India struck a devastating blow for proponents of simple English when it set aside a High Court verdict decrying its incomprehensible language. In a short but terse judgment for an appeal arising out of the impugned decision of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh (of India) in Sarla Sood and Ors vs Pawan Kumar Sharma CR No. 184/2011, the Court observed, “After hearing learned counsel, it is not possible to comprehend the contents of the impugned order passed by the High Court.” It then returned the matter to the High Court for fresh consideration on merits.
The dispute started in November 1999 when the landlord filed an eviction suit against his tenant on the ground of non-payment of rent.
More than a decade later, the landlord got a warrant of possession in 2011. However, it could only be partly executed and the tenant was evicted only from the portion of the rented property where he ran a shop.
But the High Court stayed the subordinate court’s order and the tenant continued with the possession of the residential premises. In December 2016, the High Court set aside the eviction order holding that the rent amount was received by the landlord – who then moved the Supreme Court.
While it is almost inconceivable that a court, the status of a Supreme Court nonetheless, would confess ignorance of the queens language, such was the poor quality of the English used in the verdict that even the lawyers representing both the parties could not understand or assist the judges understand it. Here are portions of the eight-page Justice Sureshwar Thakur judgment in question.
Summarising the matter before him, the learned Judge begins:
The Judgment debtor/petitioner herein, tenant in the demised premises stands aggrieved by the pronouncement made by the learned Executing Court upon his objections constituted therebefore vis-a-vis the execution petition constituted thereat by the Decree holder/landlord, wherewithin the apposite unfoldments qua his resistance to the execution of the decree stood discountenanced by the learned Executing Court…
Analysing the facts and the submission by counsel, he proceeds as follows:
“Even though, this Court has partially blunted the effect of the aforesaid communication occurring in the testification of the GPA of the decree holder qua the tenant/JD not holding any liability qua the landlord vis-a-vis liquidation qua him of rent for the period commencing from 1.9.1995 upto the date of payment, whereupon, this Court concludes qua its entailing the effect of the Executing Court ordering for issuance of warrants of possession upon the judgment debtor yet before ordering, the learned Executing Court to make the aforesaid pronouncement, this Court is enjoined to also not remain oblivious to the factum of the executable decree standing rendered in the year 1999 by the learned Rent Controller concerned in Rent Petition No. 1- 2 of 1996, also this Court stands enjoined to not remain unmindful to the factum of the landlord subsequent to his obtaining a verdict in Rent Petition No. 1-2 of 1996 his also qua the demised premises instituting Rent Petition No.10/2 of 2003 before the learned Rent Controller concerned, during proceedings whereof the GPA of the landlord made a communication displaying his acquiescence qua the tenant liquidating his liability of rent qua the demised premises in sequel to the pronouncement made in Rent Petition No. 1-2 of 1996. Though, the acquiescence of the GPA of the landlord would not erode the play of the dicktat of the relevant statutory mandatory provisions enjoining the tenant to within the time prescribed therewithin deposit his apposite judicially determined liability of arrears of rent before the Court concerned, whereas, evidently with the tenant not liquidating his apposite liability within the statutorily ordained period for its liquidation whereupon the statutory consequence qua the Executing Court ordering for issuance of warrants of possession qua him is an inevitable ensuing sequel therefrom…
He then concludes in the following manner:
“The summom bonum of the aforesaid discussion is that all the aforesaid material which existed before the learned Executing Court standing slighted besides their impact standing untenably undermined by him whereupon the ensuing sequel therefrom is of the learned Executing Court while pronouncing its impugned rendition overlooking the relevant and germane evidence besides its not appreciating its worth. Consequently, the order impugned suffers from a gross absurdity and perversity of misappreciation of material on record. Accordingly, the instant petition is allowed and the order impugned is quashed and set aside. In sequel, the apposite execution petition seeking execution of the verdict pronounced in Rent Petition No.1-2 of 1996 is dismissed, whereas, the objections instituted thereat by the JD/petitioner herein/tenant are allowed. All the pending applications also stand disposed of.”
Speak of getting oneself in a fix! (