Monday, October 14, 2019 | ePaper

Non-obtaining signature in mediation report is a mere irregularity

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High Court Division
(Special Original Jurisdiction)     
Zinat Ara   J
Kazi Md Ejarul Haque  Akondo J
Mohammad Ali………………Petitioner
                    VS
Judge,  Artha Rin Adalat, Chittagong
And  others… ...................Respondents

Judgment  
August 7th, 2017
Artha Rin Adalat Ain (VIII of 2003)    
Section 22 (4)
The mediator without following the provision of Section 22 (4) of the Ain, 2003 submitted report before the Adalat  without taking signatures or thumb impressions of the parties on the report and without signatures of the learned Advocates for the parties therein, which is a clear violation of mandatory provision of law…….(9)
Artha Rin Adalat Ain (Vlll of 2003)
Section 57
The mediator took initiative to settle the dispute amicably between the parties and to that effect he sat with the parties concerned for several days but failed to settle the dispute and in that view of the matter the mediator submitted his report before the Adalat without taking signatures or thumb impressions of the parties thereon. Since the parties failed to settle the dispute among them amicably, and it was not the case of the petitioner that the mediator did not seat with the parties for several days to settle the matter through mediation, non obtaining signatures of the parties is a mere irregularity and not illegality…………..(10)        
Afroza Nazneen Akther, Advocate-For the Petitioner.
Sheikh Mohammad Zakir Hossain, Advocate-For Respondent No. 2.
Judgment
Kazi Md Ejarul Haque Akondo J : In this Rule Nisi, issued under Article 102 (2) of the Constitution of the People's  Republic of Bangladesh, the respondents were called  upon to show cause as to why Order  No. 41 dated 22-10-2014 allowing  the mediation report submitted by the mediator on 29-1-20I5 in Artha Rin Suit No. 47 of 2012 without  complying with the provision of section 22(4) of the' Artha Rin  Adalat Ain, 2003 as contorted in Annexure-C  should not be declared to have been  passed without lawful authority  and is of no legal effect and as  to why a direction should  not be given to respondent No. 1, the Judge, Artha Rin Adalat, Chittagong for taking step of further  mediation before any  verdict in the Artha Rin Suit No. 47 of 2012 and/or pass such other  or further order or orders as to this Court may deem fit and proper.
2. At the time of issuance of the rule, all further proceedings  of Artha Rin Suit No. 47 of 2012 now pending before respondent No. 1, the judge, Artha Rin Adalat No. 1 Chittagong was stayed for a period of 6 (six) months from date, which was subsequently extended from time to time.

3. Facts for the purpose of disposal of the rule, in short, are that on 10-5-2012, respondent No. 3 as plaintiff instituted Artha Rin Suit No. 47 of 2012 before the Artha Rin Adalat, Chittagong (hereinafter referred to as the Adalat) against m/S Imam Motors and its proprietor i.e. the present petitioner for recovery of the defaulted loan amount of Taka 1,50,00,698 with interest till realization thereof (Annexure-A). The petitioner has been contesting the suit by filing a written statement on 18-11-2012 denying the material assertions of the plaint (Annexure-B). Thereafter, on 17-4-2013 the petitioner filed an application under Section 22 of the Artha Rin Adalat Ain, 2003 (shortly, the Ain, 2003) with a prayer for direction to settle the dispute between the parties out of the court. Upon hearing the same the learned Judge of the Adalat by order dated 17-4-2013 rejected the application and fixed the next date on 19-5-2013 for peremptory hearing (PH). Being aggrieved by the same, the petitioner filed a writ petition being No.5757 of 2013 After hearing the same, one of the Benches of this Division directed the Adalat to dispose of the application filed by the petitioner under Section 22 of the Ain 2003 as per the provision of Section 24 of the Ain, 2003. Pursuant thereto, the Adalat by its order dated 10-7-2013 rejected the said application of the petitioner.
4. Thereafter, again on 10-10-2013 the petitioner filed another application under Section 57 of the Ain 2003, for settling the dispute by appointing a mediator under Section 22 of the Ain, 2003, The Adalat after hearing the parties by order dated 23-10-2013 allowed the  application and appointed respondent No.4 as mediator fixing the next date on 1-1-2014 for submission of mediation report. The mediator submitted his report before the Adalat on 29-1-2014 stating that the parties concerned could not settle the matter amicably and the Adalat by its order dated 22-10-2014 accepted the report and withdrew the suit from the stage of mediation and fixed the suit for further hearing.  Being aggrieved by the same, the petitioner has filed this application and obtained the instant rule.
5. At the outset, Ms Afsana Nazneen Akter, the learned Advocate  appearing on behalf of the petitioner submits that the mediator submitted the mediation report before the Adalat without taking signatures or thumb impression of the parties, on the report   and without signatures of  the learned  Advocates for the parties violating the  provision of Section 22(4) of the Ain, 2003 and 3 the Adalat on misconception of law accepted  the report and withdrew the suit from the stage  of mediation and thereby, committed an error of law.
6. On the other hand, Mr Sheikh Mohammad Zakir Hossain, the leaned Advocate appearing on behalf of respondent No. 2 by placing an affidavit-in-opposition submits that the mediator submitted his report  within the extended period of time as per the provision of Section 22(5) of the Ain, 2003 within 90 days and therefore, the decision taken by the Adalat in respect of mediation is lawful and thereby the Adalat committed no illegality.
7. We have perused the writ petition, affidavit-in-opposition and gone through the relevant provision of law.
8. It appears that the Adalat allowed the mediation application of the petitioner lastly on 23-10-2013 and appointed a mediator fixing 1-1-2014 for submission of report. Thereafter, the learned Judge of the Adalat extended time for submission of mediation report on many occasions and lastly the mediator submitted his   port on 29-1-2014 stating that he tried to mediate the dispute amicably but the parties concerned failed to reach in any amicable settlement. The said mediation report is quoted thereinafter below for better understanding
  “ মাননীয় জজ
অর্থঋণ আদালত-১, চট্টগ্রাম।
বিষয়ঃ অগ্রণী ব্যাংক লিমিটেড-বনাম-মেসার্স ইমাম মোটরস গং এর অর্থঋণ মামলা নং-৪৭/২০১২ মধ্য¯'তাকারী কর্তৃক প্রতিবেদন দাখিল প্রসঙ্গে।
মহোদয়,
১ । অত্র মামলার মধ্যস্তাকারী কর্তৃক বিজ্ঞ আদালতে অদ্য প্রতিবেদন দাখিলের জন্য দিন ধার্য্য আছে ।
২ । বিজ্ঞ আদালতের বিগত ২৩-১০-২০১৩ ইং তারিখের  ৩০ নং আদেশ মূলে অগ্রণী ব্যাংক লিমিটেড-বনাম -মেসার্স ইমাম মটরস গং এর অর্থঋণ মামলা নং-৪৭/২০১২ মধ্যস্তাকারীর মাধ্যমে নিস্পত্তির প্রয়াসের লক্ষ্যে  গত ১১-১১-২০১৩, ১৮-১১-২০১৩, ২৫-১১-২০১৩, ১-১২-২০১৩, ১৩-১-২০১৪ ও ২২-১-২০১৪ ইং তারিখ সমূহে পরপর ৬ষ্ঠ বার বৈঠক অনুষ্ঠিত হয় এবং সর্বশেষ বিগত ২২-১-২০১৪ ইং তারিখের বৈঠকে উভয় পক্ষ ঋণ সমন্বয়
পূর্বক মামলা নিস্পত্তির শর্তে ঐক্যমতে আসতে না পারায় মধ্যস্তাকারী কর্তৃক মামলাটি নিস্পত্তির প্রচেষ্টায় ব্যর্থ হয় । ফলতঃ উভয় পক্ষ মাননীয় আদালতের  ধার্য্য তারিখে তদ্বীর করিবেন ।
৩। ইহা মাননীয় আদালতের সদয় অবগতির জন্য পেশ করা হলো।
 à¦¸à§à¦¬à¦¾à¦ƒ-অপাঠ্য
২৯-১-২০১৪ইং
(অশোক কুমার দে)
এ্যাডভোকেট
জেলা জজ আদালত, চট্টগ্রাম ও মধ্যস্তাকারী
অর্থঋণ মামলা নং-৪৭/২০১২ইং”
9. The Adalat by order dated 22-10-2014' accepted the - said mediation report and withdrawn the suit from mediation stage and fixed the next date for hearing. But the petitioner preferred the instant writ petition on the count that the mediator without following the provision of section 22(4) of the Ain, 2003 submitted report before the Adalat without taking signatures or thumb impressions of the parties on the report and without signatures of the learned Advocates for the parties therein, which is a clear violation of mandatory, provision of law. The said section 22(4) of the Ain, 2003 is quoted hereinafter below for ready reference-
 â€œà§¨à§¨ (৪) পক্ষগণের তথ্যের গোপনীয়তা রক্ষা করিয়া মধ্য¯'তাকারী মধ্য¯'তা কার্যক্রম সমাপ্তির পর একটি প্রতিবেদনে আদালতে দাখিল করিবেন এবং উক্ত প্রতিবেদন সম্পাদনকারী হিসাবে পক্ষগণের স্বাক্ষর, কিংবা, ক্ষেত্রমত, বাম হস্তের ব"দ্ধাংঙ্গগুলির ছাপ, এবং মধ্য¯'তাকারী ও আইনজীবীগণের স্বাক্ষর গ্রহণ করিতে হইবে; তবে মধ্য¯'তার মাধ্যমে মামলার বিরোধ নিস্পত্তি হইয়া থাকিলে, অনুরূপ নিস্পত্তির শর্তাদি লিখিতভাবে চুক্তি আকারে লিপিবদ্ধ করিতে হইবে ।”
10. However, it appears from the mediation report (Annexure-D to the writ petition) that the mediator took initiative to settle the dispute amicably between the parties and to that effect he sat with the parties concerned for several -days but failed to settle the dispute and in that view of the matter the mediator submitted his report before the Adalat without taking, signatures' or' thumb impressions -of the parties thereon. Since the parties failed to settle the dispute among them amicably, and it was not the case of the petitioner that the mediator did not sit with the parties for several days to' settle the matter through mediation, non obtaining signatures of the parties is a mere irregularly and not illegality. Moreover, the parties were not in any way prejudiced by the impugned order as the parties could not settle the, matter amicably. Therefore, we find' 'no illegality in the impugned order passed by the Adalat in accepting the mediation report and in fixing the suit for further hearing. It appears that the writ petition is nothing but a device to delay disposal of the Artha Rin Suit.
11. In view of the above backdrop, we do not find any substance in the submissions made by the learned Advocate for the petitioner and merit in the rule.
12. In the result, the rule is discharged without any order as to costs.
13.  Stay stands vacated.
Communicate this judgment to respondent
No. 1 at once. 

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