A Single Judge Bench of Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya of Calcutta High Court has ordered for a cost of Rs. 20,000 in a commercial suit that was filed in 2016 (Pioneer Property Management Limited v. Amazon Sellers Private Limited and Anr). The witness, who is also the second defendant, asked the court for an adjournment of two weeks reasoning that they did not want to travel at the moment because of the risks associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. They requested the Court to continue with the proceedings in February 2021.
The defendant/ witness was supposed to come to court to continue the cross-examination that had started in February 2020. This was communicated to the Court by the Advocate on Record, who informed the Court regarding the witness' request. The Court ordered the witness/ defendant to pay costs of Rs. 20,000 for having delayed the trial in a commercial suit unnecessarily. Justice Bhattacharya stated that the witness/ defendant had failed to inform the court regarding their averseness to traveling in the pandemic when the Court had informed them on 7th December 2020 that the next date of the Court will be on 11th January 2021 and that they will have to come to the court for the cross-examination of their testimony.
The Court opined that they were unable to understand how the additional two weeks would reduce the risks associated with the pandemic enough for the witness/ defendant to be encouraged to travel to attend the court proceedings. However, the Court had to be adjourned. But Justice Bhattacharya has informed them that they will not be given any further adjournments in this case. The Court has directed the witness/ defendant to pay the costs, that have been ordered by the Court, to Bharat Sevasram Sangha, Kolkata. The Court will be hearing this matter next on 2nd February.