The Karnataka High Court recently held that a printed copy of an order uploaded on the website of the High Court would have the same veracity and applicability as a certified copy of that order [SA Subhan vs Rasheed Kahn].
Single-judge Justice Suraj Govindraj ruled that no one can ignore an order of the Court merely on the ground that a certified copy has not been furnished.
“A print out of an order uploaded on the website continues to be an order of this court requiring compliance, it would have the same veracity, applicability as also significance as an order contained in the certified copy..No person can ignore a copy of the order passed by this court merely on the ground that a certified copy is not furnished,” the Court said.
The Court noted that with the advent of information technology, day to day proceedings, order and judgments of the High Court are uploaded on the website of the Court.
“The requirement of a certified copy is antiquated, today with the advent of information technology and the use thereof in all court proceedings the same have to be given due effect and importance,” the Court said.
Certification of an order, the Court said, is only to certify that the copy of such order is a true copy.
“The certification is not of the order or its contents but only as regards the copy thereof. Irrespective of certification or not the same is an order of court,” the Court added.
The Court was hearing a plea seeking a stay on an order of a subordinate court by one Subhan, in an attempt to retrieve a piece of land, which was awarded to the respondent.
On February 26,2021, the Court had passed an order staying the operation and execution of judgment and decree of the said subordinate court and restored possession of the property in dispute, in favour of petitioner.
However, the certified copy of the said order was not available to the petitioners in order to make it available to the concerned person on March 1,2021, i.e., at the time of execution of the delivery warrant.
The petitioners brought to the notice of court bailiff/ Amin about the order passed by the Court, to which the Bailiff/Amin is stated to have requested for a certified copy of the order.
The petitioners gave him a printout of order uploaded on website of the High Court, but the Bailiff/Amin refused to acknowledge the same since it was not a certified copy.
The petitioner then moved the High Court by way of the present application.
The counsel for the petitioners contended that the delivery warrant was executed solely on the ground that a certified copy of order was not furnished, even though printout from the website of uploaded order had been furnished. This was in violation of High Court’s previous order.
Counsel for the respondent, advocate Mohammed Tahir submitted that the present IA cannot be filed before the High Court but ought to have been filed before the execution court which would have considered the same on merits after conducting due enquiry since there are disputed questions of facts.
After going through the facts, the Court opined that it is not always required that a certified copy has to be furnished for the purpose of taking action.
The Court also took a dim view of the careless attitude of the Bailiff, who ignored the order of the Court solely on the ground that a certified copy was not made available.
“The advocate for petitioners had brought to the notice of the Court Bailiff/Amin the order of this Court, in fact, he gave him a print out of the order of this Court as uploaded on the website. Any Court or authority would have to consider the print out as an order of this Court. It is not required that certified copy is always furnished for the purpose of taking or not taking any action. If at all the Court Bailiff/Amin had any doubt about the order, he could have always checked from the website of this Court to ascertain the veracity of the order as to whether indeed, there was such an order which has been uploaded. Instead of doing so, in a very reckless and careless manner, the said Bailiff/Amin has ignored the order only on account of certified copy not being furnished.”
The Court further said that many a time, when it passes an order, the concerned defendant /respondent is directed to act on the basis of the uploaded order on the website.
“That itself would indicate that, in all cases certified copy is not required to be furnished. There is due authenticity to an uploaded order,” the Court said.
With these observations, the Court directed the respondents to hand over the possession of the property in question to the petitioners within two days.
The Court further directed that a disciplinary enquiry be conducted in the above matter against the officers of the Court, who were present on March 1, who took possession and handed over the possession to the respondents in violation of the Court’s earlier order.
The matter will be next heard on September 17.