In the First Schedule, in Order XVII,-
(i)in rule 1, for the proviso to sub-rule (2), the following proviso shall be substituted, namely:-
(a)when the hearing of the suit has commenced, it shall be continued from day-to-day until all the witnesses in attendance have been examined, unless the Court finds that, for the exceptional reasons to be recorded by it, the adjournment of the hearing beyond the following day is necessary,
(b)no adjournment shall be granted at the request of a party, except where the circumstances are beyond the control of that party,
(c)the fact that the pleader of a party is engaged in another Court, shall not be a ground for adjournment,
(d)where the illness of a pleader or his inability to conduct the case for any person, other than his being engaged in another Court, is put forward as a ground for adjournment, the Court shall not grant the adjournment unless it is satisfied that the party applying for adjournment could not have engaged another pleader in time,
(e)where a witness is present in Court but a party or his pleader is not present or the party or his pleader, though present in Court, is not ready to examine or cross-examine the witness, the Court may, if it thinks fit, record the statement of the witness and pass such orders as it thinks fit dispensing with the examination-in-chief or cross-examination of the witness, as the case may be, by the party or his pleader not present or not ready as aforesaid.";
(ii)in rule 2, the following Explanation shall be inserted at the end, namely:-
"Explanation.- Where the evidence or a substantial portion of the evidence of any party has already been recorded and such party fails to appear on any day to which the hearing of the suit is adjourned, the Court may, in its discretion, proceed with the case as if such party were present."'
(iii)in rule 3, for the words "the Court may, notwithstanding such default, proceed to decide the suit forthwith", the following shall be substituted, namely:-
"the Court may, notwithstanding such default,-
(a)if the parties are present, proceed to decide the suit forthwith; or
(b)if the parties are, or any of them is, absent, proceed under rule 2.".
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