ORDER XVII of CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE (CPC) – ADJOURNMENTS
1. Court may grant time and adjourn hearing.
(1) The Court may, if sufficient cause is shown, at any stage of the suit grant time to the parties or to any of them, and may from time to time adjourn the hearing of the suit.
(2) Costs of adjournment— In every such case the Court shall fix a day for the further hearing of the suit and may make such order, as it thinks fit with respect to the costs occasioned by the adjournment:
(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 reason, 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.
2 . Procedure if parties fail to appear on day fixed.
Where, on any day to which the hearing of the suit is adjourned, the parties or any of them fail to appear, the Court may proceed to dispose of the suit in one of the modes directed in that behalf by Order IX or make such other order as it thinks fit.
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.
3. Court may proceed notwithstanding either party fails to produce evidence, etc.
Where any party to a suit to whom time has been granted fails to produce his evidence, or to cause the attendance of his witnesses, or to perform any other act necessary to the further progress of the suit, for which time has been allowed, 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.
ORDER XVIII – HEARING OF SUIT AND EXAMINATION OF WITNESSES