Court name
HC: Civil Division (Uganda)
Judgment date
7 July 2017

Cherukut & Anor v Rotich (HCT-04-CV-MA-2015/213) [2017] UGHCCD 116 (07 July 2017);

Cite this case
[2017] UGHCCD 116
Coram
Kawesa, J

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA

                                      HOLDEN AT MBALE

 

HCT-04-CV-MA -0213 OF 2015

(ARISING FROM MISC. APPLICATION NO. 140/2009)

(ARISING FROM CIVIL SUIT NO. 51 OF 2009)

 

  1. CHERUKUT MARTIN
  2. ABDU CHELANGAT           ::::::::::::::::::::     APPLICANTS

VERSUS

ROTICH BOSCO                           :::::::::::::::::::::    RESPONDENT

 

BEFORE: HON. MR. JUSTICE  HENRY. I. KAWESA

 

 RULING

Applicant applied for extension of time within which to file memorandum of appeal.

 I have internalized the application and submission by both counsel.

 I resolve the application as follows:

  1.  Merit of the application

The application is brought under a wrong   provision as rightly pointed out by counsel for applicants.  It ought to have been filed under O.51 R 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules Not O. 51 R 1 of the Civil Procedure Rules. This  however is not  fatal, given   the  discretion  given   this court   under  section  98 of the Civil Procedure Act,  to take  steps  to ensure that ends  of justice  are  met.

The respondent’s counsel also objected to the fact that applicant   Cherukut did not swear a supporting affidavit.

This  is a  grave  omission, however  there is  the affidavit  in support  which  brings  out  the grounds upon  which   the  applicant  bases  the claim  raised. This court being a court of justice will therefore base on the available affidavit and   determine the application on merit. The omission is accordingly in the circumstances of the matters alluded to found compently before court.

  1.  Sufficiency  of Application

In an application for extension of time applicant must show sufficient cause. Per the executrix of the Estate of the Late Christine Namatovu V. Mary   Namatovu (1992-93) HCB 85.

The  courts have  held that  mistake  of  counsel  should not  visited on  the litigant.  It is good and sufficient cause once a litigant  shows that she / he did not  sunction  such   behavior .

In Mary Kyomulabi V. Ahamed Zirondemu 1999-93HCB 103,  it  was held  that;

the proposition  that  a mistake  by counsel  might  not   necessarily  be a bar to his  obtaining extension  of time  and that  the administration  of justice  normally  required  that the substance  of all disputes should  be  investigated  and  decided  on  merits and  that errors  and  lapses  should  not necessarily  debar  a litigant   from  the   pursuit   of   his   rights.  Further   it would be deplorable for a vigilant litigant   to be penalized by refusing  him  to appeal because  of the  negligence  of his counsel  over  whose actions  he /she  has no  control.”

The facts before  me show that  applicant  instructed  counsel  who  did not  act  for   her  professionally   and  failed to file  the memorandum  on time. He also failed to exercise the option to withdraw the intended appeal, and avoid the dismissal.

I hold that this behavior was not suctioned by the litigant who is in court seeking for justice.

This  behavior  though grossly  unprofessional  cannot be visited   on  the litigant  who has vigorously  come to court  and  defended her interest and  right  to appeal. I therefore hold that sufficient cause has been shown.

I therefore find  merit  in the application, however  I will  grant  it on condition that  applicant  will pay   taxed  costs  of this  application  to Respondent at end of  the trial  regardless of the  outcome of the appeal.

The appeal be filed strictly on time frames as allowed in the law. Failure will mean that appeal is abandoned.

The application is granted with costs to respondent in terms as above. I so order.   

 

 

Henry I. Kawesa

JUDGE

07.07.2017