2. Where there are more defendants than one, and anyone of the defendants is not at issue with the plaintiff on any question of law or of fact, the court may at once pronounce judgment for or against such defendant and the suit shall proceed only against the other defendants. (Order XV, Rule 2).

3. Where the parties are at issue on some question of law or of fact, and issues have been framed by the court, if the court is satisfied that no further argument or evidence than the parties can at once adduce is required upon such of the issues as may be sufficient for the decision of the suit, and that no injustice will result from proceeding with the suit forthwith, the court may proceed to determine such issues, and, if the finding thereon is sufficient for the decision, may pronounce judgment accordingly, whether the summons has been issued for the settlement of issues only or for the final disposal of the suit:

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Provided that, where the summons has been issued for the settlement of issues only, the parties or their pleaders are present and none of them objects. (Order XV, Rule 3).

Order of Lok Adalat decreeing suit improper:

Where there was disposal of suit at first hearing. Such suit was for recovery of loan secured by equitable mortgage and parties were at issue on several crucial points. Held, that in all the facts and circumstances of the case, no valid decree could have been given by Lok Adalat unless there had been a trial on all questions of facts and law between the parties.

Where a statement made by a party’s pleader contains an admission of facts sufficient to dispose of the case, the court may at once proceed to pronounce judgment on such admission under Rules 1 and 3 of Order XV.

The judge cannot dispose of the case at the first hearing when the summons is issued for settlement of issues only, and the pleader objects to such disposal.

4. Where the summons has been issued for the final disposal of the suit and either party fails without sufficient cause to produce the evidence on which he relies, the court may at once pronounce judgment. (Order XV, Rule 4).

5. Striking of defence—[U.P. Amendment].—Before the Amendment Act (104 of 1976) Order XV consisted of only Rules 1 to 4. The U.P. State Legislature enacted Rule 5 and received the assent of the President and became a statute. It is to protect the landlord from hardship. The tenant in default at a suit in the Court of Small Causes can contest the suit only if he deposits the rent before first date of hearing.

On application under Order XV, Rule 5 the court can direct the tenant to continue to pay admitted rent as a condition to contest the suit and in case of default, the defence would he struck off. The provision is retrospective and applies to pending proceedings. It is valid and judicious. It is not discriminatory, arbitrary or capricious.

Meaning of expression admitted rent due:

If amount of rent is admitted then it is not required to be adjudicated by the Court. In case, tenant denies any rent to be due, Court shall be required to decide the same. It is obvious that in such contingency Court will have to adjudicate and its finding will come subsequent to the ‘first date of hearing’ contemplated under Order XV, Rule 5, Code of Civil Procedure. It is therefore, evident that by the time the Court will render its finding, ‘first date of hearing’ which is cutoff date for deposition of rent, shall be over.

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