There is some significance for the first hearing in civil case. The date occurs after all the preliminary formalities such as filing of written statement, request to admit certain facts, issue of interrogatories and production of documents are completed. On this day, the Court acquaints itself with the facts of the case and the matters in dispute. If the Court finds that it is necessary to seek further clarifications, the same can be obtained from the Advocates. The Court may examine the plaintiff. If at the first hearing the Court finds that there are no issues of conflict it can dispose of the case. If there are any issues on which the plaintiff and the defendant agree the Court may dispose of the case to that extent and write the judgment to that extent only. In any view of the circumstances, the Court shall not dispose of the case or any part of it without the consent of all the parties. It is only after the first hearing the Court may frame issues finally.
The date on which the Court directs the defendant to file written statement is not the date of first hearing nor can it be said that the date fixed in the summons for appearance of the defendant be called the date of first hearing. Therefore it is procedural irregularity if the Court decrees the suit or dismisses it on the date when the parties are directed to appear and file representations. After the date of appearance is fixed there should be a time lag between the date fixed for appearance and the date of first hearing on or after which only the Court can make final judgment. Till such time arise the parties have got a right to file their representations.
For instance, if any case if posted for appearance or for filing any representation, the Court shall not dispose of the matter on the same day and must fix another date for final hearing and disposal unless the parties appearing agree that the matter may be disposed of on that date. Where the case is so posted to such subsequent date any representation made by the parties during the interregnum shall be received and considered before pronouncing any final order on such hearing date.
[Ref.: Siraj Ahmad Siddiqui v. Prem Nath Kapoor, 1993 (4) SCC 406.; Hasmukh Rai v. Mavji, AIR 1963 Sau. 106; Hiralal v. Gian Singh, AIR 1951 Punj. 44; Ved Prakash Wadhwa v. Vishwa Mohan, AIR 1982 SC 816; Shamlal v. Atmanand Jain Sabha, Dal Bazar, AIR 1987 SC 197; Hasamukharai Govindji v. Patel Mavji Jesam, AIR 1953 Sau. 106; Sudershan Devi v. Susheela Devi, 1999 (8) SCC 31.]