Thursday, 16 July 2015

When court can allow to deliver second set of interrogatories to same party?

 In first proviso to rule 1 of Order 11 of the C.P.C., a restriction is imposed on presenting the interrogatories. For the purpose of delivering interrogatories, particular procedure is laid down in rule 1, viz. the interrogatories should be in writing and no interrogatories can be delivered without leave of the Court. As per the first proviso, a party shall not deliver more than one set of interrogatories to the same party without an order of the Court for that purpose. Apparently, therefore, while delivering the interrogatories, leave of the Court is required. If certain points crop up subsequently and are found relevant, then permission can be granted to give the interrogatories second time. Proviso places restriction on delivering more than one set of interrogatories to the same party. However, legislation did not stop there, but further clause "without an order for that purpose" is added. These words undoubtedly confer power upon the Court to allow a second set of interrogatories to the same party at a time in an appropriate case. If the Legislature intended to restrict the delivery of interrogatories to one set to the same party, then it would not have mentioned the entailing clause in the proviso, i.e. "without an order for that purpose".
So, restriction is to be read to mean that at a time, not more than one set of interrogatories to the same party be given, but if justifiable reasons are given, then the other set also can be delivered, subject to permission of the Court.
The learned trial Judge, interpreting the said proviso erroneously, held that under any circumstances, no set of interrogatories more than one to the same party can be given. It is not intended in the Statute. The learned Trial Judge lost sight that such delivery of interrogatories for second time is allowed with the leave of the Court, if found relevant, just, appropriate and useful. Interrogatories facilitate evidence, so also are the means for the Court to understand the matter in correct perspective and so permission is to be given liberally, but care is to be taken that it is not misused. Hence, by assuring fair-play, permission can be granted to deliver interrogatories second time, and on that point, petition deserves to be allowed.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AURANGABAD BENCH)
Writ Petition No. 10113 of 2012
Decided On: 30.09.2013
Appellants: M/s. Kishorilal Babulal
Vs.
Respondent: Ramlal and Ors.
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:Mridula Bhatkar, J.
Citation: 2014(1)ABR830, AIR2014Bom19, 2013(6)ALLMR892, 2014(1)MhLj782



1. Heard Smt. Anjali Bajpai Dube, learned Counsel for the petitioner and Mr. V.D. Gunale, learned Counsel for respondent no. 1. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. At the request and by consent of learned Counsel for the parties, this petition is heard finally at the stage of admission.
2. By this writ petition under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India, the original plaintiff has challenged the order dated 22.10.2012, passed by the learned Civil Judge Senior Division, Latur, below Exh. 144/D, in Special Civil Suit No. 164 of 2006. By the said order, the learned Trial Judge rejected the application at Exh. 144/D preferred by the original plaintiff seeking permission to deliver the interrogatories for the second time.
3. The instant writ petition involves a short point, viz. whether the interrogatories under Order 11, Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure (for short "C.P.C.") be delivered to the same party second time or not ?
4. Perused impugned order and the material on record. At the outset, it is to be noted that the learned Trial Judge has considered only legal aspect of Order 11, Rule 1 of the C.P.C. and has not considered interrogatories on merits. The Trial Judge held that the interrogatories cannot be delivered second time. Therefore, while deciding this issue, I restrict only to scope of Order 11, Rule 1 of the C.P.C.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioner has challenged this order on the ground that in law, there is no bar to, or restriction on delivering interrogatories more than one time. Learned Counsel for the respondents, on the other hand, relied on proviso to Rule 1, Order 11 of C.P.C. He submitted that already the petitioner has delivered a set of interrogatories and, therefore, the Trial Judge has rightly disallowed the application to deliver interrogatories again.
6. The learned Trial Judge did not permit the petitioner to deliver the interrogatories second time by relying on proviso to rule 1 of Order 11 of the C.P.C. Rule 1 of Order 11 of the C.P.C. reads as under:-
1. Discovery by interrogatories-In any suit the plaintiff or defendant by leave of the Court may deliver interrogatories in writing for the examination of the opposite parties or any one or more of such parties, and such interrogatories when delivered shall have a note at the foot thereof stating which of such interrogatories each of such persons is required to answer:
Provided that no party shall deliver more than one set of interrogatories to the same party without an order for that purpose:
7. Order 11 of the C.P.C. is for discovery and inspection. The interrogatories are for the purpose of seeking admissions on facts and also in respect of the documents which are disclosed or produced by the other side. By putting questions to the other party, these admissions are sought to destroy a case of the respondent. This helps a party to reduce length of cross-examination and to shape its case more precise and it enables the Court also to have correct grasp of the nature and scope of cross-examination of the parties. Thus, if at all the party has delivered the interrogatories, that is to be allowed.
8. In first proviso to rule 1 of Order 11 of the C.P.C., a restriction is imposed on presenting the interrogatories. For the purpose of delivering interrogatories, particular procedure is laid down in rule 1, viz. the interrogatories should be in writing and no interrogatories can be delivered without leave of the Court. As per the first proviso, a party shall not deliver more than one set of interrogatories to the same party without an order of the Court for that purpose. Apparently, therefore, while delivering the interrogatories, leave of the Court is required. If certain points crop up subsequently and are found relevant, then permission can be granted to give the interrogatories second time. Proviso places restriction on delivering more than one set of interrogatories to the same party. However, legislation did not stop there, but further clause "without an order for that purpose" is added. These words undoubtedly confer power upon the Court to allow a second set of interrogatories to the same party at a time in an appropriate case. If the Legislature intended to restrict the delivery of interrogatories to one set to the same party, then it would not have mentioned the entailing clause in the proviso, i.e. "without an order for that purpose".
So, restriction is to be read to mean that at a time, not more than one set of interrogatories to the same party be given, but if justifiable reasons are given, then the other set also can be delivered, subject to permission of the Court.
9. The learned trial Judge, interpreting the said proviso erroneously, held that under any circumstances, no set of interrogatories more than one to the same party can be given. It is not intended in the Statute. The learned Trial Judge lost sight that such delivery of interrogatories for second time is allowed with the leave of the Court, if found relevant, just, appropriate and useful. Interrogatories facilitate evidence, so also are the means for the Court to understand the matter in correct perspective and so permission is to be given liberally, but care is to be taken that it is not misused. Hence, by assuring fair-play, permission can be granted to deliver interrogatories second time, and on that point, petition deserves to be allowed.
10. As observed earlier, the learned trial Court has not considered the application on merit, as for the purpose of grant of leave, the Court has discretion to go into the merits of the interrogatories and examine necessity and propriety of the interrogatories on the basis of the facts before it.
11. In the light of above, the impugned order is set aside. The application at Exh. 144/D, therefore, stands revived. The parties to appear before the trial Court on 18.10.2013 at 11.00 a.m. The parties to co-operate the trial Court in expeditious disposal of the matter. The parties are allowed to make their submissions and the trial Court to decide the application below Exh. 144-D on its own merits, expeditiously. Petition allowed. Rule accordingly made absolute in above terms.
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