Saturday, 10 September 2016

Leading Judgment on amendment of pleadings

The main reason assigned by the trial court for rejection
of the amendment application was that upon enhancement of
the valuation of the suit property, the suit was to be transferred
to the High Court on its original side. In our view, that is not a
reason for which the amendment application should have been
rejected. With regard to amendment of plaint, the following
observation has been made by this Court in the case of North
Eastern Railway Administration, Gorakhpur v. Bhagwan
Das (D) by LRs. (2008) 8 SCC 511 :
“16. Insofar as the principles which govern the
question of granting or disallowing amendments
under Order 6 Rule 17 C.P.C. (as it stood at the
relevant time) are concerned, these are also well
settled. Order 6 Rule 17 C.P.C. postulates
amendment of pleadings at any stage of the
proceedings. In Pirgonda Hongonda Patil v.
Kalgonda Shidgonda Patil and others (1957) 1
SCR 595 which still holds the filed, it was held that
all amendments ought to be allowed which satisfy
the two conditions: (a) of not working injustice to the
other side, and (b) of being necessary for the
purpose of determining the real questions in
controversy between the parties. Amendments
should be refused only where the other party cannot
be placed in the same position as if the pleading had
been originally correct, but the amendment would
cause him an injury which could not be
compensated in costs.”
NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1323 OF 2015
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.10161 of 2014)
Mount Mary Enterprises . ..
V
M/s. Jivratna Medi Treat Pvt. Ltd. 
Dated:JANUARY 30, 2015
Citation:AIR 2015 SC(SUPP) 600

1. The appellant, the original plaintiff has been aggrieved by
the Judgment delivered in Writ Petition No.12099 of 2013 dated
10th March, 2014 by the High Court of Judicature at Bombay.
2. The facts giving rise to the present litigation in a nutshell
are as under:
The appellant, who has been described as a plaintiff
hereinafter, filed a suit against the present respondent, who has
been hereinafter described as a defendant, for specific
performance of a contract in relation to the suit property. The
suit property was initially valued at Rs.13,50,000/- (Rupees
Thirteen lacs and fifty thousand only). The plaintiff, thereafter,
realized that market value of the property in question was
around Rs.1,20,00,000/- (Rupees One Crore and Twenty lacs
only) and therefore, filed an application for amending the plaint.
The said application for amendment was rejected by the trial
court and thereafter, the aforestated writ petition was filed by
the plaintiff challenging the order rejecting the amendment
application. The said petition has also been dismissed and
therefore, the plaintiff has approached this Court and prayed
that the impugned judgment confirming the order rejecting the
amendment of the plaint be set aside and the plaintiff be
permitted to amend the plaint so as to state correct value of the
property in question, which is Rs.1,20,00,000/-.
3. The learned counsel appearing for the appellant-plaintiff
had submitted that the amendment application had been
rejected by the trial court for the reason that the said
amendment was made at a belated stage and by virtue of the
said amendment, the suit was to be transferred to the High
Court on its original side. It had been further submitted that the
amendment was made in good faith and by virtue of the said
amendment no harm was to be caused to the defendant and
the nature of the suit was also not going to be changed. It had
been further submitted that the appellant was also prepared to
affix additional court fee stamp as valuation of suit was
increased to Rs.1,20,00,000/-.
4. It had been also submitted by the learned counsel that in
normal circumstances an amendment application is always
granted unless by virtue of the amendment, nature of the suit is
changed or some irreparable harm is caused to the defendant.
According to him, in the instant case neither nature of the suit
was changed nor was the defendant being put to any hardship.
The amendment was also not likely to cause any prejudice to
the defendant. The amendment which was sought to be made
was just and proper because actual market value of the said
property was Rs.1,20,00,000/-. For the aforesaid reasons, it had
been submitted by him that the impugned judgment confirming
the order rejecting the amendment application should be set
aside and the appellant should be permitted to amend the
plaint.
5. On the other hand, the learned counsel appearing for the
respondent-defendant had submitted that the amendment
application was filed at a belated stage with an oblique motive.
According to him, in pursuance of the said amendment, the suit
was to be transferred to the High Court and only with an
intention to see that the suit is transferred to the High Court on
its original side, the plaintiff wanted to amend the plaint. It had,
therefore, been submitted by him that the amendment
application was rightly rejected by the trial court and the High
Court had rightly confirmed the said order.
6. We have heard the learned counsel and have also
considered the facts of the case.
7. In our opinion, as per the provisions of Order 6 Rule 17 of
the Civil Procedure Code, the amendment application should be
normally granted unless by virtue of the amendment nature of
the suit is changed or some prejudice is caused to the
defendant. In the instant case, the nature of the suit was not to
be changed by virtue of granting the amendment application
because the suit was for specific performance and initially the
property had been valued at Rs.13,50,000/- but as the market
value of the property was actually Rs.1,20,00,000/-, the
appellant-plaintiff had submitted an application for amendment
so as to give the correct value of the suit property in the plaint. 
8. It is also pertinent to note that the defendant had made
an averment in para 30 of the written statement filed in Suit
No.1955 of 2010 that the plaintiff had undervalued the subject
matter of the suit. It had been further submitted in the written
statement that the market value of the suit property was much
higher than Rs. 14 lacs. The defendant had paid Rs.13.5 lacs
for the said premises in the year 2002 when the said premises
had been occupied by a tenant bank. Even according to the
defendant value of the suit property had been undervalued by
the plaintiff in the plaint. If in pursuance of the averment made
in the written statement the plaintiff wanted to amend the
plaint so as to incorporate correct market value of the suit
property, the defendant could not have objected to the
amendment application whereby the plaintiff wanted to
incorporate correct value of the suit property in the plaint by
way of an amendment. The other contention that the valuation
had already been settled cannot also be appreciated since the
High Court has held that the said issue was yet to be decided by
the trial Court.
9. The main reason assigned by the trial court for rejection
of the amendment application was that upon enhancement of
the valuation of the suit property, the suit was to be transferred
to the High Court on its original side. In our view, that is not a
reason for which the amendment application should have been
rejected. With regard to amendment of plaint, the following
observation has been made by this Court in the case of North
Eastern Railway Administration, Gorakhpur v. Bhagwan
Das (D) by LRs. (2008) 8 SCC 511 :
“16. Insofar as the principles which govern the
question of granting or disallowing amendments
under Order 6 Rule 17 C.P.C. (as it stood at the
relevant time) are concerned, these are also well
settled. Order 6 Rule 17 C.P.C. postulates
amendment of pleadings at any stage of the
proceedings. In Pirgonda Hongonda Patil v.
Kalgonda Shidgonda Patil and others (1957) 1
SCR 595 which still holds the filed, it was held that
all amendments ought to be allowed which satisfy
the two conditions: (a) of not working injustice to the
other side, and (b) of being necessary for the
purpose of determining the real questions in
controversy between the parties. Amendments
should be refused only where the other party cannot
be placed in the same position as if the pleading had
been originally correct, but the amendment would
cause him an injury which could not be
compensated in costs.”
10. In our opinion, on the basis of the aforestated legal
position, the amendment application made by the plaintiff
should have been granted, especially in view of the fact that it
was admitted by the plaintiff that the suit property was initially
undervalued in the plaint and by virtue of the amendment
application, the plaintiff wanted to correct the error and wanted
to place correct market value of the suit property in the plaint.
11. For the aforestated reasons, we are of the view that the
amendment application should not have been rejected by the
trial court and the High Court should not have confirmed the
order of rejection. We, therefore, set aside the impugned
judgment delivered by the High Court and the order dated 22nd
November, 2013 of the trial court, whereby the amendment
application had been rejected.
12 We allow the appeal and direct the trial court to permit
the appellant-plaintiff to amend the plaint as prayed for in the
amendment application so as to change valuation of the suit
property. There is no order as to costs.
 ………..……………….J
 (ANIL R. DAVE)
 …..…………………….J
 (KURIAN JOSEPH)
NEW DELHI;
JANUARY 30, 2015
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