Sunday, 17 December 2017

Whether one defendant can object to amendment application filed by co-defendant?

The foremost contention that was raised by the learned Counsel for the respondent, is that there is no reason or cause for the defendant No. 1 to raise the objection to the amendment sought to be made by the co-defendant. He submits that it is the plaintiffs' objection alone, which needs to be considered and not of the co-defendant. He also submits that the dispute could be only in between the plaintiffs and the defendants and that alone needs to be resolved and not the dispute between the two sets of the defendants. He further submits that the plaintiffs gave no objection to such amendment being allowed and, therefore, there was nothing wrong when the amendment was allowed. While considering the application, the Court has to see if such amendment is allowed, any prejudice will be caused to the plaintiffs and whether any of the rights of the plaintiffs, would be affected or not. There is no doubt that in the routine course, the Courts are required to decide the question as to the granting of the application for amendment vis-a-vis the plaintiff and the defendant alone. I do not, however, agree with the submission of the learned Counsel Shri Sharma that the Court need not consider any of the objection of the co-defendant/ the defendant No. 1 in the present case. Apart from this case, the Court would certainly be required to decide a dispute between the two defendants when their interest could be adverse or become adverse. Such a contingency can arise even when the plaintiff abandons the claim and one of the defendants has substantial question to be decided as against any of the other defendants. Order 23 Rule 1(a) of Civil Procedure Code, permits the defendant to be transposed as a plaintiff. This is precisely because there could be a dispute between two defendants. Yet another reason why such an objection of the co-defendant, needed to be heard, is whether the other defendant was withdrawing any admission to his detriment. If there is any admission in the pleadings of one of the defendants, which may help the other defendant, he has every right to resist the admission being withdrawn. An admission has been defined in Section 17 of the Evidence Act as follows:

Section 17- Admission - An admission is a statement, oral or documentary or contained in electronic form, which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons, and under the circumstances, hereinafter mentioned." Not only Section 17 here is important, but to decide this question we need to look into two more provisions. Those provisions are Section 18 of the Indian Evidence Act as well as Rule 1 of Order 12 of Civil Procedure Code. What Section 18 says, is that a statement by a person interested in the subject matter, is an admission. It says if a person having proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject matter of proceeding gives admissions, all admissions if they are made during continuance of interest of the person making the statements, are admissions. In the instant case, the plaintiffs have claimed that they are the owners of half property while the defendant No. 1 claims that he had purchased the suit property in the name of the defendant No. 3 from his own funds. The defendant Nos. 3 and 4, by their original written statement, had endorsed this stand of the defendant No. 1. Obviously, they had made statement as envisaged by Section 18 which could be treated as an admission. Rule 1 of Order 12 of Civil Procedure Code, says that any party to a suit, may give notice by his pleadings or otherwise in writing that he admits the truth of the whole or any part of the case of any other party. The words used in Rule, are "any other party" and not necessarily an adverse party. It could be either the plaintiff or the defendant also.

The above discussion clearly goes to show that the codefendant does have a right to challenge or oppose the amendment sought to be made by the other defendants.


Writ Petition Nos. 691 of 2008 and 8 of 2009

Decided On: 18.03.2009

 Shri Armando Pereira Vs. Shri Jude D'Souza S/o John D'Souza and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
C.L. Pangarkar, J.
Citation: 2009 AIR Bom 2748.
read full judgment here : Click here

Print Page

No comments:

Post a Comment