Sunday 16 December 2018

Whether one respondent can file cross objection against co-respondent?

In our opinion, the view that has now been accepted by all the High Courts that Order 41, r. 22 permits as a general rule, a respondent to prefer an objection directed only against the appellant and it is only in exceptional cases, such as where the relief sought against the appellant in such an objection is intermixed with the relief granted to the other respondents, so that the relief against the appellant cannot be granted without the question being re-opened between the objecting respondent and other respondents, that an objection under Or. 41, r. 22 can be directed against the other respondents, is correct. Whatever may have been the position under the old s. 561, the use of the word "cross-objection" in Or. 41 r. 22 expresses unmistakably the intention of the legislature that the objection has to be directed against the appellant. As Rajammannar C.J., said in Venkateswarlu v. Ramamma I.L.R. (1950) Mad. 874..

"The legislature by describing the objection which could be taken by the respondent as a "cross-objection" must have deliberately adopted the view of the other High Courts. One cannot treat an objection by a respondent in which the appellant has no interest as a cross-objection. The appeal is by the appellant against a respondent, the cross-objection must be an objection by respondent against the appellant".

We think, with respect, that these observations put the matter clearly and correctly. That the legislature also wanted to give effect to the views held by the different High Courts that in exceptional cases as mentioned above an objection can be preferred by a respondent against a correspondent is indicated by the substitution of the work "appellant" in the third paragraph by the words "the party who may be affected by such objection."

Civil Appeals Nos. 207 to 209 of 1961

Decided On: 11.02.1963

Pannalal Vs. State Bombay and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
J.C. Shah, K.C. Das Gupta, K.N. Wanchoo, M. Hidayatullah and P.B. Gajendragadkar, JJ.

Citation: AIR 1963 SC 1516.
Read full judgment here: Click here

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