Saturday, 26 January 2019

Whether party can be permitted to file documents which were not filed along with written statement?

Order 8 Rule 1A(3) of the CPC provides that the documents, which have not been produced along with the written statement, cannot be produced to the court later on without the leave of the court. Thus, if a document is to be produced by a defendant, the same is to be produced with the written statement. Subsequent production of document can be done only if the court is satisfied with the grounds explained for non-production of the documents at the time of filing of the written statement.

In the High Court of Patna
(Before Ashwani Kumar Singh, J.)

Dewanti Devi and Others v.  Radheshyam Tiwary 

Civil Miscellaneous Jurisdiction No. 1497 of 2016
Decided on January 4, 2019


Ashwani Kumar Singh, J.:— Heard learned counsel for the petitioners and learned counsel for the respondents.
2. This application under Article 227 of the Constitution of India has been filed by the petitioners for quashing the order dated 24.06.2015 passed by learned Sub-Judge-12, Ara in Title Suit No. 576 of 2004 whereby an application filed by the petitioners (defendant 3rd set) under Order 8 Rule 1A(3) read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure (for short ‘CPC’) has been rejected.
3. Mr. Ashok Kumar Mishra, learned counsel for the petitioners submitted that the application filed by the petitioner (defendant no. 8) for marking Tirjiya Khatiyan in evidence has erroneously been rejected by the court below, as those documents are certified copy of Khatiyan and, during course of evidence, the plaintiffs-respondents would get an opportunity to cross-examine the petitioner (defendant no. 8). He contended that the proposed documents were not in possession of the petitioners and it came to their knowledge belatedly pursuant to which the application was filed.
4. On the other hand, learned counsel appearing for the respondents submitted that there is no error in the order passed by the court below whereby the application filed by the petitioner under Order 8 Rule 1A(3) of the CPC has been rejected. He contended that the suit was filed in the year 2004 by the plaintiffs for declaring that the suit land is not an ancestral land of the plaintiffs rather it is their purchased property and they are in possession of the same since 1911 and further they are in adverse possession. Their case is that wrongly the names of defendant 1st set and 2nd set have been entered into the records of rights, which should be declared null and void.
5. From pleadings of the parties, it would appear that defendants have appeared and contested the suit by filing their written statements. The defendant nos. 1, 2 and 4 filed their written statement jointly, whereas a separate written statement was filed on behalf of respondent nos. 3 and 6. Respondent nos. 7 and 8 have also filed their separate written statements. The evidences of plaintiffs and defendant 1st and 2nd set have already been completed. On 11.06.2007, an application under Order 8 Rule 1A(3) of the CPC was filed on behalf of some of the defendants along with a list of documents praying therein to mark certified copy of Tirjiya Khatiyan of Khata no. 167, Plot no. 1 and certified copy of Khatiyan of Khata No. 5 as exhibits. On 28.05.2012, similar application was filed on behalf of certain other defendants. The plaintiffs had also filed rejoinder to petition dated 11.06.2007 and 28.05.2012 After hearing the parties, vide order dated 27.08.2012, learned Sub Judge-12, Ara dismissed the application of the defendants on the ground that documents in question sought to be exhibited by the defendants were filed much after settlement of issue and no permission to admit the same in evidence had been taken. Thereafter, some of the defendants filed another petition on 11.10.2012 praying therein to admit the aforestated documents in evidence along with an application for granting leave. However, on 01.12.2012, the plaintiffs filed rejoinder to the petition dated 11.10.2012 After hearing the parties, vide order dated 09.10.2014, the court below dismissed the application filed by the defendants on the ground of delay as also that an identical prayer was dismissed earlier vide order dated 27.08.2012 Thereafter, once again the defendant-petitioners filed an identical application under Order 8 Rule 1A(3) of the CPC to admit those documents in evidence.
6. Order 8 Rule 1A(3) of the CPC provides that the documents, which have not been produced along with the written statement, cannot be produced to the court later on without the leave of the court. Thus, if a document is to be produced by a defendant, the same is to be produced with the written statement. Subsequent production of document can be done only if the court is satisfied with the grounds explained for non-production of the documents at the time of filing of the written statement.
7. In the instant case, from the application filed by the petitioners before the court below it does not appear as to why the proposed documents, which the petitioners intend to be taken into evidence, were not produced earlier. Similar applications filed by other defendants were dismissed by the court below on 27.08.2012 and 09.10.2014 The repeated applications being filed by the separate sets of defendants for admitting common documents one after another is nothing but a ploy to delay the disposal of the suit.
8. In such circumstances, if the court was not satisfied with the grounds explained for non-production of the documents earlier, no illegality can be found with the order impugned passed by the court below.
9. In that view of the matter, I see no merit in this application. It is dismissed, accordingly.

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