Balance Of Operations Of Rules Of Procedure Should Be Ensured To Avoid Prejudice To Parties: Supreme Court
While dealing with a matter involving the filing of pleadings, the Supreme Court has observed that balance of the operations of the rules of procedure is required to be ensured, to avoid any likely prejudice to any of the parties.
The Bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Bela M Trivedi observed thus "…balance of the operations of the rules of procedure is also required to be ensured, so as to avoid any likely prejudice to any of the parties."
In this case, the plaintiff-appellant had approached the Court of I Additional Senior Civil Judge, against the defendant-Society seeking cancellation of sale deed in relation to a parcel of land.
The contesting respondents herein sought their impleadment as party defendants which came to be dismissed.
However, the High Court disapproved the order so passed by the Trial Court and allowed the impleadment of contesting respondents.
The order so passed by the High Court was sought to be challenged by the appellant before the Supreme Court but, the same was dismissed.
Thereafter the Trial Court allowed another application moved by the appellant for amendment of the plaint. The appellant filed the amended plaint by including the newly impleaded parties as defendants.
Thereafter, the plaintiff sought leave to amend the plaint and the appellant filed amended plaint wherein, according to the contesting respondents, the appellant modified the cause title as also the averments and the prayers.
The material aspect of the present matter was that on September 27, 2021, the contesting respondents filed their written statements to the amended plaint. The defendant-Society also filed additional written statement. It has been the case of the appellant that on October 20, 2021, the other defendant had filed additional written statement raising new grounds.
The proceedings leading to the present appeals have their genesis in the applications filed by the appellant seeking leave to file further pleadings in the form of rejoinder.
The Trial Court rejected the application filed by the appellant essentially on the ground that the proposed rejoinder had not been filed and in the absence thereof, the applications could not be granted.
The review petitions so filed by the appellant, after thorough contest, were allowed by the Trial Court and the Trial Court allowed the rejoinder already filed by the appellant to be taken on record.
Thereafter, on January 31, 2022, the Trial Court framed seven additional issues and posted the matter for trial.
However, in the next month, the contesting respondents challenged the Trial Court order allowing review petitions filed by the appellant.
The High Court disapproved the order passed by the Trial Court.
Feeling aggrieved, the appellants approached Supreme Court.
Senior Advocates Ranjit Kumar and I.H. Syed represented Appellants whereas Senior Advocates A.C. Pradhan and Jayant Bhusan represented Respondents.
The Supreme Court observed that "…we are clearly of the view that in this matter, essentially pertaining to the operation of rules of procedure in the trial of civil suits, the views as taken by the Trial Court in its order dated 29.11.2021 and the order dated 29.12.2021 as also the view as taken by the High Court in its impugned order dated 14.03.2022 carry their own shortcomings but, appropriate orders are required to be passed for ensuring proper progression of the suits."
The Court noted that the present appeal required such orders which may be conducive to the purpose of expeditious proceeding rather than protraction because of the procedural aspects relating to the filing of the pleadings.
Therefore the Court allowed the rejoinder to remain on record but, at the same time, allowed the contesting-defendants to place on record their further pleadings in the form of sur-rejoinder, to the extent it may be necessary.
"The impugned order dated 14.03.2022 is set aside but the order passed by the Trial Court on 29.12.2021 shall be made applicable with the modification that in the peculiar circumstance of this case, the defendant Nos. 4 to 11 shall be permitted to place on record their further pleadings in the form of sur-rejoinder but only to the extent of new facts, if any, pleaded in the rejoinder filed by the plaintiff. In other words, sur-rejoinder shall remain confined to any such fact, if at all, newly pleaded by the plaintiff in the rejoinder.", the Court held.
Cause Title- M/S Prime Properties v. Sana Lakshmi Devi (Died) Through Her Lrs & Ors.