The Supreme Court, in a Special Leave Petition, while accepting a petitioner’s argument on a legal proposition has observed, that service contemplated in terms of Order V Rule 2 of the Code would imply service of summons along with the copy of the plaint.

The present matter was on the computation of the starting day of limitation for filing a written statement in a suit instituted in the original side of the Delhi High Court, Commercial Division.

Accordingly, a bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Bela M. Trivedi noted, …We have gone through the pleadings before the High Court. We find from the impugned order that the High Court disbelieved incomplete service of the plaint. It is essentially a question of fact, which we do not want to reappreciate at this stage”.

Senior Advocate Preetesh Kapur appeared for the petitioner and Advocate Shilpi Chowdhary appeared for the respondent.

In the present case, there was service of summons by two modes. The first service was through the bailiff, on June 19, 2017. As per the copy of the notice of summons, a copy of the plaint (complete paper book) had been supplied.

The second service, however, was made through a speed post on August 22, 2017, and the contention of the petitioner is that the paper book which they received through the second mode did not carry two pages which were later made available on October 27, 2017. In the event the date of first service by the bailiff is treated to be the starting date for computing the time for filing written statement, the written statement would have been filed beyond the extended time permissible under the law.

The Court after considering the facts and circumstances, therefore noted, “If we treat the second service by speed post to be the starting point, then also the written statement was filed beyond time. On 3 behalf of the petitioner, it has been urged that the provision of Order V Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure requires service of summons with plaint”.

Accordingly, the bench dismissed the petition.

Cause Title: National Insurance Company Ltd. v. M/S National Building Construction India Ltd. & Ors.

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