A division bench of the Patna High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of a Single Judge of the high court, directing that any correction required in the body of the petitions/ applications filed by a party must be done either by filing a supplementary affidavit on oath or with the leave of the Court in special circumstances.
The Single judge had made the above observation in view of the fact that a change in the deposition related to criminal antecedents of the Petitioner in that case had been made in the application, even without the initials of the counsel.
The above order was impugned by the Co-ordination Committee of Bar Associations of Lawyers of the Patna High Court, through Senior Advocate Yogesh Chandra Verma and Advocate Anuj Kumar, stating that minor corrections in the array of parties or in the cause title should be permitted to be carried out by the learned counsel to avoid inconvenience to the litigants.
Declining the aforesaid request, the division bench of Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi and Justice Ashutosh Kumar observed, "any statement on oath made by a deponent cannot be corrected by a learned counsel in his handwriting and that too, even without the signature of the Oath Commissioner and which, in our opinion, can only be corrected by a duly sworn affidavit".
Citing the event of serious discrepancies with regard to alteration of particulars in the cause title, in Cr. Misc. No.18211 of 2016, that gave rise to a detailed enquiry being conducted under the orders passed by the Court on the judicial side, the bench stated that "even such corrections in the cause title have created complications, particularly in criminal cases where for example in second bail applications or bail applications of co-accused, the application is filed by altering the name of the police station or case crime number. We do not wish to say that it is done in every case, but such attempts have led to suspicion of deliberate attempt to avoid the impact of previous orders".
Accordingly, the bench clarified that any minor correction duly counter signed by the Advocate can be accepted, but the office should point out such corrections in its report.
Further, with regards the submission of the Petitioner that it becomes difficult to call clients again for swearing of an affidavit and thus causes immense hardship in the filing of petitions, the court clarified that "it is not necessary that the client himself should file an affidavit and the learned counsel can himself move an application through an affidavit of his own Clerk for carrying out such minor or typographical corrections in the main body of the petition/application which are obvious and do not tend to change the nature and original tenor of the pleadings duly sworn by the deponent".
Click Here To Download Judgment