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Order 6 Rule 4 CPC Cannot Be Invoked To Effect An Amendment In Written Statement: J&K&L High Court

Basit Amin Makhdoomi
28 July 2022 4:45 AM GMT
Order 6 Rule 4 CPC Cannot Be Invoked To Effect An Amendment In Written Statement: J&K&L High Court
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The Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court recently ruled that an application filed under the provisions of Order VI Rule 4 of Civil Procedure Code has to be specific in exemplifying the details about allegations of misrepresentation, fraud or wilful default and this provision cannot be enlarged to effect an amendment to the written statement. A bench comprising Justice...

The Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh High Court recently ruled that an application filed under the provisions of Order VI Rule 4 of Civil Procedure Code has to be specific in exemplifying the details about allegations of misrepresentation, fraud or wilful default and this provision cannot be enlarged to effect an amendment to the written statement.

A bench comprising Justice Moksha Khajuria Kazmi was hearing a plea wherein the petitioners (original defendants) had challenged the order of the trial court whereby it had rejected the application under Order VI Rule 4 of the petitioners holding that if the application is allowed and the particulars/ pleadings as are mentioned therein are incorporated in the written statement, the same will cause prejudice to the respondent (original Plaintiff) and that allowing the application would mean allowing an amendment of the pleadings of the written statement.

The petitioners in their plea submitted that all controversies would have got settled had the application been allowed as it would have concretized the issues before the court below. Petitioners further contended the application deserved to be allowed even if it would have resulted in amendment of the written statement as the defendant in a suit is entitled to amend the written statement and in doing that the defendant does not suffer the same limitations as the plaintiff.

Deliberating on the matter in question Justice Kazmi observed that the contention of the counsel that the order impugned is bad in law as the right to press into service the provision of law, Order VI Rule 4 of the CPC, cannot be taken away even if it amounted to amendment does not appear to be carrying weight, for, the mandate of the Order VI Rule 4 of the CPC is quite limited. It only provides for stating the particulars in the pleading in all cases where the party pleading relies on any misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, willful default, or undue influence, and in all other cases in which particulars may be necessary, the bench underscored.

While discussing the matter the bench also found it worthwhile to record the observations made by Supreme court in Bishundeo v. Seogeni Rai, 1951 SCR 548 wherein it was observed.

"General allegations are insufficient even to amount to an averment of fraud of which any court ought to take notice, however, strong the language in which they are couched may be, and the same applies to undue influence and coercion."

The bench explained that as per Rule 4, particulars with dates and items are clearly required to be stated in the pleading inter alia in cases of misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, willful default or undue influence, for the reason that the opposite party knows the case it has to meet; the issue is not enlarged and the court is enabled to determine the controversy at the earliest.

The bench further noted that Order VI Rule 4 of the CPC has to be specific to the relevant particulars only but the contents of the application filed by the petitioner before the court below do not qualify to mean fraud, coercion or undue influence.

Upholding the trial court order the bench observed application filed by the petitioner before the court below is not in conformity with Order VI Rule 4 of the CPC as it is seeking to elaborate what is already pleaded in the written statement filed by him prior in time. Such elaboration certainly amounts to amending the earlier written statement which could not have been done and the court below has rightly rejected the same as what the law prohibits directly cannot be done indirectly, the bench concluded.

Case Title: Ghulam Hassan Khanyari Vs Reyaz Ahmad Bhat &Ors.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw(JKL) 82

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment 



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