OI R10 CPC | Stranger Can't Be Impleaded Merely Because It Intends To Support State In Contesting Suit & Protecting Alleged Govt Land: MP High Court
The Madhya Pradesh High Court, Gwalior Bench recently held that a party cannot be impleaded in a suit in exercise of power under Order I Rule 10 CPC because they intend to assist the State to contest the suit for the protection of State property.
The bench comprising Justice G.S. Ahluwalia observed that the intent of a party to join the suit to ensure that the State is properly represented would not fulfil the criteria for them to become a "proper party" to the suit-
…they simply want to join the suit with an intention to ensure that the State Government is properly represented and properly contest the suit for the protection of the State property. It is the case of the petitioners that they are proper parties…If the said stand taken by petitioners is taken on its face value, then it is clear that by making an application under Order 1 Rule 10 of CPC, they wanted to claim their rights against co-defendant, i.e., State, which otherwise was also not permissible. Furthermore, the petitioners cannot be said to be proper party because a proper party means that presence of a party before the Court is necessary to enable it effectually and completely to adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the suit.
Facts of the case were that one of the Respondents had instituted a suit for declaration of title and permanent injunction regarding the suit property. The Petitioners moved an application before the civil court under Order I Rule 10 read with Section 151 CPC on the ground that they were in possession of the suit property and were necessary parties. However, the lower court rejected their application. Aggrieved, the Petitioners moved the Court.
The Petitioners did not press on their claim regarding their possession of the suit property. However, they submitted that they want to get themselves impleaded in the suit so as to support the State Government in order to ensure that the case for protection of suit property is properly contested. Thus, it was asserted that they were necessary parties to the suit.
Examining the submissions of parties and documents on record, the Court noted that since the Petitioners had given up all their claims, it could not be said that no effective decree could be passed in their absence.
The Court further observed that the Plaintiff in a suit is dominus litis, who could not be compelled to fight against a party from whom they do not seek to claim any relief. It also added that the Petitioners had failed to demonstrate that they were likely to suffer from any legal injury due to the outcome of the suit concerned-
The petitioners could not point out as to how their presence is necessary for complete and final decision on the question involved in the proceedings. The State is competent to defend itself. Furthermore, the Division Bench of Delhi High Court in the case of Kranti Arora (supra) has held that the plaintiff is a dominus litis and is a master of the suit. He cannot be compelled to fight against a person against whom he does not claim any relief. The plaintiff in a suit is required to identify the parties against whom he wants to implead as defendant and cannot be compelled to face litigation with the persons against whom he has no grievance. A third party is entitled to be impleaded as a necessary party if that party is likely to suffer any legal injury due to outcome of the suit.
With the aforesaid observation, the Court did not find fault in the impugned order passed by the court below. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed.
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