SUPREME COURT DISMISSES APPLICATION FOR AMENDMENT OF PLEADINGS AFTER COMMENCEMENT OF TRIAL

In a recent case of Pandit Malhari Mahale vs. Monika Pandit Mahale 2020, the Supreme Court passed an Order dated 10-01-2020, whereby the Court observed that an application for amendment of plaint can be allowed by a court even after the trial has begun only on the ground that such additional plea could not have been raised by the plaintiff before the commencement of trial and that the court is satisfied that such an amendment is necessary to decide the real dispute between the parties.

Generally, an application for amendment of plaint is made under Order VI Rule 17 of Civil Procedure Code 1908 as amended thereof, which provides that the Court may at any stage of the proceedings allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings in such manner and on such terms as may be just, and all such amendments shall be made as may be necessary for the purpose of determining the real questions in controversy between the parties. Provided that no application for amendment shall be allowed after the trial has commenced, unless the court comes to the conclusion that in spite of due diligence, the party could not have raised the matter before the commencement of trial.

In the present case, a Suit of Partition was filed by the Plaintiff-Respondent. Upon reaching the stage of evidence, an Application for Amendment of Plaint was filed by the Plaintiff-Respondent, which was allowed by the Trial Court and subsequently, by High Court in Appeal, on the grounds such an amendment could not have been raised before commencement of trial.

Thereafter, the Defendant-Appellant filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Order of the High Court allowing the Amendment Application, on the ground that the amendment could not have been considered unless the court is satisfied that in spite of due diligence, the party could not have raised the matter before the commencement of trial.

But the Apex Court held that no finding or reasoning has been given by the Trial Court and the High Court as to on what grounds the Courts are satisfied that in spite of due diligence, the Party could not introduce amendment before commencement of the trial, and thus, dismissed the Order of the Trial Court and the High Court.  

Priya Rana

4th year, Galgotias University

Intern, The Indian Lawyer

With

Harini Daliparthy

Senior Legal Associate, The Indian Lawyer

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