Civil Appeal No. 6370 of 2022
Sudhamayee Pattnaik and Ors vs Bibhu Prasad Sahoo and Ors
DATE OF ORDER:
16 September 2022
Justice MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari
Appellant: Sudhamayee Pattnaik and Ors
Respondent: Bibhu Prasad Sahoo and Ors
The Supreme Court reaffirmed that the plaintiffs are the dominus litis and that no one can be admitted as a defendant against the plaintiffs’ wishes unless the court suo moto orders so. The bench claimed that the subsequent purchasers’ failure to be named as defendants on the plaintiffs’ objection will be at their own responsibility.
Code of Civil Procdedure:
- Order 1 Rule 10 - Plaintiffs are the domius litis - Unless the court suo motu directs to join any other person not party to the suit for effective decree and/or for proper adjudication as per Order 1 Rule 10 CPC, nobody can be permitted to be impleaded as defendants against the wish of the plaintiffs.
- The initial plaintiffs - appellants filed a civil lawsuit against the original defendants in order to obtain a declaration, a permanent injunction, and possession of the property.
- Original defendants in the aforementioned lawsuit showed up and filed a joint written statement, a counterclaim, and a declaration of their right, title, and interest in the suit's property as well as a request for a permanent injunction. Original defendant Nos. 1 to 4 filed an application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC and prayed for the inclusion of subsequent purchasers as party defendants after the plaintiffs’ side’s evidence was concluded.
- They claimed, among other things, that while the lawsuit was pending, the plaintiffs had illegally and unlawfully alienated some parcels of the disputed land in favour of one Manasi Sahoo, the wife of Sanjaya Kumar Sahoo, Bharat Chandra Sahoo, Dhaneswar Sahoo and Kedarnath Sahoo.
- In order to ensure proper judicial adjudication of the case and prevent duplication of procedures, it was urged to name the following purchasers as party defendants.
- Whether the order passed by the High Court confirming the order passed by the Trial Court is in accordance with the law or not?
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT
- The defendants Nos. 1 to 4 did not have locus standi to submit such an application, according to the plaintiffs - appellants in this case, who contested the abovementioned application.
- Additionally, it was submitted that the plaintiffs were the dominus litis in the lawsuit on behalf of the original plaintiffs, and no one could be allowed to join or be named as a defendant against the plaintiffs’ wishes.
- The learned counsel representing the appellants - original plaintiffs has fiercely argued that, given the facts and circumstances of the case, both the trial Court and the High Court made major mistakes by approving the application made at the defendants’ request under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC.
- The further argument is that the plaintiffs are the dominus litis and that no one can be impleaded as a defendant against the plaintiffs’ will.
ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT
- It is claimed on behalf of defendants Nos. 1 through 4 that the trial court properly granted the application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC and instructed to implead the subsequent purchasers as defendants in order to avoid any duplication of proceedings and to pass an effective judgement because a portion of the suit property was illegally transferred in favour of the subsequent purchasers while the suit was pending. Therefore, it is claimed that the High Court's decision to dismiss the writ petition was correct.
- The Court stated that it was important to notice right away that the defendants in the lawsuit submitted an application in accordance with Order 1 Rule 10 CPC and requested to name the subsequent buyers as party defendants. The lawsuit seeks a declaration, permanent injunction, and recovery of possession.
- The plaintiffs were the domius litis, according to the established legal doctrine. Nobody can be allowed to be impleaded as defendants against the wishes of the plaintiffs unless the court suo motu orders to join any other person not a party to the suit for an effective decree and/or for proper adjudication in accordance with Order 1 Rule 10 CPC.
- At the risk of the plaintiffs, no other individuals may be named as defendants against their will. Therefore, it was against the plaintiffs’ wishes that future buyers were impleaded as party defendants in the application filed by the initial defendants.
- The plaintiffs opposed the inclusion of the subsequent purchasers as party defendants, but since the defendants have also filed a counterclaim for a declaration of their right, title, and interest over the subject property as well as for a permanent injunction, if the counterclaim is accepted, the plaintiffs will not be able to argue that no judgement in the counterclaim should be made in the absence of the subsequent purchasers. Therefore, it is the plaintiffs’ responsibility to assume the risk of not naming the following buyers as defendants in response to their objection.
With respect to the reasons stated and the observations made, the appeal was allowed. The High Court’s impugned decision and order, as well as the trial court’s approval of the application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC, were reversed and set aside, but with the aforementioned observations. With regard to the facts and circumstances of the case, there shall be no order as to costs.
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