Justice B.S. Chauhan, Justice Swatanter Kumar
Is it necessary to implead the State in a suit if the relief is sought against the State?
• The respondents filed a suit for declaration of title & possession of suit property & injunction from interference.
• The appellants argued that the said property is forest land which belongs to State of Andhra Pradesh.
• The Trial court gave the decree in favor of the respondent.
• The appellants filed an appeal against the order as the respondent weren’t in possession of land. It was dismissed & the second appeal in HC was also dismissed.
• Now, the appellant has filed an appeal in SC.
• It was contended that decision of HC is erroneous as the suit property belongs to the State of Andhra Pradesh & is in possession of the Forest Department. .
• It was contended that judgement of the HC is correct as the suit property belongs to the respondents only.
The Supreme Court allowed the appeal & set aside the judgement of HC given in second appeal. The court held that the second appeal before HC wasn’t maintainable because the State of Andhra Pradesh was a necessary party which is claiming the title of the property but it was not impleaded in the second appeal. Further, the appellants were allowed to file an application for impleadment of the State before the HC & ordered fresh hearings.
"Section 79 of the Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter ‘CPC’) specifically deals with suits by and against the Government and provides that in suits by and against the Government, the authority to be impleaded as the plaintiff or defendant, would be the Union of India or Central Government or the State or State Government.
Proviso to Rule 9 of Order 1 provides that non-joinder of necessary party is fatal."
- Para 5 (The District Collector, Srikakulam & Ors v. Bagathi Krishna Rao & Anr.)