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What are the requisites for allowing discovery of documents in a civil suit

Parul Dhingra ,
  03 September 2020       Share Bookmark

Court :

Brief :
The High Court set aside the order of the learned single judge. The court observed that the respondent had filed a case seeking permanent injunction so they need to stand on their own instead of discovering the documents about the ownership title of the petitioners at this stage of the suit.
Citation :
Petitioners : Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructural Development Corporation Ltd. & Anr. Respondent : Shiv Kumar Citation : 2013 SCC OnLine Del 3773

Bench: Justice Manmohan Singh

Issue:

What are the requisites for allowing discovery of documents in a civil suit?

Facts:

  • The respondent had filed a suit seeking permanent injunction against the petitioners to restrain them from taking forcible possession of the suit property & from demolishing the wall of the property.
  • The senior civil judge allowed the application of respondents filed under Order 11, Rules 1, 2, 12 & 14 read with Section 151 CPC to discover the documents from the petitioner relating to the ownership of the land.
  • The petitioners filed the present petition under Article 227 of the Constitution for quashing the order allowing the application of the respondent.

Petitioner’s contentions:

  • It was contended that the respondent has no title or ownership of the suit property.
  • At this stage of the suit, the respondent has no right to ask the petitioners to discover the original documents of the suit property.
  • The respondent should not be allowed to prove his case after receiving the documents from the petitioners.

Respondent’s contentions :

  • The respondent submitted that the order of the Learned Judge is correct as the party is entitled to the inspection of documents.

Judgement:

The High Court set aside the order of the learned single judge. The court observed that the respondent had filed a case seeking permanent injunction so they need to stand on their own instead of discovering the documents about the ownership title of the petitioners at this stage of the suit.

“Before directing discovery of documents, the Court is required to satisfy itself that whether the documents are relevant for the purpose of disposing of the suit or not. A party cannot be permitted to have a roving enquiry to extract information which may or may not be relevant.” (Para 7, Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructural Development Corporation Ltd. & Another v. Shiv Kumar)

 

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Published in Civil Law
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