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Key Takeaways

  • The petitioner filed a petition against the Munsiff Court’s order allowing an amendment to the statement made by the respondent.
  • The court considered two questions; when does a trial commence, and if a wilful admission made in the pleadings can be stricken down.
  • The court agreed with the findings of the Munsiff Judge and dismissed the petition.

Facts

  • The respondent in the present case filed an application to amend a written statement, stating some mistakes had been made due to oversight.
  • The petitioner moved against this, contending that this was an attempt by the respondent to strike down an admission made wilfully, and this should be impermissible. Further, it was also contended that the application was filed at a belated stage.
  • The Munsiff allowed the petition, finding that the amendment would not cause any prejudice to the plaintiff.
  • The petitioner has filed a grievance against this finding of the Munsiff.

Issues

  • The court narrowed down the issues to two questions.
  • Firstly, when does a trial commence for the purpose of the proviso to Order 6 Rule 17 of CPC?
  • Secondly, whether a categorical and wilful admission made in the pleadings can be stricken down by filing an amendment application?

High Court’s Order

  • According to its analysis, a trial is said to commence when the first witness is examined by the court, or when the witness who has filed a chief affidavit offers himself for cross-examination by the other side, or, the date on which the plaintiff or his counsel either tenders the documents in evidence when no oral documents are given.
  • With regard to the second question, the court found many differing judgments on the same. From the analysis of the case laws, it was seen that a categorical or wilful admission made in the pleadings cannot be allowed to be withdrawn by way of amendment if this withdrawal would result in totally displacing the case of the plaintiff and would cause him the plaintiff irreparable prejudice.
  • The court observed that not allowing such an amendment could result in loss to the party who has prayed for it. But if the court finds that such an amendment will serve the ultimate cause of justice, it should be allowed.
  • Therefore, the challenge of the petitioner is rejected and the Munsiff has rightly allowed the amendment sought. There is no further interference required, the petition is dismissed.

Questions

  • Do you agree with the High Court’s Order?
  • When is a trial said to commence?

Share your answers in the comments section below.

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