CIVIL

If by the amendments the entire dispute between the parties is brought within the domain of a single proceeding, the amendment should be allowed

This is so because the law discourages multiplicity of proceedings and encourages quick and effective resolution of the entire disputes between the parties by a single decree or order. Amendments have also been allowed to perfect the cause of action pleaded (see Seth Nanak Chand Shadiram v. Amin Chand Pyarilal reported in AIR 1970 Calcutta 8).

Amendments are allowed to bring on record relevant subsequent events with the objective of shortening litigation. (see Lekh Raj v. Muni Lal reported in (2001) 2 SCC 762, Om Prakash Gupta v. Ranbir B. Goyal reported in (2002) 2 SCC 256 and Kedar Nath Agrawal (Dead) and another v. Dhanraji Devi (dead) by Lrs. And another reported in (2004) 8 SCC 76). Amendments are also allowed to bring to the forefront the real controversy between the parties (see Usha Devi v. Rijwan Ahmed and Ors. reported in AIR 2008 SC 1147, Pankaja and another v. Yellappa (ded) by Lrs. And another reported in (2004) 6 SCC 415 and South Konkan Distilleries & Anr. Vs. Prabhakar Gajanan Naik & Ors. reported in (2008) 14 SCC 632).

In those circumstances, events subsequent to filing of the suit and which are relevant for the purpose of its trial should be brought on record by amendment, instead of asking the plaintiff to institute a fresh suit. But sometimes, a valuable right accrues in favour of the defendant and allowing the plaintiff to amend the plaint would defeat such a right. In such a case the amendment should not be allowed. For example, suppose, the plaintiff has omitted to include a claim in his original claim. By the time he realises it, the claim has become barred by the laws of limitation. A separate suit would not lie. Thus a valuable right has accrued to the defendant. The amendment to include this barred claim should normally not be allowed. However, only when a proposed claim sought to be introduced by amendment, is patently barred by the laws of limitation should the court refuse to allow it. If the issue is triable, the court should not get into the controversy of limitation at the stage of hearing of the amendment application and leave it for adjudication at the trial of the suit. (see Ragu Thilak D. John Vs. S. Rayappan and Ors. reported in AIR 2001 Sc 699) If the court finds that by the amendment the plaintiff is introducing an additional cause of action or a new cause of action the amendment should not be allowed especially if the claim is patently barred by limitation (see A.K. Gupta and Sons Ltd. V. Damodar Valley Corporation reported in AIR 1967 SC 96).

The amendment should be refused, if the plaintiff by that process is trying to enlarge the scope of the suit. We all know that Order 2 Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that the plaint has to include the whole claim in respect of the cause of action. If it is not included it would be deemed to be abandoned. Hence if the entire claim is not included in the plaint it becomes dead. It cannot be introduced in a subsequent suit. The court will discourage an effort to introduce the claim through the backdoor of amendment, unless there has been a serious accidental omission on the part of the learned lawyer for the plaintiff and the court thinks that for this error the litigant who has been acting bona fide should not suffer.

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Categories: CIVIL

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