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Amendment to Written Statement, Supreme Court allowed appeal filed by the Petitioner

December 19, 2017



Amendment to Written statement, Supreme Court allowed appeal

The Supreme Court allowed an appeal filed against the judgment of High Court of Delhi by which an order of the Trial Court allowing an application filed by the appellant for amendment of the written statement was set aside.


A Supreme Court Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D Y Chandrachud pronounced the Judgment in the above appeal. The facts of the case are:


On 11 October 2002, Sharda Rani Bhatia instituted a suit for the recovery of possession, arrears of damages and mesne profits against the appellant. The property in dispute is situated on the first floor at 1/6 Ramesh Nagar, New Delhi. The case of the original plaintiff is that Desh Raj Bhatia acquired the leasehold rights on 13 February 1962. On his death, his children are stated to have relinquished their rights and interest in favour of their mother, Lajwanti Bhatia. She executed a will bequeathing the property to her son Ratan Lal Bhatia who is stated to have become the exclusive owner of the property on her death. The original plaintiff, Sharda Rani Bhatia is the widow of Ratan Lal Bhatia. The appellant is the son of Ratan Lal Bhatia. Ratan Lal Bhatia died intestate. On his death, a registered deed of relinquishment was executed in favour of Sharda Rani Bhatia by the appellant and the respondent, the sons of Ratan Lal Bhatia and by Shakti Bhatia in favour of their mother. The original plaintiff is stated to have permitted the appellant and the respondent to reside along with her in the property. The suit was filed by Sharda Rani Bhatia for recovery of possession from the appellant and for consequential relief. The original plaintiff is stated to have executed a deed of gift in favour of the respondent in 2003 after which he was impleaded as co-plaintiff. The original plaintiff died in 2005 and the suit is being pursued by the respondent.


The appellant filed his written statement in the suit on 22 February 2003. According to the appellant, the respondent had exercised undue influence in obtaining the deed of relinquishment. According to him, parties had lived together jointly even after the alleged relinquishment. The appellant claims that an oral understanding was arrived at by which he was to occupy the first and second floors together with the terrace whereas the respondent was to occupy the ground floor exclusively and their mother was to live on the ground floor or, with any of her sons, as she desired. Accordingly, it has been alleged that the family arrangement was acted upon and the appellant is in occupation of the first and second floors together with the terrace while the respondent is in possession of the ground floor. Issues were framed on 14 August 2003. The respondent moved an application under Order 6 Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure for amendment of the plaint on 7 February 2013, which was allowed on 21 September 2013. The appellant filed a written statement to the amended plaint. The appellant filed an application for amendment of the written statement in March 2016, which was opposed by the respondent. The Trial Court allowed the application by an order dated 11 April 2016.

The respondent filed an application under Order 47 Rule 1 of CPC seeking review of the order dated 11 April 2016. On 3 June 2016, the respondent filed a writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution. The petition was allowed by the the High court and the impugned order dated 5 October 2016.


The High Court has held that the amendment sought in the written statement was not bona fide and was not necessary for determining the real question in controversy between the parties. The suit was instituted in 2001 and the written statement was filed in 2003. The High Court held that based on facts which were known to the appellant in 2003, a belated attempt was made thirteen years later in 2016 to amend the written statement to introduce an averment on the existence of coparcenary / hindu undivided property.


The Supreme court said that that:

"it has not become necessary to consider the alternative submission of the appellant namely, that recourse taken to the jurisdiction under Article 227 by the respondent after filing an application for review before the Trial Court was misconceived. Since the matter has been argued on merits, we have dealt with the rival submissions."


Supreme Court allowed the appeal and set aside the Judgment of High Court and said that:

"Hence, on a conspectus of the facts and having due regard to the nature of the jurisdiction under Article 227 which the High Court purported to exercise, we have come to the conclusion that the impugned judgment and order is unsustainable. We accordingly allow the appeal and set aside the judgment of the High Court. The order passed by the Trial Court allowing the amendment of the written statement is accordingly affirmed. ."




Read the Judgment of Supreme Court dated 15.12.2017



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