Prabhakant Shukla Vs. Prabhat Motor Company - (High Court of Allahabad) (01 Nov 2017)
Leave can be granted by trial court to file documents on a good cause being shown by Defendant
The present petition is against orders passed by Courts below, on an application Paper moved by the Plaintiff for rejection of application 111-Ga of the Defendant to bring two documents namely trade tax return and power of attorney on record. The objection taken by Petitioner/Plaintiff in application 239-Ga was that, said documents had been filed with much delay and they were not part of record of written statement and as such the Defendant would be precluded from bringing them on record. The short issue raised in the present petition is whether the discretion exercised by the Trial Court in admitting the documents of the defendant was an outcome of an error in exercise of its judicial discretion. The Petitioner argued that, in view of the mandate of Order VIII Rule 1A and Order XIII Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, the documentary evidence in original can be filed only of those documents, copies whereof have been filed along with the written statement.
Sub Rule (1) of Rule 1A of Order VIII of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) mandates the Defendant to file a document which he intends to rely through a list of documents to be filed along with the written statement. Sub Rule (3) of said Rule further stipulates that, the document which is not produced at the time of filing of written statement, shall not be received in evidence, except with the leave of the Court. The provision is a time-saving step as it directs the Defendant to file his documents at the time of presentation of the written statement. It is also added with an intention to give opportunity to the Plaintiff to prepare beforehand as to the defence of the Defendant. The amending Act came into force from 1st July, 2002. Rule 1 of Order XIII added by way of amendment w.e.f. 1st July, 2002 stipulates that, all the documentary evidence in original shall be filed by both parties or their pleader before settlement of issues. This provision again makes it mandatory for the parties to produce their original documents within prescribed time.
No option is left upon the Defendant to bring any document on an evidence except those which have been filed along with the written statement, without the leave of the Court. The discretion conferred upon the Court to grant leave is to be exercised judiciously. There is no straight-jacket formula, however, on a good cause being shown by the Defendant, leave can be granted by the Trial Court to file the documents by the Defendant in his defence at the hearing of the suit. It cannot be said that in no case, the trial Court can grant liberty to the Defendant to bring the documents to base his defence before it, at a later stage of the suit.
In the instant case, the written statement was filed by the Defendant on 2nd February, 2006. The copy of the written statement has not been brought on record. The application 111-Ga filed by the Defendant along with the affidavit on 9th April, 2013 to bring the documents namely the trade tax return and power of attorney has also not been brought on record.
However, there is no averment with regard to the settlement of issues, by the Trial Court or the stage of the suit at which, the documentary evidences were filed by the Defendant. The order passed by the Trial Court further indicates that, the suit was dismissed in absence of the Plaintiff/Petitioner. The Trial Court having been satisfied with the explanation offered by the Defendant granted leave to bring his documents on record. For the delay in filing the same, the cost of Rs. 500/- had been imposed. A liberty is granted to the Petitioner/Plaintiff to file his evidence.
In view of facts recorded by the trial Court and the manner in which the leave has been granted, it cannot be said that, it had erred in allowing application 111-Ga admitting the Defendant's documents on record. The Revisional Court had rightly refused to interfere in its limited jurisdiction under Section 115 of the CPC. Present Court in exercise of its extraordinary supervisory powers under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is not inclined to interfere in the judicial discretion exercised by the trial Court. The present petition is found devoid of merits and hence dismissed.
Tags : DOCUMENT ADMISSION VALIDITY