24 June 2024


Supreme Court

Life Insurance Corporation Of India vs. Sanjeev Builders Private Limited




When the amendment in pleadings is necessary for effective adjudication of the main issues, the amendment should be allowed

Present appeal is at the instance of a Defendant in a suit filed by the Respondents herein (original Plaintiffs) for the specific performance of contract based on an agreement dated 8th June, 1979 and is directed against the judgment and order passed by the High Court, arising from the order passed by a learned Single Judge on its ordinary original civil jurisdiction side in the Chamber Summons. The Chamber Summons was allowed by the High Court at the instance of the Plaintiffs, permitting the Plaintiffs to amend the plaint. The order passed by the High Court in the Chamber Summons came to be affirmed by a Division Bench in the Appeal. The High Court permitted the plaintiffs to amend the plaint, seeking to enhance the amount towards the alternative claim for damages.

Order II Rule 2 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) operates as a bar against a subsequent suit, if the requisite conditions for application thereof are satisfied and the field of amendment of pleadings falls far beyond its purview. The plea of amendment being barred under Order II Rule 2 of CPC is, thus, misconceived and hence negatived.

All amendments are to be allowed which are necessary for determining the real question in controversy provided it does not cause injustice or prejudice to the other side. This is mandatory, as is apparent from the use of the word “shall”, in the latter part of Order VI Rule 17 of the CPC.

Where the amendment changes the nature of the suit or the cause of action, so as to set up an entirely new case, foreign to the case set up in the plaint, the amendment must be disallowed. Where, however, the amendment sought is only with respect to the relief in the plaint, and is predicated on facts which are already pleaded in the plaint, ordinarily the amendment is required to be allowed.

Where the amendment is sought before commencement of trial, the court is required to be liberal in its approach. The court is required to bear in mind the fact that the opposite party would have a chance to meet the case set up in amendment. As such, where the amendment does not result in irreparable prejudice to the opposite party, or divest the opposite party of an advantage which it had secured as a result of an admission by the party seeking amendment, the amendment is required to be allowed. Equally, where the amendment is necessary for the court to effectively adjudicate on the main issues in controversy between the parties, the amendment should be allowed.

The impugned order passed by the Division Bench of the High Court, affirming the order passed by the learned Single Judge allowing the amendment application filed at the instance of the plaintiffs is upheld. Appeal dismissed.

Tags : Plaint Amendment Legality

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