what is amendment of pleadings under order 6 rule 17 of CPC
what is amendment of pleadings under order 6 rule 17 of CPC

What is amendment of pleadings under order 6 rule 17 of CPC?

What is a pleading in law?

Pleadings are the foundations of the lawsuit. Any case or trial lies inside the foundations of pleadings. Means pleadings are documents filed by the parties in the suit, and the basis of that element of the lawsuit parties in the litigation can make their perfect legal stand. The parties to the lawsuit can resolve legal disputes in a case after the pleading has been presented on-court record.

The various types of pleadings sued in the particular purpose of the lawsuit according to pleadings in law. The pleading is a primary element of the court, essentially pleading means A written statement made by the parties to the action, and a pleading may be a complaint, a reply. Whether by a plaintiff or defendant, his field.

About the pleadings of the provision in the Code of Civil Procedure Act, 1908, Order 6 clarified the pleadings in detail in general. Each litigation starts with pleadings where the plaintiff’s side files pleadings known as a petition, claim, suit, complaint, etc.

As a plaintiff, he submits his pleadings in writing and attaches all the necessary documents to the pleadings which are a relay to his lawsuit. Pursuant to order 6 of Rules 1 to 18, explains the various pleading principles.

As the defendant’s party, we can say that the pleadings are a written statement, a counterclaim, a reply to the plaintiff’s case, a reply to the plaintiff’s lawsuit, etc. The defendant may also submit his pleadings along with documents that are relayed to him and take an appropriate defense in the suit.

In short, we can say that pleadings are the primary documents that the parties have filed regarding the legal dispute involved in the lawsuit, whether as a plaintiff or defendant.

Order 6 R. 17 of CPC: Amendment of pleadings:

The provision of the amendment of pleading extracted here below,

“17. Amendment of pleadings:

— The Court may at any stage of the proceedings allow either party to alter or amend his pleading in manner, and terms as may be, and all such amendments shall be made as may be necessary for determining the real questions in controversy between the parties:

Provided that no application for amendment shall be allowed after the trial has commenced unless the Court concludes that despite due diligence, the party could not have raised the matter before the commencement of trial.”

The original provision under Order 6 Rule 17 of C.P.C. is that at any stage of the proceedings, the court may entertain an application seeking amendment of the pleadings if it is necessary to determine the real issues in the dispute between the parties.

That provision was deleted from the 1999 Civil Procedure Code (Amendment). This omission was made to ensure consistency for new Civil Code changes. Yet, later, the Civil Procedure Code (Amendment), 2000 repealed it. The amendment allowed the court the power to authorize, with some restrictions, the submission of claims.

The court could allow amendment of pleadings at any stage of the proceedings. The court allows parties to modify and amend their pleadings in a manner that is justifiable and subject to conditions, and require all pleadings to be changed as required to settle substantive disputes among parties.

Basic principles of amendment of pleadings:

In the case of Revajeetu Builders and Developers v. Narayanaswamy and Sons and Ors. (2009) 10 SCC 84, The Supreme Court held the Following are certain basic principles which should be taken into account all the while allowing or rejecting an application for amendment:

(1) Whether seeking an amendment required for the appropriate adjudication of the suit decision?

(2) The application of amendment should be bona fide, and the application could not be made for the mala fide intention.

(3) Other’s praties right should not be prejudice cause of the amendment, which not recovered in terms of money.

(4) For not granting the amendment should not lead to injustice or multiplicity of proceedings.

(5) Whether an amendment would permanently change the nature of the case?

(6) The Court should reject amendments if a fresh suit on the amended applications were barred by limitation on the date of application.[1].

These are some of the crucial factors that may be taken into consideration when dealing with a requirement filed under Order VI, Rule 17. Which are illustrative only and are not exhaustive. The decision on a request made pursuant to Order VI, Rule 17, is a serious judicial exercise, and the said exercise should never be taken casually.

Although it usually deals with an application for amendment, the court does not deny the necessary or bonafide provision of amending pleadings. But if the request for amendment was submitted with the intention of mala fide, then the court will refuse.

In the case of  Haridas Aildas Thadani & Others v. Godraj Rustom Kermani, (1984) 1 SCC 668, The Supreme Court held “It is well settled that The court should be extremely liberal in granting a plea amendment unless there is serious injustice or irreparable loss on the other side. It is also clear that, in the absence of convincing reasons or compelling circumstances, a revision court should not interfere lightly with the discretion it exercises to allow an amendment.[2].

When amendment of pleadings is permissible? 

The primary purpose of Rule 17 CPC of Order 6 is to allow both parties to amend or modify their petitions in a reasonable manner. The power to allow amendments in full and may be exercised at any stage in the interests of the judiciary. On the basis of the guidelines of the various High Courts, the amendment is indeed right. It can not, however, be claimed in all circumstances. When deciding on such prayers, the courts should not grant them the usual manner.

The court has, admittedly, sufficient power to deal with a petition to amend the pleadings. If the court considers that the amendment is necessary, it shall require a decision on the actual dispute between the parties.

However, the court has limited power under order 6 of Rule 17 if such an application made by the parties after the start of the proceedings can not be allowed and the court has ample authority to reject it. Amendments would be accepted in pleadings in order to avoid the multiplicity of disputes between the parties.

An application to amend the pleading may be granted after the commencement of the proceedings. Such an application may be a grant to reduce the multiplicity of cases.

When the amendment is bonafide, truly valid, and does not cause permanent financial loss to the other party, even after the start of the trial, the amendment of pleadings may be permitted.

When amendment of pleadings not allowed?

No application for amendment shall be allowed after the trial of the case, and no modification of pleadings may be accepted during the trial unless the court concludes that, despite diligence, the party was unable to present the matter before the trial began.

Conclusion: 

The pleading is an important ground in any legal case, it should be presented very carefully by the parties in court, but sometimes when the circumstances of the case are to be changed, the party needs to apply to the court in order to amend the pleadings.

The court typically allows such an application, but the court must take note that allowing such an application will not change the original nature of the case when making an application to amend the pleadings.

An application to amend a pleading is subject to a grant in court until the start of the case. The court does not allow the application to amend pleadings after the start of the trial, however, the court may grant such an application to avoid the multiplication of cases.

At about the same time, the court finds that granting the other party and application to amend these pleadings does not cause irreparable loss. If he does, the court will not allow pleadings to be amended by the application.

Footnote:

(1) (2009) 10 SCC 84

(2) (1984) 1 SCC 668

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