The Courts Should Have a Lenient Approach While Considering the Application under Order 8 Rule 1A (3) CPC: SC Expounds

Team SoOLEGAL 28 Oct 2020 3:13pm

The Courts Should Have a Lenient Approach While Considering the Application under Order 8 Rule 1A (3) CPC: SC Expounds

The Supreme Court in Sugandha (DEAD) vs. P.Rajkumar (Civil Appeal no. 3427 of 2020) has expounded that Courts should have a lenient view while considering the application made by the respondent for production of documents which were not submitted at the time of written statement.

In the present case, a revision petition was filed in the Madras High Court because of the rejection of the application filed under Order 8 Rule 1A (3) of Civil Procedure Code (CPC), by the Trial Court. The same was rejected by the High Court and the respondent appealed to the Apex Court.

The Bench comprising of Justice S. Abdul Nazeer and Justice Sanjeev Khanna, while referring to Order 8 Rule 1A of CPC stated that “He must list out the documents which are in his possession or power as well as those which are not. In case the defendant does not file any document or copy thereof along with his written statement, such a document shall not be allowed to be received in evidence on behalf of the defendant at the hearing of the suit. However, this will not apply to a document produced for cross-examination of the plaintiff's witnesses or handed over to a witness merely to refresh his memory. Sub­-rule (3) states that a document which is not produced at the time of filing of the written statement, shall not be received in evidence except with the leave of the court."

The Supreme Court, while stating that litigation is a journey to the truth and Courts should have a lenient view while considering the application, noted that “It is often said that procedure is the handmaid of justice. Procedural and technical hurdles shall not be allowed to come in the way of the court while doing substantial justice. If the procedural violation does not seriously cause prejudice to the adversary party, courts must lean towards doing substantial justice rather than relying upon procedural and technical violation. We should not forget the fact that litigation is nothing but a journey towards truth which is the foundation of justice and the court is required to take appropriate steps to thrash out the underlying truth in every dispute. Therefore, the court should take a lenient view when an application is made for production of the documents under sub-rule (3).

Taking the fact into consideration that the respondent gained possession of the document after submitting the written statement and that they have filed an application which includes cogent reasons for not producing documents, the court ought to have the leave granted.


Tagged: Supreme Court   Madras High Court   Trial Court   Justice S. Abdul Nazeer   Justice Sanjeev Khanna  
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Govind   29 Oct 2020 8:23am
Very useful and improve the subject

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