High Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh
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Dr. M.R. Sapra v. M/s Prem & Sons - CR-4455-2005  RD-P&H 781 (15 February 2006)
CIVIL REVISION NO. 4455 of 2005
DATE OF DECISION: February 15, 2006.
Dr. M.R. Sapra
M/s Prem & Sons
CORAM: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE JASBIR SINGH
PRESENT: Mr. C.B.Goel,
Advocate, for the petitioner.
Mr. Jaswant Jain, Advocate, for the respondent.
Vide order under challenge, application of the respondent to lead additional evidence in a pending appeal was allowed. It is apparent from the records that the respondent filed a suit for recovery by saying that money was due from the petitioner defendant on account of goods sold to him. Its suit was dismissed on August 6, 2001. It filed an appeal on August 30, 2001. During pendency of the appeal, it moved an application for leading additional evidence, wherein it was stated that it be allowed to bring on record documents, i.e., assessment order for the year 1990-91, balance sheet for the assessent year 1990-91, trading account for the year 1989-90, profit and loss account for the year 1989- 90, income-tax return for the year 1989-90, sundry debtors form 1989- 90, cash book for the year 1989-90 and sales tax assessment for the year 1989-90. It was its case that the documents, referred to above, were lying with the counsel, looking after respondent's income-tax and sales- tax matters and he failed to supply those documents in time. In spite of due diligence, the respondent could not produce those documents before the trial Court. By believing the assertion as referred to above, application was allowed.
Shri C.B.Goel, Advocate, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, has stated that the case of the respondent to produce additional evidence is not covered under the provisions of Order 41 Rule 27 CPC, as the documents, which the respondent now intends to bring on record, are its documents and the respondent is supposed to have knowledge of the same. To support his contention, he has placed reliance upon judgment of the Supreme Court in Mahavir Singh v. Naresh Chandra, 2001 A.I.R. (SC) 134 and judgments of this Court in Kulwant Singh v.
Makhan Singh,(P&H), 1992 P.L.J. 348, and Gram Panchayat, Kanehi v.
Ram Kumar,(P&H), 2001(2) P.L.R. 186. Counsel contended that, as the respondent was negligent in not bringing on record documents, referred to above, the appellate Court below was not justified in allowing the respondent, to prove those documents on record in additional evidence.
He prayed that the revision petition be allowed and order under challenge be set aside.
Shri Jaswant Jain, Advocate, appearing for the respondent, has vehemently opposed the prayer made by counsel for the petitioner.
He has contended that as the documents, which the respondent now intends to bring on record, were lying with its counsel, it, despite due diligence, could not produce those documents in Court. As the documents are public documents, so in producing those documents on record, no harm will be caused to the opposite party. To say so, he has placed reliance upon ratio of the judgment in Pran Nath Aggarwal v.
Firm Ram Rattan Om Prakash and others, 2005(1) R.C.R. 119.
After hearing counsel for the parties, this Court is of the view that the revision petition deserves to be allowed. It is apparent from the record that the plaintiff filed suit for recovery by stating that the amount is due from the petitioner- defendant on account of goods sold to him. Its suit was dismissed and appeal is pending. Documents, which the respondent now intends to bring on record, were most essential to prove its assertion in the suit and the same were very much in its knowledge as these pertain to its business transaction. Mere assertion that the documents were lying with its counsel and the counsel has failed to supply those documents at the relevant time, is very difficult to believe. This Court is of the opinion that the case of the respondent to lead additional evidence does not fall within the ambit of Order 41 Rule 27 C.P.C. Their Lordships of the Supreme Court in Mahavir Singh's case (Supra), while dealing with similar situation has observed thus: "6. Shri Gopal Subramanium, learned senior counsel for the respondents, submitted that now that the documents had been sent to the concerned Laboratory and the opinion had been ascertained, the matter can certainly be examined by the Court. We cannot agree as this trend, if allowed, would result in that at any stage of the case either in the first appeal or the second appeal, the additional evidence is sought to be adduced on the ground that better scientific evidence can be adduced, the process would become unending. It is only in the circumstances prescribed under Order XLI, Rule 27 CPC such power can be exercised. He contended that if the order of the High Court could not be sustained on the ground that the entire appeal was not before it, the order of the first appellate Court also cannot be sustained because while examining the effect of the evidence in the course of the appeal, the application under Order XLI, Rule 27 CPC could have been dismissed. But the argument ignores the fact that if the first appellate court had deemed it necessary to allow the parties to adduce additional evidence, it ought to have examined the entire evidence and when it was rejecting the application, it felt that the evidence already on record was sufficient one."
Similarly, in Kulwant Singh's case (Supra), it has been held by this Court that the plea that the plaintiff/ petitioner was a rustic villager and his counsel was negligent in not bringing on record certain documents could not be accepted for producing additional evidence. To the same effect is the ratio of judgment in Ram Kumar's case (Supra).
Reliance of Shri Jain on the ratio of judgment in Prem Nath Aggarwal's case (supra) is not applicable to the facts of the present case as in that case, application to lead additional evidence was moved at the intial stage and prayer was made to bring on record documents, which were in custody of the opposite party. Under these circumstances, it was presumed that the documents were not within the knowledge of the petitioner, in that case and could not be produced earlier.
In view of reasoning given above, this revision petition is allowed and the order under challenge is set aside.
February 15, 2006. ( Jasbir Singh )
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