High Court of Madras
Case Law Search
K.Leelavathi v. Mrs.Maheswari Sakthi Ganesan - C.R.P. (P.D.) No.962 of 2002  RD-TN 416 (1 July 2002)
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE P.D.DINAKARAN
C.R.P. (P.D.) No.962 of 2002
K.Leelavathi .. Petitioner versus
1. Mrs.Maheswari Sakthi Ganesan
2. Arun Real Estates
rep. by its Proprietor
R.Kandasamy. .. Respondents Revision against the order dated 11.2.2002 in I.A.No. 152 of 2002 in O.S.No.1541 of 1995 on the file of the II Additional Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore.
For petitioner : Mr.T.Chandrakumar For respondents : No appearance :ORDER
Aggrieved by the order dated 11.2.2002 in I.A.No.152 of 2002 in O.S.No.1541 of 1995 on the file of the learned II Additional Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore, permitting the plaintiff in the suit, viz., the first respondent herein, to summon the revision petitioner/second defendant for letting in evidence on behalf of the first respondent/ plaintiff, as the revision petitioner/second defendant refused to examine himself as a witness, the revision petitioner/second defendant has preferred the above revision.
2. The only contention of the learned counsel for the revision petitioner is that, if a party, who is in a position to give evidence, does not come into the witness box, it is open for the Court to draw an inference against him; but he cannot be compelled to give evidence, at the instance of the opposite party, requiring the unwilling party, to examine himself as a witness.
3. In this connection, I am obliged to refer Order XVI Rule 21, C.P.C., which reads as follows:
“ Rules in case of parties appearing as witnesses.-- (1) When a party to a suit is required by any other party thereto to give evidence or to produce a document, the provisions as to witnesses shall apply to him so far as applicable.
(2) When a party to a suit gives evidence on his own behalf the Court may, in its discretion, permit him to include as costs in the suit a sum of money equal to the amount payable for travelling and other expenses to other witnesses in the case of similar standing. ”
4. A reading of Order XVI Rule 21(1), C.P.C., referred to above, makes it clear that when a party to the suit (in the instant case, the revision petitioner/second defendant) is required by any other party thereto (the first respondent/plaintiff herein) to give evidence or to produce any document, the provisions of Order XVI shall apply to him as far as possible. It is true that if a party refuses to voluntarily give evidence, he cannot be compelled to do so at the instance of the opposite party, as the Court is always at liberty to draw an inference against the party, who refuses to give evidence voluntarily.
5. No doubt, Order XVI Rule 20, C.P.C., refers to the consequences of refusal of the party to give evidence when called on by Court, which reads as follows:
“ Consequence of refusal of party to give evidence when called on by Court.-- Where any party to a suit present in Court refuses, without lawful excuse, when required by the Court, to give evidence or to produce any document then and there in his possession or power, the Court may pronounce judgment against him or make such order in relation to the suit as it thinks fit. ”
6. In my considered opinion, the harmonious construction of Order XVI Rules 20 and 21, C.P.C. makes it clear that the consequence of refusal of the party to give evidence, as provided under Order XVI Rule 21 C.P.C. would follow only if the opposite party initiates an action, requiring the party to adduce evidence even though he refuses to do so voluntarily, as the refusal of a party to give evidence would follow only after a summons is served on him at the instance of the opposite party. The above principle is well-founded to meet the contingency of the parties, who avoid cross-examination, and to meet the ends of justice.
Therefore, finding no merits in the contention of the learned counsel for the revision petitioner/second defendant the revision is dismissed. No costs. Consequently, C.M.P.No.7928 of 2002 is also dismissed. P.D.DINAKARAN,J.
Internet: Yes 01.07.2002 ksv
The II Additional Subordinate Judge, Coimbatore. Sd/- Assistant Registrar
Sub Assistant Registrar
C.R.P. (P.D.) No.962 of 2002
Double Click on any word for its dictionary meaning or to get reference material on it.