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R. Lalitha v. G. Rajendran - Civil Revision Petition (NPD) No.65 of 2002 [2002] RD-TN 520 (25 July 2002)


DATED: 25/07/2002



Civil Revision Petition (NPD) No.65 of 2002

R. Lalitha .. Petitioner -Vs-

G. Rajendran .. Respondent Revision against the order and decree dated 22.11.2001 made in unnumbered I.A. of 2001 in O.S.No.165 of 1999 on the file of the learned District Munsif, Polur.

For Petitioner : Mr.P. Sathish Kumar For Mr.P. Seshadri For Respondent : Mr.D. Rajendran

:O R D E R

By consent, the revision itself is taken up for hearing.

2. The revision petitioner is the defendant in O.S.No.165 of 1999 laid by the respondent/plaintiff for recovery of money, viz. a sum of Rs.18419.50 with interest thereon.

3. The suit was resisted by the revision petitioner/ defendant denying the very borrowal of the said money and the execution of suit pro note, contending that the alleged signature of the revision petitioner in the pro note is a forged one.

4. After the commencement of the trial, the revision petitioner/ defendant filed an additional written statement under Order 8, Rule 9, CPC, pleading that the respondent/ plaintiff had not served any notice on the revision petitioner/defendant.

5. The revision petitioner/defendant, contending that she is an innoncent and illiterate, and failed to mention in the written statement that she was not served with any notice by the respondent/plaintiff, filed an application.

6. Even before the said application was numbered, the learned District Munsif, Polur, by order and decree dated 22.11.2001, holding that the revision petitioner/defendant was attempting to fill up the lacuna of not raising such plea in the original written statement and that the said application was filed only when the suit was taken up for trial, dismissed the unnumbered I.A. of 2001. Hence, the above revision.

7. The learned counsel appearing for the respondent/ plaintiff contends that the revision petitioner/defendant is not entitled to file an application under Order 8, Rule 9, CPC, after the commencement of the trial of the suit and that the amendment propsoed is nothing but an attempt to fill up the lacuna, as the plea that the revision petitioner/defendant had not been served with notice by the respondent/ plaintiff is not raised in the written statement filed in O.S.No.165 of 19 99. He further contends that the learned District Munsif, Polur, is right in accepting the contention of the respondent/plaintiff.

8. No doubt, the revision petitioner/defendant had chosen to file the I.A. after the commencement of the trial in the suit. In my considered opinion, there is no bar to move an application under Order 8, Rule 9, CPC, for filing an additional written statement after the commencement of the trial. On the other hand, if and when an application is made seeking the leave of the Court, the statutory obligation is cast on the Court, subject to satisfaction for the reasons stated therein, to permit the applicant to file an additional subsequent pleading, if warranted.

9. In this regard, I am obliged to extract Order 8, Rule 9, CPC, as under.

"Subsequent Pleadings.- No pleading subsequent to the written statement of a defendant other than by way of defence to a set off or counter claim shall be presented except by the leave of the Court and open such terms as the Court thinks fit, but the Court may at any time require a written statement or additional written statement from any of the parties and fix a time for presenting the same." (Emphasis supplied)

10. A reading of Order 8, Rule 9, CPC, makes it clear that the Court is empowered to permit the party who seeks the leave of the Court to file a written statement or additional written statement at any time. Hence, there is no bar on the Court preventing the revision petitioner/defendant to file the additional written statement, after the commencement of the trial. But, the Court is empowered to weigh the reasons and to either grant or refuse to grant leave open on the merits of the case, on such terms as the Court thinks fit.

11. In the instant case, it is clear from the records that the learned District Munsif, Polur, has not even numbered the application and considered the matter with open eyes and on merits. On the other hand, he had chosen to dismiss the application at the threshold and thus failed to exercise the power conferred under Order 8, Rule 9, CPC, which requires my interference in setting aside the order dated 22.11.2001. Consequently, taking note of the reasons stated in the affidavit filed in support of the unnumbered I.A. and particularly, the fact that no request was made on behalf of the respondent/plaintiff to file even counter to the application, I am obliged to permit the revision petitioner/defendant to file an additional written statement and the respondent/plaintiff to file a rejoinder, if he is so advised, and direct the learned District Munsif, Polur, to reopen the case and permit both the parties to examine necessary evidence, if they ae so advised and proceed with the trial expeditiously and pass appropriate judgment and decree within 90 days from the date of receipt of a copy of this order. The revision is allowed with the above directions. No costs. CMP No.769 of 2002 is closed.




The District Munsif


Copy to:

The Record Keeper

VR Section

High Court, Madras.



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