1. This revision petition is preferred by the defendant against the order dated 7-7-1999 in allowing the IA No.1777 of 1995 for amendment of the plaint in OS No.15 of 1989 on the file of the Principal Junior Civil Judge, Vizianagaram.
2. Originally, the suit was filed by the plaintiff, respondent herein, for eviction of the tenant-defendant and for recovery of arrears of rents. The tenant-revision petitioner denied title of the respondent-plaintiff over the plaint schedule property. The plaintiff-respondent therefore, filed the above IA seeking amendment of the plaint which is extracted hereunder:
'.............the Honourable Court may bepleased to permit me to add at the end of para III(3) of the plaint 'to declare that the plaintiff is the absolute owner of the plaint schedule property' and to delete in the para V of the plaint 'one year's rent Rs.1,200/- and add 3/4th marketvalue of the properly Rs.9,000/- and a Court fee of Rs.711/- is paid under Section 24 (a) of the APCF and S.V. Act, and to add para VI of the plaint as VI(a) to declare that the plaintiff is the absolute owner of the plaint schedule property', in the interest of justice.'
3. The petitioner-respondent opposed that application stating that in the written statement and also in the reply notice sent to the plaintiff-respondent, he denied the title of the plaintiff and that as the petition is filed at a belated stage, the relief sought is barred by time, and that the amendment sought for by the plaintiff-respondent amounts to introducing a new cause of action, and therefore the petition is not maintainable. In support of his contentions, before the trial Court, the revision petitioner relied on a decision reported in N. Raghotham Rao (died) per LR v. MCH, : 1996(4)ALT1126 . The trial Court on consideration of the facts and circumstances of the case and relying on the judgment of this Court reported in V. Ball Reddy v. Divisional Engineer, APSEB, : 1999(2)ALD668 , to the effect that the Court has the discretion to order amendment even if the amendment sought for is barred by limitation in the interest of justice, and ordered the amendment sought for by the respondent-plaintiff.
4. Being aggrieved by the same, the petitioner-defendant preferred this revision petition.
5. Learned Counsel for the petitioner vehemently contended that the plaintiff-respondent though aware of the denial of the title by the defendant did not ask for declaratory relief. Therefore, the claim itself is barred by limitation under Article 58 of the Limitation Act as the cause of action begins from the date of reply notice and denying his title, whereas the application foramendment of the plaint was filed after a period of six years. Learned Counsel for the petitioner relying on a decision reported in Shaik Omer Bin All Umodi v. Syed Yoiisuf Alt, : 1997(1)ALT560 , contended that the period of limitation is three years from date of accrual of the cause of action and the proposed amendment would cause prejudice to him.
6. Learned Counsel for the respondents relying on the latest pronouncement of the Supreme Court reported in Ragu ThilakD.John v. S. Rayappan, 2000 (1) ALD 31, contended that no interference is warranted in the order under challenglf on the ground of delay.
7. In Ragu Thilak D. John's case (supra) the suit was filed by the plaintiffs against the defendants praying for a decree of permanent injunction restraining the defendants from demolishing compound wall in the suit schedule property. During the pendency of the suit it was alleged that the wall was demolished by the defendants. In view of the subsequent demolition, the relief of amendment sought by them for damages was allowed holding that the plea of limitation can be raised by the defendants after allowing the amendment. Further, the Supreme Court considered its earlier judgment reported in B.K.N. Filial v. P. Filial, : AIR2000SC614 , wherein it was as under:
'The purpose and object of Order 6, Rule 17, CPC is not allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings in such manner and on such terms as may be just. The power to allow the amendment is wide and can be exercised at any stage of the proceedings in the interest of justice on the basis of guidelines laid down by various High Courts and this Court. It is true that the amendment cannot be claimed as a matter of right and under all circumstances. But it is equally true thatthe Courts while deciding such prayers should not adopt hyper technical approach. Liberal approach should be the general rule particularly in cases where the other side can be compensated with the costs. Technicalities of law should not be permitted to hamper the Courts in the administration of justice between the parties. Amendments are allowed in the pleadings to avoid uncalled for multiplicity of litigation.'
8. In Gujjari Vittal v. Padala Sadanandam, : 2001(1)ALD460 , while considering circumstances wherein the suit was originally filed for a perpetual injunction and subsequently, amendment of the plaint was sought for inserting the relief of possession on the ground that subsequent to the filing of the suit the plaintiff has been dispossessed, this Court, following the judgment of the Supreme Court in Leach and Company Limited v. M/s. Jardine Sanner and Company, : 1SCR438 , held that the application for amendment cannot be dismissed on the mere ground of delay when no prejudice can be said to be caused to the defendant and relief can be granted in a suit even if it is barred by limitation by the time it is sought by the plaintiff by way of amendment of plaint.
9. In K. Chinna Biddamma v. J. Krishnamma Naidu and others, : 2001(1)ALD304 , the suit was filed for mere injunction and subsequently amendment of the plaint sought for seeking the relief of declaration of title also. Considering the circumstances, this Court held that the amendment cannot be refused on the ground of laches and even a relief barred by limitation, can be included by way of amendment.
10. The respondent-plaintiff sought amendment of the plaint in a suit filed for eviction of the tenant and also for arrearsofreut. By the proposed amendment, inter alia, the respondent-plaintiff sought for declaration of title, on being disputed by the defendant regarding his title. It is true that the application for amendment of the plaint was filed belatedly. It is now well settled principle of law that the applications for amendment of plaint are to be considered liberally having regard to the fact that thereby multifariousness of the proceedings would be avoided. In the circumstances, and following the judgments discussed supra, I do not find any illegality or irregularity in the impugned order. Moreover, if the order is allowed to stand it would not result in any failure of justice and no prejudice would be caused to the petitioner/defendant.
11. The civil revision petition being devoid of merits is dismissed accordingly. It is however open to the revision petitioner/ defendant to raise the plea of limitation by filing additional written statement, if he so desires. No costs.