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Satnam Singh Sharma Vs. Tarloki Nath Kalia and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtPunjab and Haryana High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. No. 1479 of 1973
Judge
Reported inAIR1974P& H287
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order XIV, Rule 5
AppellantSatnam Singh Sharma
RespondentTarloki Nath Kalia and anr.
Cases ReferredMuhammad Tabarak Ali Khan v. Dalip Narain Singh Bahadur
Excerpt:
.....passed by a single judge in exercising powers of superintendence under article 227 of the constitution. - it is only after the points in controversy between the parties have been clearly stated in the form of issues that the parties would know as to what witnesses they have to summon and what documents these witnesses would be called upon to produce.order1. proceedings in two cross-suits pending in the trial court have been consolidated. satnam singh petitioner is plaintiff in one of these suits while he is a defendant in the other. the common question involved in both these suits is whether satnam singh petitioner is the real owner of the plot of land which had been purchased from the rehabilitation authorities in 1949 in the name of shri tarloki nath who is a defendant in both suits. satnam singh claimed that after the purchase of this plot he had constructed the building thereon at his own expense even though the plan had been got sanctioned in the name of tarloki nath. the latter has sold this house to shri madan mohan by a registered deed in 1971. shri madan mohan is the plaintiff in one of these cross suits while he is a.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. Proceedings in two cross-suits pending in the trial Court have been consolidated. Satnam Singh petitioner is plaintiff in one of these suits while he is a defendant in the other. The common question involved in both these suits is whether Satnam Singh petitioner is the real owner of the plot of land which had been purchased from the Rehabilitation Authorities in 1949 in the name of Shri Tarloki Nath who is a defendant in both suits. Satnam Singh claimed that after the purchase of this plot he had constructed the building thereon at his own expense even though the plan had been got sanctioned in the name of Tarloki Nath. The latter has sold this house to Shri Madan Mohan by a registered deed in 1971. Shri Madan Mohan is the plaintiff in one of these cross suits while he is a co-defendant with Tarloki Nath in the other suit.

2. The trial Court had framed an omnibus issue in both these suits which placed the burden on Satnam Singh of proving that the plot had been purchased by him benami in the name of Tarloki Nath. That issue was wide enough to embrace most of the points in controversy as also Satnam Singh's plea that he had constructed the house on the plot in dispute and had borne the expenses even though the plan had been got sanctioned in the name of Tarloki Nath. This plea had not been made the subject-matter of a separate issue. Issues had also not been framed with regard to some preliminary objections taken by Satnam Singh in the suit in which he was one of the defendants.

3. Satnam Singh had, therefore, filed separate applications in the two suits under Order XIV, Rule 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure for the framing of the additional issues arising from his pleadings. Both these applications had been allowed by the trial Court and additional issues had been framed in the two cases. He was ordered to pay Rs. 30/- as costs which have been accepted by the counsel for the opposite party. Satnam Singh, however, feels aggrieved by the trial Court's direction that the additional evidence to be examined by the parties would be confined only to the documents which had been placed on the record up to that stage. This direction has already led to the rejection by the trial Court of some registered sale deeds that had been produced by a witness examined by the petitioner, after the amendments of the issues, in order to prove that he had been making sales of his property from time to time to raise funds for the construction of the building on the plot in dispute after it was purchased from the Rehabilitation Authorities in 1949. Satnam Singh has, therefore, filed revision petitions Nos. 1479 and 1480 of 1973 against the rejection of these registered sale deeds when there could be no serious doubt about their authenticity or genuineness.

4. Shri Sehgal, the learned counsel for the respondents, has not been able to point out to me any provision of law in the Code of Civil Procedure which makes it incumbent on a defendant to produce or mention in a list of reliances, before the framing of issues, documents which were not in his possession or power. Rules 14 and 18 of Order VII and Rules 1 and 2 of Order XIII of the Code of Civil Procedure deal with production or reliance on documents which are in the parties' possession or power. These provisions of law do not deal with documents which have to be summoned from and produced by a witness. It is only after the points in controversy between the parties have been clearly stated in the form of issues that the parties would know as to what witnesses they have to summon and what documents these witnesses would be called upon to produce. It is therefore, the general practice, that after the issues have been framed, the courts allow the parties a reasonable time within which they should produce the documents or to file their lists of reliances. With every amendment or addition in the issues, a fresh opportunity shall have to be granted to the parties by the Court. Moreover, the question whether or not a document would be allowed to be produced by a partly or a witness should be left to be decided as and when the occasion keeps on arising during the trial and the Court should not seek to place fetters before hand on the exercise of its own discretion depending on the exigencies of a particular unforeseen situation. The Court should be left free to exercise its discretion on the facts and circumstances of each situation as it arises and the Court should not tie up its hands in such a manner that it is prevented from admitting a document on adequate grounds being made out for its admission. The Court can, in the interests of justice, at all times admit oral or documentary evidence at all stages of the trial subject to such condition as to payment of costs or otherwise as it thinks fit, Shri Raipuri, the learned counsel for the petitioner, has relied in this connection on a Division Bench ruling in Muhammad Tabarak Ali Khan v. Dalip Narain Singh Bahadur, AIR 1927 Part 117, where it was observed that the trial Court had complete discretion to admit registered deeds even though these had been filed very late. The petitioner's witness Gurbax Lal had sought to prove registered sale deeds. Their genuineness could not be seriously doubted. The trial Court was, therefore, not justified in rejecting these documents. The respondents could have been compensated by an order for payment of costs and by the grant of an opportunity of them of rebutting this evidence.

5. For reasons given above, the direction in the impugned order that the evidence was to be confined to the documents already placed on record is set aside. The trial Court should now proceed in the light of my observations made above. Parties are left to bear their own costs in this Court.

6. Revision allowed.


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