1. This is a plaintiff's revision petition against the order passed by the trial Judge refusing permission to produce the registered sale-deed in evidence.
2. On 16th November, 1961, Sant Lal, by a registered deed, sold agricultural land, measuring 3 Bighas, 16 Biswas, to Ram Sarup for Rs.5000/- and possession of the same was given to the vendee. Subsequently, it appears that some defect in the title of the vendor was discovered and that matter was brought before the Tehsildar, who, it is said, dispossessed the vendee from 2 Bighas, 15 Biswas, out of the land sold, because, according to him, Sant Lal was not its owner. The remaining land, i.e. 1 Bigha, 1 Biswa, remained with the vendee. That necessitated the filing of a suit by Ram Sarup in April 1968 against Sant Lal for the recovery of Rs.3600/-, being the proportionate price of 2 Bighas, 15 Biswas, which had gone out of his possession, because the title of the vendor was defective. Along with the plaint, the plaintiff had in the list of reliance, filed under Order 7, Rule 14, Code of Civil Procedure mentioned that the sale-deed dated 16th November, 1961, was in his possession and it would be produced in Court subsequently.
3. The defendant filed his written statement and admitted the execution of the said registered sale-deed.
4. During the trial of the suit, on 21st August, 1970, when the evidence of the plaintiff was going to be recorded, an objection was taken by the defendant that the sale-deed, which the plaintiff wanted to tender on that date, could not be received in evidence under the provisions of Order 13, Rules 1 and 2, Code of Civil Procedure. On 25th August, 1970, the plaintiff filed an application praying that the said sale-deed be allowed to be produced in evidence.
5. This application was rejected by the trial Judge, by means of his order dated 29th August, 1970. Against that order, the present revision petition has been filed by the plaintiff.
6. After hearing the counsel for the petitioner, I am of the view that this petition must be accepted. The document in question, as I have already mentioned above, was a registered sale-deed executed by the defendant. The execution of the said document had been admitted by the defendant in his written statement. This document had also been mentioned in the list of reliance filed by the plaintiff under Order 7, Rule 14, Code of Civil Procedure. The ground for not producing it earlier was that the plaintiff was afraid that this document might not be tampered with. It may be that his fears were imaginary. But a document for this kind, the execution of which had been duly admitted and which had been mentioned in the list of reliance, should, in the circumstances of this case, have been allowed to be produced, otherwise it would result in great injustice to the petitioner. All the rules of procedure are naturally meant for the administration of justice and, in my opinion, too technical a view should not be taken, which might result in positive injustice to a party. The refusal to give permission to produce this document at the trial would have actually led to a denial of justice to the plaintiff.
7. Learned counsel for the respondent, in support of his contention that the decision of the trial Court was correct, relied on a Single Bench decision of the Gujarat High Court in Bhachibai v. Shah Virji Devji, AIR 1963 Guj 241. But a perusal of this ruling would show that it was not given under the provisions of Order 13, Rules 1 and 2, Code of Civil Procedure, with which we are concerned.
8. Reference was then made to a decision given by me in Sat Pal Sood v. Thakar Dass, Civil Revn. No. 462 of 1970, decided on 4-12-1970 (Punj & Har). The concluding portion of that judgment, reproduced below, would show that the said case is clearly distinguishable on facts. While refusing to give permission to the production of those documents under Order 13, Rule 2, Code of Civil Procedure, I had said:
'Both these documents were in possession of the defendant, because in the list of reliance, which had been filed by him on 29th September, 1969, when he put in his written statement, it was mentioned that the said documents would be produced at the time of the evidence. It was not stated therein that they were not available at the time of the filing of the written statement, as is the position now taken up by the defendant in his application under Section 151, Code of Civil Procedure. Secondly, this application was being made at a very belated stage after the defendant had produced all the witnesses. Thirdly, these documents, according to the learned trial Judge, were such, which could have been created at any stage. The learned Judge was of the view that in the cash memo, the date had been corrected from 6th August, 1969, to 6th June, 1969, by over-writing 'six' over the digit 'eight'. This apart, the learned Judge had also stated that even in the list of reliance, the dates and the names of the executants of the documents were not given. The trial Judge was not satisfied that there was good cause for the non-production of these documents at the first hearing of the suit.'
9. In view of what I have said above, I would accept this petition and quash the impugned order, but make no order as to costs. Parties have been directed to appear before the trial Court on 17th April, 1972, for further proceedings in the case.
10. Petition allowed.