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Ramaswami Chettiar Alias Veerappa Chettiar and ors. Vs. Tyagaraja Pillai and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in110Ind.Cas.16; (1928)55MLJ34
AppellantRamaswami Chettiar Alias Veerappa Chettiar and ors.
RespondentTyagaraja Pillai and ors.
Cases ReferredImambandi v. Mutsaddi I.L.R.
Excerpt:
- - rule 2 provides that documentary evidence not produced as required by rule 1 shall not be received in a subsequent stage of the proceedings unless good cause is shown to the satisfaction of the court for the non-production thereof......the plaintiffs on the 15th of march, 1923. the other costs of the suit will abide and follow the result of the decree.5. the appellants are entitled to the refund of the court-fee paid in this court for the appeal.6. no separate order is necessary on the petition to receive documents.reilly, j.7. i agree. i may add that it appears to me desirable that rule 64 of our civil rules of practice and rules 1 and 2 of order 13 civil procedure code, should be brought into accord with each other by amendment.
Judgment:

Kumaraswami Sastri, J.

1. This appeal arises out of a suit filed by the respondents to recover the balance of purchase money claimed under a sale deed filed as Ex. A in this case. The defendants raised various defences and pleaded that nothing was due. The issues were settled on the 1st of September, 1922. When the issues were settled no order was passed as to the lists of documents or the production of documents. After settlement of issues, the case was transferred to the Additional Sub-Court, East Tanjore, at Mayavaram and after some adjournments the case was taken up for hearing on the 15th of March, 1923. On that date the defendant's vakil filed two applications. One was an application to receive certain documents and the other was an application for an adjournment. The documents which they wanted the Court to receive consisted of certified copies of certain decrees and orders obtained from Courts, registration copies of certain documents obtained from the Sub-Registrar's Office, sale certificates issued in Suit No. 48 of 1913, which it is alleged refers to some properties now in dispute, printed copies of plaints, sale proclamations in two suits, Suit No. 38 of 1914 and Suit No. 48 of 1914, and ledgers which it is alleged were filed in another Court. The Subordinate Judge dismissed the application for receiving the documents in evidence on the ground that they had not been filed earlier and also refused an adjournment and he went into the case and passed a decree for Rs. 15,213 and odd. Neither party adduced any evidence.

2. The appellants argue that the Judge was wrong in refusing to receive the documents which they tendered and that he ought not to have refused an adjournment in this case but should have allowed the defendants an opportunity of filing and proving the documents, which, as already pointed out, consisted mainly of certified copies and registration copies of documents.

3. The main question in this case is whether the learned Judge was right in refusing to receive these documents. Order 13, Rules 1 and 2 relate to the production of documentary evidence at the first hearing. Rule 1 says that the parties or their pleaders shall produce, at the first hearing of the suit, all the documentary evidence of every description in their possession or power, on which they intend to rely, and which has not already been filed in Court, and all documents which the Court has ordered to be produced. Sub-clause (2) says that the Court shall receive the documents so produced; provided that they are accompanied by an accurate list thereof prepared in such form as the High Court directs. Rule 2 provides that documentary evidence not produced as required by Rule 1 shall not be received in a subsequent stage of the proceedings unless good cause is shown to the satisfaction of the Court for the non-production thereof. The Court has in such cases to record reasons for receiving documents not produced at an earlier stage. Rule 64 of the Civil Rules of Practice provides for cases where the Court does not call for the production of documentary evidence under Order 13, Rule 1. It says that in such cases it shall direct the defendant to file in Court a list of documents on which he intends to rely and shall fix a time for the production thereof. The list is to be in Form No. 16, and shall be signed and verified by the party filing the same or by his pleader. In the present case, no orders were passed either under Order 13, Rule 1 or under Rule 64 of the Rules of Practice, so that there was no direction for the parties to produce the documents and no direction that a list should be filed. Under these circumstances, the question arises whether the Judge was right in rejecting the documents produced at the trial. Even if there was an order passed, considerable discretion is allowed to the courts in cases where the documents are either public documents or are certified copies or where there is no reasonable doubt as to their genuineness. We have been referred to Ranchhod v. Secretary of State for India I.L.R. (1896) B. 173, Talewar Singh v. Bhagwan Das (1907) 12 312, Jagdip Pandey v. Taibunnissa 72 Ind.Cas. 397 and Chidambara Chettiar v. Parvathi Achi 87 Ind.Cas. 351. The discretion of Courts to admit documents has also been considered by the Privy Council in Imambandi v. Mutsaddi I.L.R. (1918) C. 878 : 1918 35 M.L.J. 422 I think, therefore, in the present case the Judge was wrong in summarily rejecting the documents which were tendered at the date of the hearing. The difficulty was mainly caused by the procedure adopted by the Vakil for the appellants who assumed that there was some default and put in a petition for the admission of these documents. He should also have put in his clients in the box and proved the facts, but he adduced no evidence. Having regard to these facts and to the unsatisfactory way in which the case has been disposed of in the absence of important documents, I think that the proper course will be to reverse the decree of the lower Court and to send the case back for disposal directing the Sub-Court, Mayavaram, to receive in evidence the documents sought to be tendered, admitting such documents which are certified copies of public documents and which require no further proof. If there are any other documents which the parties want to' file, I think the Court ought to consider each document on its own merits and receive such documents as to which there is reasonable explanation for non-production, or as to which there can be no doubt as to genuineness. He will pass the necessary orders under Order 13, Rules 1 and 2, Civil Procedure Code or the Civil Rules of Practice before fixing a date for the trial.

4. As regards costs, I think that as the appellants have been dilatory in this case, they should pay the costs of the respondents in the High Court, and as regards costs in the first Court, they should pay the day costs incurred by the plaintiffs on the 15th of March, 1923. The other costs of the suit will abide and follow the result of the decree.

5. The appellants are entitled to the refund of the Court-fee paid in this Court for the appeal.

6. No separate order is necessary on the petition to receive documents.

Reilly, J.

7. I agree. I may add that it appears to me desirable that Rule 64 of our Civil Rules of Practice and Rules 1 and 2 of Order 13 Civil Procedure Code, should be brought into accord with each other by amendment.


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