1. This Rule was obtained by the defendant petitioner in the pending suit for ejectment, out of which it arises, against an order of the learned trial Judge, refusing to permit him to take copies of two documents, referred to in the plaint. The documents to question are a deed of lease and a deed of conveyance. The petitioner defendant applied for permission to inspect the said documents and for taking copies of the same.
2. This prayer was opposed by the plaintiffs but the learned Judge, after hearing both the parties, by his order No. 12 dated 28-3-1967, permitted the petitioner to inspect thesaid documents and directed the plaintiffs to give inspection of the same on a particular date at a particular time in the presence of the Bench Clerk, the plaintiffs being obviously required to produce the said two documents in court for that purpose.
3. The above order, however, did not make any provision for permitting the defendant petitioner to take copies of the said two documents.
4. In the above circumstances, when, after inspection, the petitioner asked the plaintiffs to allow him to take copies of the said two documents, that request was refused by the plaintiffs' lawyer. Thereafter, there was certain correspondence between the parties and, as the plaintiffs were not willing to allow the defendant to take copies of the said documents, the defendant eventually applied to the court below either for a supplementary order, permitting him to take copies on the ground that that provision was omitted in the original order of the court (order No. 12 dated March 28, 1967) by accidental mistake, or for a fresh order to the said effect. This application was refused by the learned trial Judge upon the only ground that, as the defendant's lawyer had already taken sufficient notes from the said documents, the defendant's prayer for taking copies should not be allowed
5. In our view, in the circumstances of this case and upon his own findings that the defendant was entitled to inspection of the said two documents under Order XI Rule 16 of the Code of Civil Procedure, it was not permissible for the learned trial Judge to refuse the defendant's prayer for taking copies of the same. The matter clearly rests on Order XI Rules 16 and 18 of the Code and on the learned trial Judge's own findings which justified the ground of lease to inspect the documents in question and in view of his order in that behalf, the petitioner was as a matter of course, entitled to take copies of the same also. Indeed, the above provision of the Code clearly indicates that, where inspection is allowed, the party concerned is also entitled to take copies of the documents in question.
6. We would, accordingly, make this Rule absolute, set aside the impugned order of the learned trial Judge, namely, order No. 18, dated April 29, 1967, and allow the defendant's application for being permitted to take copies of the above two documents with necessary direction upon the plaintiffs for implementing the said order.
7. It will be for the learned trial Judge to appoint a place and time and provide necessary safeguard for or in the matter of the production of the said documents by the plaintiffs for enabling the defendant to take copies of the same in accordance with law.
8. The Rule is made absolute as above
9. There will be no order for costs, asthere is no appearance on behalf of the plaintiffs opposite parties