Amendment of pleadings based on subsequent event is permissible, MP High Court follows Sampat Kumar

High Court of Madhya Pradesh, Jabalpur: The Court recently ruled over a petition against the order of the lower court to allow an amendment in plaint under Order 6 rule 17 CPC. The petitioners’ counsel criticizing the order submitted that they had preferred an amendment application keeping in mind the subsequent action of the other side to take an illegal possession of the suit land and there was need to make amendment to the plaint because, now the petitioner needed to plead against unauthorized possession and had to seek relief of restoration of possession.

However, the court below had rejected the application on the strength of the report of the Court Commissioner and the stand of the defendants. The counsel for petitioners further contended that the question before the trial court was not relating to the merits and demerits of the case, but only thing which was required to be seen was whether amendment application was based on subsequent event or not whereas the court dealt only with the merits of the case. On the other hand, counsel for the respondents relied only on the report of the Court Commissioner.

On hearing both the parties, Sujoy Paul, J. observed that a plain reading of amendment application makes it clear that it is based on the alleged subsequent event whereas the court below rejected it without looking into the necessity of amendment or subsequent events that took place, but relied only on commissioner’s report of which the provision doesn’t talk about at all. The Court further referred to the locus classicus of Sampath Kumar v. Ayyakannu,  (2002) 7 SCC 559 in the matter of amendments in civil cases in which the Apex Court had opined that an amendment, based on subsequent event is permissible and such an amendment may be necessary to avoid multiplicity of proceedings.

The Court tested the instant case at the anvil of the above-mentioned case and held that the trial court had missed the real point and did not take any pains to see the effect of amendment application on the basis of subsequent events. Allowing the petitions, it finally directed the court below to rehear the parties on the amendment application and decide it afresh in accordance with law. [Ashok Jain v. Ruchita Agnihotri,  2017 SCC OnLine MP 1361, decided on 24.11.2017]

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