Raj HC | Late application for bringing legal representatives of deceased on record: No ground for refusing application found

Rajasthan High Court: A petition was allowed by Dr Pushpendra Singh Bhati, J., filed with the prayer to quash an order and take petitioners as the legal representatives of the deceased.

The bone of contention in the present matter was that the application of the petitioner under Order 22 Rule 3 and 9 read with Section 151 of CPC was dismissed while the legal representatives of the deceased (one of the plaintiffs) had not been taken on record. The counsel for the petitioner, B.L. Choudhary, submitted that the defendants had informed the plaintiff on 08-04-2013 regarding the death of the deceased but the necessary steps could not be taken promptly, and therefore, the application for taking the legal representatives of the deceased on record was dismissed. The respondent, however, submitted that such delay was fatal and the legal representative should not be taken on record at such a later stage and thus the order passed in the application under Order 22 Rule 3 and 9 read with Section 151 of CPC was justified. The petitioner relied on the case of Ram Sumiran v. D.D.C, (1985) 1 SCC 431, wherein the Court held that merely because no application was made by the appellants for bringing the legal representatives of the deceased respondent on record would not be a valid ground for refusing to grant the application of the appellants for setting aside the abatement and bringing the legal representatives of the deceased respondent on record because the appellants were from the rural area and in a country like India where there is so much poverty, ignorance and illiteracy, it would not be fair to presume that everyone knows that on death of respondent, the legal representatives have to be brought on record within a certain time.

The Court held that delay in taking the legal representatives on record was there, but if the impugned order was permitted and the petitioners were not made a party to the suit then the rights of the petitioner would remain undetermined. The petition was thus allowed. [Kesar Bai v. Gram Panchayat, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 600, decided on 23-05-2019]

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