Kar HC | Adverse Inference to be drawn upon a party who fails to comply with a direction regarding production of documents in his custody; Petition rejected

Karnataka High Court: Krishna S. Dixit J rejected the writ petition being devoid of merits.

The facts of the case are such that a declaration suit under Order XVI Rule 1 read with Section 151 Code of Civil Procedure, 1903 was filed before XVII Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge who directed the respondents in the suit to furnish the withheld documents with a caveat that failing of the same will result in an adverse inference drawn upon them. The present writ petition was filed under Article 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India praying to set aside the impugned order.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the respondents had not handed the subject documents and that the Charge list does not reflect the correct position.

Counsel for the respondents resisted the writ petition and submitted the justification of the impugned order.

The Court relied on judgment titled Sadhana Lodh v. National Insurance Co., (2003) 3 SCC 524 and observed that the kind of dispute involved in the suit needs the examination of all the documents enlisted in the Charge List and hence the discretion exercised by XVII Additional City Civil and Sessions Judge stands valid. It was further observed that the argument about the Charge list not reflecting the correct position cannot be countenanced as the Constitution of India mandates that full faith and credit shall be given to record and judicial proceedings also that if there was any discrepancy with regard to its true position such should have disputed years ago and not now.

The Court finally disposed off the petition stating that a party who does not comply with a direction for production of documents that are in his custody is liable to suffer an adverse inference.

In view of the above, writ petition was rejected.[Sri Venkateshwara v. Sri Venkateshwara Education Trust, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 1723, decided on 20-11-2020]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

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