Rajasthan High Court| Trial Court required to prima-facie ascertain the relevancy of the proposed witnesses while deciding application under Order XVI R 1 and 2 CPC

Rajasthan High Court

   

Rajasthan High Court: Dinesh Mehta, J. considered the stamp vendor and Sub Registrar as relevant witnesses in a case where registration of relinquishment deed was challenged, and it was pleaded to summon them as witnesses for ascertaining the claim. The Court stated that ascertaining the relevancy of the proposed witnesses while deciding application under Order XVI Rules 1 and 2 Civil Procedure Code (‘CPC’) is to be prima facie established by the Trial Court.

A suit was instituted declaring the relinquishment deed as null and void wherein the defendant moved an application stating that the stamp vendor – Tulchhiram Sindhi from whom the stamps were purchased and the registering authority – Sub-Registrar, Chunavadh, who registered the contentious document are necessary witnesses may be summoned as witnesses , which was thereby rejected by Additional Civil Judge 1, Sriganganagar. Assailing this, instant writ petition under Article 227 was filed.

Counsel for petitioner Adv. S.K. Shreemali submitted that the plaintiff herself had purchased the stamps and appeared before the Registering Authority, who in discharge of his official duties, had apprised the plaintiff about the relinquishment deed being executed by her and, therefore, their presence as witnesses was imperative in order to substantiate the petitioner’s stand.

Counsel for respondent Adv. Dixit Panwar, submitted that that petitioner’s application is nothing but an attempt to protract the proceedings.

The Court noted that the provisions contained under Order XVI Rule (1) and (2) Civil Procedure Code in unequivocal terms provide that the Court suo moto or on an application, can issue summons to a witness to appear in the Court. Sub-rule (2) of Rule 1 of the Order XVI of the Code enjoins upon the party desirous of getting a summons issued to a witness to state in its application the purpose for which the witness is proposed to be summoned.

The Court observed that on a perusal of subject application it is clear that the petitioner had stated that she herself had purchased the stamp from the stamp vendor – ‘Tulchhiram Sindhi’ and thereafter appeared before the Sub-Registrar, Chunavadh for executing and getting the relinquishment deed registered. Thus, presence of the stamp vendor and Sub-Registrar is necessary in order to ascertain the veracity of petitioner’s stand.

The Court further observed that the Trial Court has not properly considered the mandate contained in Order XVI Rule(s) 1 and 2 CPC and rejected petitioner’s application indicating that the applicant has failed to establish the relevancy of the testimony of these two witnesses. Thus, the applicant may be called upon to show relevance or need of such witness (es) but he/ she cannot be asked to establish or prove such requirement. The requirement has to be determined by the Court.

The Court thus held “the stamp vendor and the then Sub-Registrar are relevant witnesses, who would assist the Court to come to a correct conclusion”

[Gurjant Singh v. Amarjeet Kaur, S.B. Civil Writ Petition No. 13516/2017, decided on 29-06-2022]

*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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