Case BriefsHigh Courts

Jammu & Kashmir High Court: A Single Judge bench comprising of Rashid Ali Dar, J. while dealing with a civil revision petition filed against the order of trial court allowing withdrawal of suit, upheld the trial court order on the finding that there were sufficient grounds for granting leave for withdrawal.

Factual matrix of the case revolves around a property dispute wherein the respondent-plaintiff, due to wrong counseling of advocate, filed a suit for injunction in the trial court instead of a suit for partition, declaration, and possession. Since the suit would fail for this formal defect, the respondent filed an application for leave to withdraw the suit and the same was granted by the trial court. It is against this order that the instant revision petition was filed by the petitioner-defendant.

At the outset, the court observed that the jurisdiction sought to be invoked by the petitioner was barred in terms of proviso to Section 115 of CPC since the application moved for withdrawal of suit, if decided otherwise, would not have terminated the proceeding. Further, the court noted that the words ‘formal defect’ and ‘other sufficient grounds’ under Order XXIII Rule 3 of CPC had been liberally interpreted by many courts and the only restriction on the exercise of this power is, that a defect which affects the merits of the case and which may or may not be fatal to the case cannot be allowed to be removed.

The High Court observed that the petitioner-defendant could be reasonably compensated for the delay in having the proceedings concluded expeditiously or for the filing of the fresh suit after granting of leave. Moreover, the leave granted by the trial court did not put the petitioner-defendant in an irremediable situation which could not be compensated by costs.

On the aforesaid reasoning, the revision petition was dismissed for being without merit. However, the petitioners were granted liberty to move a formal motion before the trial court for granting of reasonable costs subject to which the fresh plaint of respondent – plaintiff may be taken on record. [Ghulam Nabi Bhat v Haneefa,2018 SCC OnLine J&K 665, decided on 18-09-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

The subscribers of Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) who resign from their service can now withdraw 75% of their total provident fund after one month from the date of cessation of service to meet their monthly financial commitments. Members will continue to have the choice of withdrawing the entire amount, if they want to close the account, after two months. A decision to this effect was taken at the 222nd Central Board of Trustees (CBT) meeting of EPFO on 27th June.

Moreover, the subscriber may not withdraw the remaining amount, thus ensuring he continues to get social security on the existing account. Currently, the EPF Scheme 1952 allows final withdrawal after two months from the date of cessation of employment of the member, as a result of which many members end up withdrawing the entire amount. This leads to closure of the account and no social security cover for the subscribers. With this new provision, members will now have an option to retain their account with the EPFO, which one can use after finding another job. CBT has also decided to extend the term of SBI Mutual Fund and UTI Mutual Fund, the two fund managers for EPFO investment in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), by one year to July 2019. Their term was due to end on June 30, 2018.

CBT, the highest decision-making body of EPFO, comprises equal number of representatives of employees, employers and state government representatives. It is chaired by the labour minister.

[Source: Economic Times]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: A petition filed against the possession notice issued under Rule 8 of the Security Interest (Enforcement) Rules 2002 was dismissed by a Division Bench comprising of Hemant Gupta, CJ and Vijay Kumar Shukla, J.

Argument of the petitioner was that earlier, the concerned Bank initiated proceedings against the petitioner under Section 13 of the SARFAESI Act, 2002. The petitioner invoked the jurisdiction of Debts Recovery Tribunal under Section 17 of the Act. However, such notice was withdrawn. Therefore, the petitioner contended that the Bank was estopped to issue fresh notice to the petitioner.

The High Court did not find any merit in the contention of the petitioner and held that the withdrawal of notice under Section 13(4) did not discharge the petitioner’s debt. The Bank was a secured creditor and a mortgagee and therefore, by withdrawal of earlier notice, the debt did not stand discharged. The Bank continued to be a creditor and petitioner a debtor. Thus, the possession notice could have been issued under the provisions of the Act. Further, the petitioner had an alternate efficacious remedy under Section 17 before the DRT. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed while the petitioner was given a liberty to approach DRT. [Devarshi Kirana Store v. Authorised Officer, 2018 SCC OnLine MP 354, dated 18-5-2018]