Kumar Sharma Vs. Makhan Singh  INSC 1614 (18 September 2009)
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO.6400 OF
2009 [Arising out of SLP (C) 30468 of 2008] Surender Kumar Sharma ...
VERSUS Makhan Singh ...
In our view, this is a case in which the High Court, in its
revisional jurisdiction, and the trial Court had fallen in 1 grave error in
refusing amendment of the plaint filed in a suit for eviction on the ground of
arrears of rent.
The appellant, as a plaintiff, has filed the aforesaid suit in
respect of Property No. 28, Varsha Sarvodaya Housing Cooperative Society,
Hirapur post, Tatiband, Raipur, Chattisgarh against the tenant/respondent.
The trial Court rejected the application for amendment of the
plaint mainly on the ground that the prayer for amendment was a belated one. In
revision, the High Court affirmed the order of the trial Court rejecting the
application for amendment of the plaint inter alia holding that not only the
prayer for amendment of the plaint made by the plaintiff/appellant was a
belated 2 one, but also that the prayer, if allowed, shall change the nature
and character of the suit.
Feeling aggrieved by the impugned order of the High Court, this
Special Leave Petition was filed by the plaintiff/appellant, which on grant of
leave, was heard in presence of the learned counsel for the parties.
We keep it on record that in spite of notice on the defendant/respondent,
no one had contested this appeal before us.
As noted hereinearlier, the prayer for amendment was refused by
the High Court on two grounds. So far as the first ground is concerned i.e. the
prayer for amendment was a belated one, we are of the view that 3 even if it
was belated, then also, the question that needs to be decided is to see whether
by allowing the amendment, the real controversy between the parties may be
resolved. It is well settled that under Order 6 Rule 17 of the Code of Civil
Procedure, wide powers and unfettered discretion have been conferred on the
Court to allow amendment of the pleadings to a party in such a manner and on
such terms as it appears to the Court just and proper. Even if, such an
application for amendment of the plaint was filed belatedly, such belated
amendment cannot be refused if it is found that for deciding the real
controversy between the parties, it can be allowed on payment of costs.
Therefore, in our 4 view, mere delay and latches in making the application for
amendment cannot be a ground to refuse amendment. It is also well settled that
even if the amendment prayed for is belated, while considering such belated
amendment, the Court must bear in favour of doing full and complete justice in
the case where the party against whom the amendment is to be allowed, can be
compensated by cost or otherwise.
SC 614 at
Page 616]. Accordingly, we do not find any reason to hold that only because
there was some delay in filing the application for amendment of the plaint,
such prayer for amendment cannot be allowed.
So far as the second ground is concerned i.e. the prayer for
amendment of plaint, if allowed, shall change the nature and character of the
suit, we are unable to accept this view of the High Court. We have carefully
examined the amendment prayed for and after going through the application for
amendment of the plaint, we are of the view that the question of changing the
nature and character of the suit, if amendment is allowed, cannot arise at all.
The suit has been filed for eviction inter alia on the ground of arrears of
rent. It cannot be disputed that even after the amendment, the suit would
remain a suit for eviction. Therefore, we are unable to agree that if the
amendment of the plaint is allowed, the nature and character of the suit shall
be changed. Accordingly, the High Court was not 6 justified in holding that the
nature and character of the suit shall be changed, if such prayer for amendment
For the reasons aforesaid, the orders of the High Court as well as
of the trial Court are set aside. The application for amendment of the plaint
filed by the appellant stands allowed, subject to the payment of costs of
Rs.10,000/- to the opposite party, which shall be deposited/paid within a
period of six weeks from the date of supply of a copy of this order. In default
of deposit/payment of such costs, the application for amendment of the plaint
shall stand rejected.
For the reasons aforesaid, this appeal is allowed to the extent
indicated above. There will be no order as to costs.