Narayana Reddy Vs. Duggireddy Venkatanarayana Reddy & Ors  Insc 441 (29 August 2001)
Shah & R.P. Sethi Sethi,J.
Appeal (civil) 5984 of 2001
condoned in SLP (C) No...... of 2001 (arising out of CC No.5441/2001).
Narayana Reddy, one of the appellants in the above appeals filed Suit No.214 of
1997 against his brothers and father claiming partition of the plaint-schedule
property by metes and bounds and separate possession of 2/3rd share of the
property. It was submitted that the said plaintiff and defendant No.1 jointly
purchased the undivided one half of the plaint-schedule property under
registered sale deed dated 12.12.1978 for a consideration of Rs.40,000/-. It
was further alleged that they also purchased the remaining one half vide
another sale deed dated 10.4.1979 for a further sum of Rs.40,000/-.
grand-father of the appellant Dhondapati Narayana Reddy who had undivided
one-third share in the said property executed a registered Will dated 20.8.1994
bequeathing his entire estate to the plaintiff- appellant. After the death of
his grand-father, the plaintiff and his brothers became absolute owners of
one-third undivided share in the property and along with their father's
one-third share they became owners of two-third undivided share in the
scheduled property. It is alleged that in his written statement defendant NO.1
did not dispute the existence of will dated 20.8.1994. On the basis of
pleadings of the parties, the court framed an issue to the effect, as to
whether the plaintiff was entitled for partition and separate possession.
the pendency of the suit, the plaintiff filed IA No.1283 of 2000 seeking
permission for adducing additional evidence to prove testamentary succession by
producing the registered Will dated 20.8.1994 executed by Donapati Tirumala Ramareddy.
The application was allowed by the learned Additional District Judge by
imposing the cost of Rs.200/- vide his order dated 16.10.2000. Aggrieved by the
said order, defendant No.1 filed CRP No.4721 of 2000 in the High Court which
was allowed vide the order impugned in the appeal.
retaliatory measure the defendant No.1 filed an application being IA No.1288 of
2000 seeking amendment of the written statement for inclusion of the following para:
5(a) of the written statement;
is submitted that the alleged will dated 20.8.1984 alleged to have been
executed by the father of the 1st plaintiff Trimuala Rami Reddy in favour of
his grand son's i.e., plaintiffs 2 to 4 is concocted, fabricated and impersonated document. The said will is
not true and genuine and valid under law and the said Tirumala Rami Reddy has
no right to bequeath the alleged 1/3rd share in the plaint schedule
trial court dismissed the IA seeking amendment of the written statement vide
its order dated 16.10.2000. Aggrieved by the order of the trial court, the
defendant-appellant filed CRP No.4692 of 2000 in the High Court which was
dismissed vide the order impugned in the appeal.
the revisions have been disposed of by the High Court vide a common order dated
counsel appearing for the parties have prayed for setting aside the orders
impugned in these appeals with prayer for allowing the petition of their respective
clients and dismissing the application of the contesting respondents.
governing pleadings and leading of evidence have been incorporated to advance
the interests of justice and to avoid multiplicity of litigation. If the claim
of plaintiff Dondapati Narayana Reddy is based upon the Will dated 20.8.1994
executed by Donapati Tirumala Ramareddy, the defendant-appellant has a right to
seek the amendment of his written statement incorporating the plea sought to be
introduced by way of proposed amendment. Such a prayer cannot be denied on hypertechnical
grounds. The amendment should, generally, be allowed unless it is shown that
permitting the amendment would be unjust and results in prejudice against the
opposite side which cannot be compensated by costs or would deprive him of a
right which has accrued to him with the lapse of time. Amendment may also be
refused, if such a prayer made separately, is shown to be barred by time.
Neither the trial court nor the High Court has found the existence of any of
the circumstances justifying the rejection of the prayer for amendment of the
written statement. Whether or not the amendment is allowed, the trial court is
otherwise obliged to decide the validity of the disputed Will which is the
basis of the suit filed by the plaintiff. We are of the opinion that the courts
below were not justified in rejecting the prayer of the defendant seeking
amendment of his written statement.
view of the fact that the validity of the Will was sought to be challenged by
way of amendment, the plaintiff acquired a right to lead evidence to prove its
authenticity. Otherwise also when the basis of the suit was the Will dated
20.8.1994, the interests of justice demanded that the plaintiff should have
been allowed an opportunity to lead additional evidence to prove its validity.
The High Court appears to have adopted a very rigid and technical approach in
rejecting the prayer of the plaintiff to lead additional evidence to prove
testamentary succession by producing registered Will dated 20.8.1994 executed
by Donapati Tirumala Ramareddy.
view of what has been stated hereinabove, both the appeals are allowed by
setting aside the impugned orders and by allowing the applications filed by the
plaintiff and defendant NO.1. The trial court shall allow the defendant to
amend the written statement and permit the plaintiff to adduce additional
evidence to prove testamentary succession by producing registered Will dated
20.8.1994 as prayed for by him in IA No.1283 of 2000. Costs made easy.