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Report No. 100

2.3. Section 80(3)-effect of.-

Take, next, the provisions of sub-section (3) of section 80, also introduced by the amendment of 1976. In effect, it provides that if a notice has been given, then the suit shall not be dismissed by reason merely of an error or defect in the notice if the relief and the cause of action are set out in the notice as given, the name of the plaintiff can be ascertained by the Government. Here again the apparently simple provision, no doubt inspired by good intentions, can still lead to controversies in practice. For, the litigant may bona fide believe that he has, in his notice, set out properly all that is required by the law, but the court may not agree with him.

He must then take the risk of the suit being dismissed for want of notice. Apart from that, the sub-section leaves it open to the defendant (the Government or the public officer) to take the plea that the relief and the cause of action were not accurately set out. The manner in which the provision is framed, that is to say, the great scope that it leaves for controversies, cuts down even the small benefits that the sub-section intends to confer. Above all, it leaves open the scope for technical defences being put forth by over-zealous Departments of the Government.

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