Report No. 163
Q.18. Order 8, rule 9 (Subsequent pleadings): Clause 18(iii) of the Bill.
Existing Order 8, rule 9 of the Code provides as under:
"No pleading subsequent to the written statement of a defendant, other than by way of defence to a set off or counter-claim, shall be presented except by the leave of the court and upon such terms as the court thinks fit; but the court may at any time require a written statement or additional written statement from any of the parties and fix a time for presenting the same."
The Bill proposes to delete this rule. The consequences of the proposed deletion of Order 8, rule 9 need to be analysed in some detail:
(a) The existing rule begins with a prohibition. Couched in negative language, it lays down that no pleading (subsequent to the first pleading) shall be allowed, without the leave of the court. Thus, literally, its deleting would mean removal of the prohibition against subsequent pleadings.
(b) However, that does not seem to be the intention underlying the Bill, whose general approach is towards eliminating (what are regarded as) procedural refinements. The object seem to be to take away the power of the court to permit subsequent pleadings. If so, the proposal seems to be extremely unrealistic and may cause serious injustice. Filing of such supplementary pleadings may become necessary in various situations. Following list of such situations is illustrative only: