Amendment of Pleadings | Order 6 Rule 17 CPC
Pleadings are statements in writing delivered by both the parties involved in the litigation namely, the defendant and plaintiff. Pleading is based of Civil Trial. Pleading is a statement to the suit is either prosecuting the claim or defending the claim. A pleading must be precise and perfect form to make Trial successful and evidence can be laid only on those facts which are pleaded.
Meaning of Pleading
Pleadings have been defined under Order 6 Rule 1 of CPC which states that Pleading shall be Plaint or Written Statements. Pleading means plaint and written statement or statement, it also includes any petition and says filed in any legal proceedings. It also consists of the counter claims and written statement and rejoinder thereof. Pleading also includes other any consequential statements permitted by the Court to be filed by the parties. However, the statements of the parties and advocates are not pleading.
In Kalyan Singh Chauhan v. C.P. Joshi AIR 2011 SC, 1127 the apex court observed that the Pleading and issues are to ascertain the real dispute between the parties, to narrow the area of conflict and to see just where the two sides differ.
The Supreme Court of India in the A. Shanmugam v. Ariya Kshatriya Rajkula Vamsathu Madalaya Nandhavana Paripalani Sangam, AIR 2012 SC 2010 said, Pleading in a suit, ought to be critically examined by Judges before issuing an ad-interim injunction or framing of issues.
Also Read: Formalities for Filing of Civil Suit
Amendment of Pleading
The amendment of pleadings aims to meet the end of justice and to determine the real questions of conflict between the parties. The objective of the amendment of pleadings is to correct the mistakes made in the pleading and protect the rights of the parties instead of punishing them for committing mistakes in pleading. The amendment of pleading is permissible as per Order 6 Rule 17 and 18 of the CPC. The parties to the suit can file an application for alteration or amendment of their respective pleadings at any stage of suit.
The Order 6 Rule allow the amendment of pleading at any stage of suit but the new proviso is added in the Order 6 Rule 17 said whereby the amendment of pleading will not be allowed after the commencement of Trial, unless the Court comes to conclusion that in spite of due diligence, the part could not have raised the matter before the commencement of Trial.
Different Kinds of Amendment of Pleadings
The Civil Procedure Code provided the six mode where the amendment can be made in the pleadings as follows:-
- Amendment for clerical and arithmetical mistakes in judgment, decree, or order under Section 152 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
- Amendment of proceeding in a suit by the court to determine the real question or issues between the parties under Section 153 of Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
- Amendment for striking out or adding parties in a dispute under Order 1, Rule 10 r(2) of Civil Code Procedure, 1908.
- Amendment for adding a legal representative of the deceased party under Order 22, Rule 3 and 4.
- Amendment for opponent pleading or compulsory amendment under Order 6 and Rule 16.
- Amendment for own pleading or a voluntary pleading under Order 6 Rule 17.
Procedure for Amendment of Pleadings
Step 1 – Firstly the Plaintiff or Defendant who wants to amend its pleadings can write an application for the amendment of pleadings to the concerned civil court
Step 2 – After drafting the application applicant needs to produce the application before the concerned civil judge.
Step 3 – He has to pay a required court fee under court fees Act, 1870.
Step 4- Applicant needs to tell the purpose of the alteration in his application.
Step 5 – Judge will read the application and if he thinks fit that this alteration or amendment is necessary for the purpose of determining the real questions in controversy between the parties Than he will grant permission for amendment for pleading.
Step 6 – After getting the order from the court, the applicant needs to file new pleadings within the prescribed time and if no time has been prescribed by the court then he needs to file it in 14 days from the date of order.
Step 7 – He also needs to give a copy of altered pleadings to the opposite party
In short, the Order 6 Rule 18 provides that once lieu to amend to pleading is obtained by the Court order, then such amendment must be carried out in the pleadings filed before the Courts by way of deleting or adding the contents in the pleading as per the order of Court. The said correction of amended pleadings is to done within a period of 14 days from the date order. After the said period such correction in accordance to amendment is not permitted unless and until or time is extended by the Court.
Amendment of Pleading when allowed
- Amendment in the pleading can be allowed at any stage of the suit on the application of the party or parties of the suit.
- Such amendment must not changing the subject matter or nature of the suit
- The said application of the Law of Limitation depends upon the adjudication of facts are required to be allowed irrespective of the objection of the limitation.
Amendment of Pleading when not allowed
- An amendment can not be allowed unless there is an application in proper form & supported with the required material in the form of an affidavit or documents.
- Amendments not within the jurisdiction of the court can be allowed. The amendment which is inconsistent, contrary amounting to a negation of admitted fact mutually & which substitute the cause of action or change the nature of the suit can not be allowed.
- Amendment apparently based upon the cause of action which is barred by time can not be allowed.
The above list is not exhaustive, there are many other grounds when amendment of pleading is allowed or not.
Amendment of Plaint (Order VI, Rule 17)
The Supreme Court in Ramchandra Sakharam Mahajan v. Damodar Trimbak Tauksale, AIR 2007 SC 2577, said that the amendment of the plaint sought to make the claim more precise so as to enable court to adjudicate upon it more satisfactorily ought to be allowed by trial Court.
Delay in seeking amendment in plaint (Order VI, Rule 17)
A delay caused in seeking amendment of plaint can be compensated by way of awarding costs to contesting defendants AIR 2007 SC 2577.
Pleadings are the backbone of every civil suit. Pleadings can be in Plaint or Written Statements form. For avoiding a multiplicity of suits, the court allows the application of the amendment of pleadings. But the court will allow amendment only if this amendment is necessary to determine the controversy between the parties. The purpose of this provision is to promote the ends of justice and not to defeat the law.