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Due process means an opportunity to file pleadings before court of law, it does not mean the whole trial: High Court of New Delhi

If the Court has considered prima facie, that a party to the suit is not entitled to remain in possession even if assuming it had possession, the same would amount to due process of law. The plaintiff in the suit claims rights only through B.R. Luthra and no other party. The plaintiff was at best a trespasser even as per admission of Mithilesh Rani and for the plea of possession as claimed by the plaintiff in the present suit no full-fledged trial is required. This was held in HEMANT VERMA v. MITHILESH RANI & ORS[CS(OS)No. 654/2017] in the High Court of New Delhi by single bench consisting of JUSTICE MUKTA GUPTA.

Facts are that plaintiff had filed suit claiming sole and absolute ownership of the suit property. Application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC has been filed by defendants seeking rejection of the plaint.

The counsel for the defendant contended that suit filed by the plaintiff is liable to be rejected as the plaint does not disclose any cause of action, the suit is barred by limitation and not maintainable and the reliefs claimed are undervalued. Suit is filed by the plaintiff through POA who has no personal knowledge about the facts pleaded.

The court referred to the Apex court judgment in Maria Margadia Sequeria Fernandes & Ors. Vs. Erasmo Jack De Sequeria, where in it was held that, “9. Due process of law means that nobody ought to be condemned unheard. The due process of law means a person in settled possession will not be dispossessed except by due process of law. Due process means an opportunity to the defendant to file pleadings including written statement and documents before the court of law. It does not mean the whole trial. Due process of law is satisfied the moment rights of the parties are adjudicated upon by a competent court.”

Considering the facts of the case and the earlier precedents the court held that, the relief of possession claimed by the plaintiff in the suit was not maintainable as there were no pleadings made to reflect  how, when and from whom plaintiff came into lawful possession of the property. The entitlement of the plaintiff for restoration of possession was based on admission of Mithilesh Rani, that the plaintiff trespassed into the property and can be decided in the present application and no full-fledged trial is required for the same. Consequently the application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC was disposed of rejecting the plaint.

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