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Subsequent events are required to be considered by the courts in order to shorten the litigation:High court of Bombay at Nagpur

Subsequent events are required to be considered by the courts in order to shorten the litigation, to preserve and safeguard the rights of both parties, and to subserve the ends of justice. A single-judge bench comprising of  Justice N.B. Suryawanshi adjudicating the matter of Ramesh v. Ashok and Ors(WRIT PETITION NO.1589 OF 2021) dealt with an issue of whether to allow the present writ petition or not.

In the present case, the plaintiffs challenge the order and deny the proposed amendment in respect to subsequent events and pray for a permanent injunction.

Plaintiff is seeking a declaration that he is the exclusive owner of the suit property and also seeks a permanent injunction against a defendant that he shall not transfer the suit property and or create any third-party interest.

The Defendants denied the suit proceedings and during the pendency of the plaintiff expired. Legal representatives of Plaintiff contested on behalf of Plaintiff and a court commissioner was appointed who submitted his report on 10.02.2021 and then issues were framed.

On the basis of the report, the plaintiff (legal representatives of the deceased plaintiff) filed an application and sought amendment in relation to the contention about the will of the deceased plaintiff and declaration as per the will. Amendment was also sought for the purpose of construction raised by the defendant in the suit property during the pendency of the suit and a prayer for permanent injunction for removal of the construction was sought to be added. The amendment was also opposed by the defendants.

The trial court allowed the amendment to the extent of contentions of the will and declaration in terms of the will but rejected the amendment pertaining to the construction raised by the defendant in the suit property during the pendency of suit and prayer for the removal of the same on the ground that if the same is allowed, it would cause a delay in the trial. The rejection of amendment is questioned in this petition

The Petitioners submitted that the trial Court has committed an error in rejecting the prayer for amendment ignoring the settled principle of law that before the commencement of trial and with a view to avoiding multiplicity of the proceedings, the amendment to bring on record subsequent events needs to be liberally allowed. It was also submitted that the trial Court has erred in rejecting the amendment on the ground of delay. Since the suit was directed to be expedited by this Court taking into consideration the fact that the plaintiff was 82 years old and  Since the plaintiff is no more, now the direction to expedite the suit has lost its significance to a greater extent and the trial Court could have sought extension of time to decide the suit in view of the amendment and the subsequent events.

The Respondents supported the order of the Trial Court to the extent it rejected the amendment of the petitioner by contending that it is a separate cause of action for the petitioner to file a suit. It was also submitted that the order of the Trial Court rejected the amendment of the petitioner by contending that it is a separate cause of action for the petitioner to file a suit was correct. It is a separate cause of action in which the petitioner ought to have brought another suit, he, therefore, submitted that the Trial Court erred in partly allowing the amendment application of the petitioner and the application ought to have been rejected by the Trial Court.

The court observed that  The trial Court was right in allowing the amendment in respect of will and declaration in terms of will by a reasoned order. The cause of action about the rights in respect to the suit property has accrued to the parties on the basis of the will. The trial Court has rightly held that the will must take effect subsequent to the death of the original plaintiff and considering the dispute between the parties, the trial Court deemed it proper to permit the plaintiff to bring the entire case about the rights to the suit property in one composite suit. The trial Court was therefore justified in permitting the amendment in respect of the will. No-fault can be found with the reasons assigned by the trial Court in allowing the said amendment. However, it erred in disallowing the amendment in respect of subsequent events which took place during the pendency of the suit. This amendment is erroneously disallowed on the ground that it would cause delay. The said reason is irrational and unacceptable. Since The amendment does not alter the basic structure of the suit, it is necessitated by the construction undertaken by defendant no.1 during the pendency of the suit. The amendment ought to have been allowed and should have been considered along with the amendment in respect of the will. The ground of delay in rejecting the amendment does not stand to reason.

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