0

There is no proscription in law, either statutory or precedential, constraining a court from issuing an application seeking leave: High Court of Delhi

The use of the word “may” in Order XI Rule 1, when referring to the power of the Court to deliver interrogatories on an application by one of the parties before it, indicates that the right to serve interrogatories is not absolute, and that a discretion vests in the Court in that regard and the same was upheld by High Court of Delhi through the learned bench led by JUSTICE C. HARI SHANKAR in the case of MAMTA vs. RISHIPAL [CM(M) 265/2022] on 28.03.2022.

The facts of the case are that an application was preferred by the petitioner under Order XI Rule 1 of the CPC to serve interrogatories on the defendant. The application came up for hearing, when the defendant submitted that he had not received any copy of the application and that before granting leave to serve interrogatories on him, it was necessary that a copy of the application be supplied to him. The issue that arises for consideration in this case is as to whether, prior to granting leave to serve interrogatories on the opposite party, the Court is proscribed, in law, from issuing a notice of the application seeking leave to serve interrogatories, calling for a response from the opposite party on the application.

The counsel for the petitioner stated that a leave should necessarily be granted on an application preferred under Order XI Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), seeking leave to serve interrogatories, ex parte, and at that stage, the opposite party has no right to oppose grant of leave. It is only after the interrogatories are served on the opposite party that the opposite party may under Order XI Rule 6 of the CPC question the necessity of responding to one or more of the interrogatories served on him.

The court held that there is no proscription, in law, either statutory or precedential, inhibiting a court from issuing on an application filed under Order XI Rule 1, seeking leave to serve interrogatories on the opposite party, before deciding whether to grant, or refuse to grant, leave.

It was observed that “in any suit the plaintiff or defendant by leave of the Court may deliver interrogatories in writing for the examination of the opposite parties or any one or more of such parties, and such interrogatories when delivered shall have a note at the foot thereof stating which of such interrogatories each of such person is required to answer. The use of the word “may” in Order XI Rule 1, when referring to the power of the Court to deliver interrogatories on an application by one of the parties before it, indicates that the right to serve interrogatories is not absolute, and that a discretion vests in the Court in that regard. Serving of interrogatories on the opposite party can only, therefore, by leave of Court.”

Click here to read the Judgment

Judgment reviewed by – Shristi Suman

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Open chat