inadvertent mistake cannot be refused to be corrected when the mistake is apparent from the reading of the plaint.= Procedure should never be made a tool to deny justice or perpetuate injustice by any oppressive or punitive use. The Court held as under:- “17. Non-compliance with any procedural requirement relating to a pleading, memorandum of appeal or application or petition for relief should not entail automatic dismissal or rejection, unless the relevant statute or rule so mandates. Procedural defects and irregularities which are curable should not be allowed to defeat substantive rights or to cause injustice. Procedure, a handmaiden to justice, should never be made a tool to deny justice or perpetuate injustice, by any oppressive or punitive use. The well-recognised exceptions to this principle are: (i) where the statute prescribing the procedure, also prescribes specifically the consequence of noncompliance; (ii) where the procedural defect is not rectified, even after it is pointed out and due opportunity is given for rectifying it; (iii) where the non-compliance or violation is proved to be deliberate or mischievous; (iv) where the rectification of defect would affect the case on merits or will affect the jurisdiction of the court; (v) in case of memorandum of appeal, there is complete absence of authority and the appeal is presented without the knowledge, consent and authority of the appellant.” 5 (2006) 1 SCC 75 6 11. Thus, we find that it was an inadvertent mistake in the plaint which trial court should have allowed to be corrected so as to permit the Private Limited Company to sue as Plaintiff as the original Plaintiff has filed suit as Director of the said Private Limited Company. Therefore, the order declining to correct the memo of parties cannot be said to be justified in law. 12. Consequently, the orders passed by the High Court dated 20.08.2018 and by the trial court on 23.01.2018 are set-aside and the application filed by the Plaintiff to amend the plaint is allowed with no order as to costs.


Hon’ble Mr. Justice Hemant Gupta

REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2431 OF 2019
(Arising out of S.L.P (C) No. 2792 of 2019)
Varun Pahwa ……..Appellant
Versus
Mrs. Renu Chaudhary ……..Respondent
J U D G M E N T
Hemant Gupta, J.
Leave granted.

  1. The Order dated 20.08.2018 passed by the High Court of Delhi is
    subject matter of challenge in the present appeal. By the aforesaid
    order, a petition against an order passed by the learned trial court on
    23.01.2018 seeking permission to amend the plaint was dismissed.
    1
  2. The appellant as Director of Siddharth Garments Pvt. Ltd. filed a
    suit for recovery of Rs. 25,00,000/- along with pendente lite and future
    interest on or about 28.05.2016. The Plaintiff has claimed the said
    amount advanced as loan of Rs. 25,00,000/- remitted to the defendant
    through RTGS on 16.06.2013 on HDFC Bank, Delhi. It is also averred that
    Plaintiff has given Special Power of Attorney to Shri Navneet Gupta and
    that a copy of the Power of Attorney is enclosed.
  3. The defendant raised one of the preliminary objections in the
    written statement that suit has not been filed by the Plaintiff and even
    the alleged authorised representative has not filed any document
    showing that he has been authorised by the above-named Plaintiff. The
    Special Power of Attorney is neither valid nor admissible.
  4. It was on 29.11.2016, Navneet Gupta appeared in Court as power
    of attorney of the Plaintiff to examine himself as PW1. It was at that
    stage; an order was passed by the learned trial court to furnish address
    of the Plaintiff and why the Plaintiff should be examined through an
    attorney when the Plaintiff is a resident of Delhi. It is thereafter, the
    appellant filed an application for amendment of the plaint on the ground
    that the counsel had inadvertently made the title of the suit wrongly as
    the loan was advanced through the Company, therefore, the suit was to
    be in the name of the Company. Therefore, the Plaintiff sought to
    substitute para 1 and para 2 of the plaint with the following paras which
    read as under:-
    2
    “1. That the Plaintiff is a Private Limited
    Company having its registered office at: I-VA
    (property bearing No. XII), Jawahar Nagar, Delhi
  5. That the present plaint is filed through the
    authorised representative of the Plaintiff namely
    Sh. Navneet Gupta, R/o. 322, Kohat Enclave, Pitam
    Pura, Delhi who has been authorised vide board
    resolution dated 12.05.2016 to sign, verify and
    execute all documents, papers, complaints,
    applications, plaint, written statement, Counter
    claim, affidavits, replies revisions, etc. and to
    institute, pursue and depose in all legal
    proceedings and court cases on behalf of Siddharth
    Garments Pvt. Ltd against Mrs. Renu Chaudhary
    who was given the loan of Rs. 25 Lakhs.”
  6. The trial court declined the amendment on the ground that the
    application is an attempt to convert the suit filed by a private individual
    into a suit filed by a Private Limited Company which is not permissible
    as it completely changes the nature of the suit. It is the said order
    which was not interfered with by the High Court.
  7. We have heard learned counsel for the appellant as none had
    appeared on behalf of the respondent.
  8. The plaint is not properly drafted in as much as in the memo of
    parties, the Plaintiff is described as Varun Pahwa through Director of
    Siddharth Garments Pvt. Ltd. though it should have been Siddharth
    Garments Pvt. Ltd. through its Director Varun Pahwa. Thus, it is a case of
    mistake of the counsel, may be on account of lack of understanding as
    to how a Private Limited Company is to sue in a suit for recovery of the
    amount advanced.
    3
  9. The memo of parties is thus clearly inadvertent mistake on the
    part of the counsel who drafted the plaint. Such inadvertent mistake
    cannot be refused to be corrected when the mistake is apparent from
    the reading of the plaint. The Rules of Procedure are handmaid of justice
    and cannot defeat the substantive rights of the parties. It is well settled
    that amendment in the pleadings cannot be refused merely
    because of some mistake, negligence, inadvertence or even
    infraction of the Rules of Procedure. The Court always gives leave to
    amend the pleadings even if a party is negligent or careless as the
    power to grant amendment of the pleadings is intended to serve the
    ends of justice and is not governed by any such narrow or technical
    limitations. In State of Maharashtra vs. Hindustan Construction
    Company Limited
    1
    , this Court held as under:-
    “17. Insofar as the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (for
    short “CPC”) is concerned, Order 6 Rule 17 provides
    for amendment of pleadings. It says that the court may
    at any stage of the proceedings allow either party to
    alter or amend his pleadings in such manner and on
    such terms as may be just, and all such amendments
    shall be made as may be necessary for the purpose of
    determining the real questions in controversy between
    the parties.
  10. The matters relating to amendment of pleadings
    have come up for consideration before the courts from
    time to time. As far back as in 1884 in Clarapede &
    Co. v. Commercial Union Assn.
    2
  • an appeal that came
    up before the Court of Appeal, Brett M.R. stated:
    “… The rule of conduct of the court in such
    a case is that, however negligent or
    careless may have been the first
    omission, and, however late the
    proposed amendment, the amendment
    1 (2010) 4 SCC 518
    2 (1883) 32 WR 262 (CA)
    4
    should be allowed if it can be made
    without injustice to the other side. There is
    no injustice if the other side can be
    compensated by costs; but, if
    the amendment will put them into such a
    position that they must be injured, it ought
    not to be made….”
  1. In Charan Das v. Amir Khan
    3
    the Privy Council
    exposited the legal position that although power of a
    Court to amend the plaint in a suit should not as a rule
    be exercised where the effect is to take away from the
    defendant a legal right which has accrued to him by
    lapse of time, yet there are cases in which that
    consideration is outweighed by the special
    circumstances of the case.

  1. In Jai Jai Ram Manohar Lal
    4
    this Court was
    concerned with a matter wherein amendment in the
    plaint was refused on the ground that the amendment
    could not take effect retrospectively and on the date of
    the amendment the action was barred by the law of
    limitation. It was held: (SCC p.871, para 5)
    “5. …. Rules of procedure are intended to
    be a handmaid to the administration of
    justice. A party cannot be refused just
    relief merely because of some mistake,
    negligence, inadvertence or even
    infraction of the Rules of procedure. The
    court always gives leave to amend
    the pleading of a party, unless it is
    satisfied that the party applying was acting
    mala fide, or that by his blunder, he had
    caused injury to his opponent which may
    not be compensated for by an order of
    costs. However negligent or careless may
    have been the first omission, and, however
    late the proposed amendment,
    the amendment may be allowed if it can be
    made without injustice to the other side.”
    This Court further stated (Jai Jai Ram Manohar Lal case,
    SCC p.873, para 7):
    3 (1919-20) 47 IA 255
    4 (1969) 1 SCC 869
    5
    “7. …The power to grant amendment of
    the pleadings is intended to serve the
    ends of justice and is not governed by any
    such narrow or technical limitations.”
  2. In Uday Shankar Triyar v. Ram Kalewar Prasad Singh and
    Another
    5
    , this Court held that procedural defects and irregularities
    which are curable should not be allowed to defeat substantive rights or
    to cause injustice. Procedure should never be made a tool to deny
    justice or perpetuate injustice by any oppressive or punitive use. The
    Court held as under:-
    “17. Non-compliance with any procedural requirement
    relating to a pleading, memorandum of appeal or
    application or petition for relief should not entail
    automatic dismissal or rejection, unless the relevant
    statute or rule so mandates. Procedural defects and
    irregularities which are curable should not be allowed to
    defeat substantive rights or to cause injustice.
    Procedure, a handmaiden to justice, should never be
    made a tool to deny justice or perpetuate injustice, by
    any oppressive or punitive use. The well-recognised
    exceptions to this principle are:
    (i) where the statute prescribing the procedure, also
    prescribes specifically the consequence of noncompliance;
    (ii) where the procedural defect is not rectified, even
    after it is pointed out and due opportunity is given for
    rectifying it;
    (iii) where the non-compliance or violation is proved to
    be deliberate or mischievous;
    (iv) where the rectification of defect would affect the
    case on merits or will affect the jurisdiction of the court;
    (v) in case of memorandum of appeal, there is complete
    absence of authority and the appeal is presented
    without the knowledge, consent and authority of the
    appellant.”
    5 (2006) 1 SCC 75
    6
  3. Thus, we find that it was an inadvertent mistake in the plaint
    which trial court should have allowed to be corrected so as to permit the
    Private Limited Company to sue as Plaintiff as the original Plaintiff has
    filed suit as Director of the said Private Limited Company. Therefore, the
    order declining to correct the memo of parties cannot be said to be
    justified in law.
  4. Consequently, the orders passed by the High Court dated
    20.08.2018 and by the trial court on 23.01.2018 are set-aside and the
    application filed by the Plaintiff to amend the plaint is allowed with no
    order as to costs.
    The appeal is allowed.
    ……………………………………
    ………J.
    (Dr. D. Y. Chandrachud)
    ………………………………………
    …….J.
    (Hemant Gupta)
    New Delhi,
    March 1, 2019
    7