Exhibition of documents at subsequent stage is permissible?

IN THE HIGH COURT OF SIKKIM

W.P.(C) No. 22 of 2016
Decided On: 07.10.2016

Himalaya Distilleries
Vs.
Commandant, Morigoan and Ors.

Hon’ble Judges/Coram:S.K. Agnihotri, C.J.

Citation: AIR 2017 Sikkim 11

1. The instant writ petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is filed questioning the correctness of a part of the impugned order dated 7-4-2016 passed by the District Judge, Special Division-II, East Sikkim at Gangtok in Money Suit No. 18 of 2015 between the parties, whereunder it was held that the petitioner seeking to file fresh documents is not permissible by way of application under Section 153 read with Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (for short, ‘the CPC, 1908’). The petitioner preferred a Money Suit No. 18 of 2015. According to the petitioner, the petitioner filed necessary relevant documents along with filing of evidence on affidavit, but the same could not be exhibited by the earlier counsel, who withdrew from the case, thereafter. On finding the shortcomings on the part of the counsel, the petitioner filed an application under Section 153 read with Section 151 of the CPC for correction of the cause title and also for exhibiting the documents, which were filed earlier, but could not be exhibited. In reply, the defendants/respondents submitted that the exhibition of such documents is tantamount to filing of fresh documents, which is not permissible under the provisions of Section 153 read with Section 151 of the CPC, 1908. The documents could not be exhibited as they were not filed before-hand.

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2. The trial Judge, having examined the relevant documents, came to hold that the documents were not exhibited not on account of inadvertence and oversight, but the petitioner/plaintiff had chosen not to file the documents in question on filing of evidence on affidavit. It is further held that exhibiting such documents would amount to permitting filing of fresh documents, which is not legally permissible in the application.

3. I have examined all the documents as well as the application carefully.

4. The finding of the trial Court is not correct and erroneous. It has come on the record that the relevant documents were filed with evidence on affidavit, but could not be exhibited on account of lack of proper care by the Advocate, who withdrew later from the case. The petitioner has rightly sought for exhibiting the said documents which were left un-exhibited at the proper time. The objection put forth by the defendants/respondents was technical which hampers the administration of justice. The documents were already on record and as such the same are required to be exhibited and examined. The learned Judge ought to have allowed the application for exhibiting the same with notice to other side in the interest of justice. The purpose is to sub serve the justice, not to be influenced by technicality, without examining all the facts carefully.

5. Consequently, the impugned order dated 7-4-2016 to the extent of declining to exhibit the said documents is set aside. The trial Court is directed to examine the documents which were already on record and exhibit the same in accordance with law before proceeding with the trial of the case.

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6. The writ petition is, accordingly, allowed. No order as to costs.

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