Shikhar Chand & Ors v. Mst. Bari Bai & Ors.

Read this case analysis to learn how Madhya Pradesh High Court believed that if the defendants' admission is such that they point in favour of plaintiff, the latter must not be given a delayed relief.
CITATIONAIR 1974 MP 75
COURTHigh Court of Madhya Pradesh
JUDGES/CORAMJustice G Singh, Justice S. Raina
DATE OF JUDGEMENT12.09.1973

Introduction

The Madhya Pradesh High Court in the present case interpreted Order 12 Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure. It observed that“the primary object of a Court must be to do justice between the parties according to law and where at any stage of the suit it appears that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief asked for by him on the basis of defendant’s own admissions there would be no point in delaying the judgment unnecessarily with a view to decide all controversial points in the routine manner”.

Facts

The facts of the case are as follows: The subject matter of the suit was a Cinema House formerly known as ‘Gulab Talkies’ and now ‘Central Talkies’ in the city of Jabalpur. The said house belonged to the Plaintiffs and the Defendants-Appellants had been in occupation thereof under a registered lease deed dated 26.01.1950 for a period of 9 years commencing from 26.01.1950. According to the Plaintiffs, the lease expired on 25.01.1959 but as the Defendants failed to vacate in spite of notices, the Plaintiffs filed a suit for eviction of the Defendants and for arrears of rent etc.

Issues

The main issue in the case was: Whether or not the Trial Court was right in allowing the application of the Plaintiff under Order 12 Rule 6.

Contentions of the Parties

The Defendants-Appellants argued that after the expiry of the original lease, there was a fresh agreement between the parties according to which the Plaintiffs agreed that the Cinema House would be leased out for a period of 10 years on the same terms and conditions as before except that the monthly rent would be enhanced. It was further contended that the Plaintiff agreed to execute and register a deed of lease and pending execution and registration thereof the Defendants were to continue in possession as tenants and were not liable to be evicted. On the basis of this agreement for renewal of the lease the Defendants filed a cross suit for specific performance of the agreement.

Also Read  Sri Venkatramana Devaruand & Ors. v. The State of Mysore & Ors.

During the pendency of the suit the Defendants filed an application under Order 23, Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure that the suit was compromised between the parties in 1963 and Rs. 12,000/- were paid to the Plaintiffs in pursuance of the compromise. The principal terms of the compromise were that the Defendant shall pay rent at the rate of Rs. 850/- per month starting from 26.01.1959 and will execute a fresh lease deed for a period of ten years starting from the 26.01.1959 on the same terms and conditions as before.

The Plaintiffs in their reply admitted receipt of Rs. 12,000/-towards the arrears of rent but denied the alleged compromise. Subsequently, plaintiffs filed an application under Order 12, Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure for a decree for eviction of the defendants from the suit premises and recovery of the arrears of rent and for mesne profits at least at the rate of Rs. 800/- per month.

Summary of court decision and judgment

The Plaintiffs’ application was allowed by the trial court. However, on appeal, the High Court observed that Order 12 Rule 6 enables either party at any stage of the suit to move for judgment on the admissions which have been made by either side. The admissions on which the judgment under this Rule may be based may be either on the pleadings or otherwise. Further, it was observed that even if the Appellant’s contention that a new 10-year agreement was formed is accepted, the term of that agreement had also expired. While the Appellants did argue that the term of the agreement started from the date on which the lease deed was executed and not when the original lease expired and thus, 10 years were not up, the Court held that the written statement was not clear on this point and this contention was rejected. The appeal was dismissed with costs.

Also Read  Chandmal & Anr. v. State of Rajasthan

Analysis

In M/S Everest Kanto Cylinders Ltd. v. M/S Agro Impex Ltd[1], the Court held it is open to the court to pass a judgment on admissions in the pleadings or otherwise. Admission may be made either specific or constructively. If the court is satisfied that the admission made by a party is unambiguous, a decree can straightaway be passed without taking recourse to trial. However, another aspect to remember is that judgment on admission is not a matter of right; rather it is the discretion of the Court[2].

Similarly, the Apex Court in Himani Alloys Ltd. v. Tata Steel Ltd.[3], observed as under:

“10. It is true that a judgment can be given on an “admission” contained in the minutes of a meeting. But the admission should be categorical. It should be a conscious and deliberate act of the party making it, showing an intention to be bound by it. Order 12 Rule 6 being an enabling provision, it is neither mandatory nor peremptory but discretionary. The court, on examination of the facts and circumstances, has to exercise its judicial discretion, keeping in mind that a judgment on admission is a judgment without trial which permanently denies any remedy to the defendant, by way of an appeal on merits. Therefore, unless the admission is clear, unambiguous and unconditional, the discretion of the Court should not be exercised to deny the valuable right of a defendant to contest the claim.”

Conclusion

It is clear from the above legal precedents that a judgment on admission is a discretionary power of the Court and should not be used unless there is a clear and unequivocal admission by either of the parties. In the present case, the Defendant admitted that the original agreement was expired. Even if the contention of a new lease deed was to be believed, the term of that had expired as well. Therefore, the Court rightly relied on this admission; however this should not be treated as a rule in every case regardless of the facts and circumstances.

Also Read  M/S Siel Ltd. & Ors. v. Union of India & Ors.

[1] CS (OS) 564/2009 & I.A. No. 3680/2010.

[2] S.M. Asif v. Virender Bajaj, Civil Appeal Nos. 6106-6108 Of 2015.

[3] Himani Alloys Ltd. v. Tata Steel Ltd., 2011 (3) Civil Court Cases 721.