CPC LAYS BAR MAY NOT APPLY TO WRIT PETITIONS.

BY : SHRUTI SHARMA

BACKGROUND:

Where a plaintiff omits to sue in respect of, or relinquishes intentionally, any portion of his claim then he shall not afterwards sue relating to the claims in the portion so omitted or relinquished. In the judgment of Alka Gupta vs. Narendra Kumar Gupta, the court held that a suit cannot be dismissed by the courts merely because they are disgruntled with the conduct of the plaintiff. The case law dealt with the provisions of Order 2 Rule 2 of the CPC, 1908 and the notion of Res Judicata.

The purpose of Order 2 Rule 2 of the Code is manifold. It is to warrant that no defendant is sued and provoked twice in respect to the invariable cause of action. It is also to prevent a plaintiff from parting of claims and remedies based on the same cause of action. The effect of Order 2 Rule 2 of the Code is to bar a plaintiff who had earlier claimed particular remedies in regard to a cause of action, from filing a second suit in view to other reliefs based on the same cause of action. It does not however bar a second suit based on a different and diverse cause of action.

Lest the defendant pleads under Order 2 Rule 2 of the Code and an issue is outlined concentrating the parties on that bar to the suit, palpably the court cannot scrutinize or scarp a suit on that ground. The pleadings in the former suit should be unveiled or assessed by the consent or at best admitted by both parties. The plaintiff should have an opening to explain or give a demonstration that the second suit was based on a different cause of action. When the respondent did not contend that the suit was restrained by Order 2 Rule 2 of the Code, no issue could be framed as to whether the suit was prohibited by the same.

The CPC is nothing but a comprehensive compilation and a detail of the principles of natural justice with respect to a proceeding in a court of law. The entire intent of the Code is to ensure that adjudication is conducted by a court of law with suitable prospects at appropriate stages. A civil proceeding administered by the CPC will have to be proceeded with and decided in accordance with law and the provisions of the Code, and not on the caprices of the court. There are no short-cuts in the trial of suits, unless they are provided by law. A civil suit has to be decided after framing issues and trial permitting the parties to lead evidence on the issues, except in cases where the Code or any other law makes an exception or provides any exemption. 

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CURRENT ISSUE:

While considering a writ where the issue raised was regarding the services rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee and the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee before the promulgation of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000 were to be considered while computing the eligibility of service for the determination of the pension.

Prior to this, the petitioner had filed a writ petition involving the general claim to grant all the benefits including the retirement benefits. The arguments were that the present plea of the second suit could have been taken in the previous petition. Although such a plea was already raised, the Court did not grant this relief, thus making the petitioners not eligible to make another plea in the same cause of action.

The bench consisting of Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Deepak Gupta opined, that though it was correct that in the writ petitions there was a general claim to grant all the benefits under Rule 6 of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee Rules, 2000 including the retirement benefits but it seemed that the court did not go into the same. There was no denunciation of the plea and consecutively the bench was of the view that the present petition was maintainable before the Court. It could not be rejected upon these technical grounds.

The court relied upon the judgment in Devendra Pratap Narain Rai Sharma vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, where the court had decided that the bar of Order 2 Rule 2 of CPC may not apply to the petition for a prerogative writ under Article 226 .  Another judgment in Gulabchand Chhotalal Parikh v. State of Gujarat followed the same rule.

CONCLUSION:

The Supreme Court of India has therefore echoed that the Order 2 Rule 2 of the CPC may not apply to the Writ Petitions. The court allowed the petition and gave directions that the entire services rendered by the petitioners in the Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee along with the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee would then be treated as a qualifying service for the retirement pensions, taking the same into consideration while calculating their retirement benefits.

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