Read Order: Prem Chand and Others v. Dharam Pal and Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, June 7, 2022: While dealing with a case wherein the defendants were assailing the correctness of the order of the Trial Court whereby they were denied permission to file counterclaim, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that there is no concept of challenging a judgment and decree under the Specific Relief Act, 1963

Primarily, in this case before the Bench of Justice Anil Kshetarpal, the plaintiffs claimed ownership on the basis of a judgment and decree dated August 5, 1991. The petitioners, while filing the written statement, already asserted that Sh. Gulla Ram never suffered a Civil Court decree in favour of the plaintiffs and that the said decree was wrong, illegal and against the law and facts. In the first round, the Civil Court dismissed the suit. 

The First Appellate Court, after re-appreciating the evidence, found that the trial of the case was seriously prejudiced as no distinct issue on the validity and the correctness of the judgment and decree was framed. Now, the suit was pending for re-trial as ordered by the First Appellate Court. 

The petitioners wished to file a counterclaim in order to lay challenge to the validity of the judgment and decree of 1991. 

After taking into consideration the above-stated situation, the Court observed that there was no necessity to specifically challenge the judgment and decree by filing a counter-claim particularly when in the written statement, the aforesaid stand was elaborately taken. 

Secondly, the Court added that there was no concept of challenging a judgment and decree under the Specific Relief Act, 1963 and that the defendants were not a party to the aforesaid decree. 

In such circumstances, the Court was of the view that it was sufficient for them to claim that such decree was not binding on their rights while filing the written statement. 

Lastly, Justice Kshetarpal opined that the application for permission to file counterclaim, at this stage, could not be allowed in view of Order VIII Rule 6A(1) CPC

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