-Report by Arunima Jain
The Delhi High Court on Friday carefully examined Order XIV Rule 5 & Order XI of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 while adjudicating the present case. Herein, it has been made amply clear by the court that when filing additional documents in a commercial lawsuit, the plaintiff cannot claim that these are in response to the arguments made by the defendant in the written statement. Order XI of the CPC as it relates to commercial lawsuits would be completely disregarded if it allowed a party to file supplementary papers at any point.
In the matter at hand, the plaintiff had pre-existent issues already filed in front of the Hon’bleCourt in the current matter. The present application was filed on behalf of the plaintiff toinclude an additional issue faced by the plaintiff. It was submitted before the court that anissue regarding the rendition of accounts by the defendant had not been framed while preparing for the evidence, in the issues provided. A Local Commissioner was appointed on December 16th, 2022, to record the testimony in the case. The plaintiff has submittedaffidavit-based evidence, but the testimony has not yet been entered into the record.
The petitioner’s learned counsel has submitted before the High Court that while preparing forthe evidence in the case, the plaintiff accidentally became aware that the problem surroundingthe defendant’s rendition of accounts had not been framed. The averments contained in
paragraph 15 of the plaint about the defendant’s rendition of accounts was drawn attention.The defendant has refuted the information in this very paragraph in a written statement. Moreover, the plaintiff asserts that the Licence Agreement between the parties was terminatedon December 30, 2016, that there is no longer an active contract between the parties, and that the defendant is only making payments to the plaintiff in accordance with temporary ordersissued by this Court.
Contrary to the petitioner’s counsel, the respondent’s learned counsel submits that onNovember 28, 2019, when the problems in the lawsuit were being framed, the Court did notframe any such issue regarding the rendering of accounts. This was due to the fact that theLicence Agreement that governed the plaintiff and defendant’s relationship required thedefendant to pay the plaintiff an annual licence fee. As a result, it was unnecessary to framethe problem of the defendant producing a statement of finances. In addition to that, theplaintiff should have provided the aforementioned documents with the plaint because it washis responsibility to prove his ownership of the works that are the subject of the current lawsuit when he filed it. Furthermore, it is claimed that the current application was submitted more than three years after the issues were first framed. The plaintiff has been unable toprovide any justification for failing to include the papers with the replication.
Upon giving due regard to the facts and law in the above-mentioned case, it is contended bythe Hon’ble Court that it is clear from the contentions by both the parties and the precedentsthat the plaintiff has clearly argued that the documents are being presented to refute theposition put up by the defendant and, as a result, could not have been filed at the time the complaint was filed. However, the plaintiff has not explained why the aforementioned documents were not filed with the replication. Moreover, the plaintiff has also missed from providing just cause as to failing to provide reasonable cause for untimely filing. If a party isallowed to file additional documents at any point throughout the suit, the entire purpose of the CPC regulations relevant to commercial lawsuits would be negated. Accordingly, the present application in the High Court of Delhi has been dismissed.
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