ORDER I, II AND IV AND SECTION 26
Section 26. Institution of suits: (1)] Every suit shall be instituted by the presentation of a plaint or in such other manner as may be prescribed.
(2) In every plaint, facts shall be proved by affidavit.
Provided that such an affidavit shall be in the form and manner as prescribed under Order VI of Rule 15A.
- Who may be joined as plaintiffs.- All persons may be joined in one suit as plaintiffs where-
- Power of Court to order separate trial.- Where it appears to the Court that any joinder of plaintiffs may embarrass or delay the trial of the suit, the Court may put the plaintiffs to their election or order separate trials or make such other order as may be expedient.
- Who may be joined as defendants.- All persons may be joined in one suit as defendants where-
3A. Power to order separate trials where joinder of defendants may embarrass or delay trial.- Where it appears to the Court that any joinder of defendants may embarrass or delay the trial of the suit, the Court may order separate trials or make such other order as may be expedient in the interests of justice.
4. Court may give judgment for or against one or more of joint parties.-
Judgment may be given without any amendment-
- for such one or more of the plaintiffs as may be found to be entitled torelief, for such relief as he or they may be entitled to;
- against such one or more of the defendants as may be found to be liable,according to their respective liabilities.
- Defendant need not be interested in all the relief claimed.- It shall not be necessary that every defendant shall be interested as to all the relief claimed in any suit against him.
- Joinder of parties liable on same contract.- The plaintiff may, at his option, join as parties to the same suit all or any of the persons severally, or jointly and severely, liable on any one contract, including parties to bills of exchange, hundis and promissory notes.
- When plaintiff in doubt from whom redress is to be sought.- Where the plaintiff is in doubt as to the person from whom he is entitled to obtain redress, he may join two or more defendants in order that the question as to which of the defendants is liable, and to what extent, may be determined as between all parties.
- One person may sue or defend on behalf of all in same interest.- (1) Where there are numerous persons having the same interest in one suit, -
- The Court shall, in every case where a permission or direction is given under sub-rule (1), at the plaintiffs expense, give notice of the institution of the suit to all persons so interested either by personal service, or, where, by reason of the number of persons or any other cause, such service is not reasonably practicable, by public advertisement, as the Court in each case may direct.
- Any person on whose behalf, or for whose benefit, a suit is instituted or defended, under sub-rule (1), may apply to the Court to be made a party to such suit.
- No part of the claim in any such suit shall be abandoned under sub-rule (1), and no such suit shall be withdrawn under sub-rule (3), of rule 1 of Order XXIII, and no agreement, compromise or satisfaction shall be recorded in any such suit under rule 3 of that Order, unless the Court has given, at the plaintiffs expense, notice to all persons so interested in the manner specified in sub-rule (2).
- Where any person suing or defending in any such suit does not proceed with due diligence in the suit or defence, the Court may substitute in his place any other person having the same interest in the suit.
- A decree passed in a suit under this rule shall be binding on all persons on whose behalf, or for whose benefit, the suit is instituted, or defended, as the case may be.
Explanation.- For the purpose of determining whether the persons who sue or are sued, or defend, have the same interest in one suit, it is not necessary to establish that such persons have the same cause of action as the person on whose behalf, or for whose benefit, they sue or are sued, or defend the suit, as the case may be.
8A. Power of Court to permit a person or body of persons to present opinion or to take part in the proceedings.- While trying a suit, the Court may, if satisfied that a person or body of persons is interested in any question of law which is directly and substantially in issue in the suit and that it is necessary in the public interest to allow that person or body of persons to present his or its opinion on that question of law, permit that person or body of persons to present such opinion and to take part in the proceedings of the suit as the Court may specify.
- Mis-joinder and non-joinder.- No suit shall be defeated by reason of the misjoinder or non-joinder of parties, and the Court may in every suit deal with the matter in controversy so far as regards the rights and interests of the parties actually before it:
Provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to non-joinder of a necessary party.
- Suit in name of wrong pjlaintiff.- (1) Where a suit has been instituted in the name of the wrong person as plaintiff or where it is doubtful whether it has been instituted in the name of the right plaintiff, the Court may at any stage of the suit, if satisfied that the suit has been instituted thought a bona fide mistake, and that it is necessary for the determination of the real matter in dispute so to do, order any other person to be substituted or added as plaintiff upon such terms as the Court thinks just.
The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India in the case titled as “Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. vs. Regency Convention Centre & Hotels Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.” [Civil Appeal No. 4900 of 2010] decided on 06.07.2010 has held: -
“…The general rule in regard to impleadment of parties is that the plaintiff in a suit, being dominus litis, may choose the persons against whom he wishes to litigate and cannot be compelled to sue a person against whom he does not seek any relief. Consequently, a person who is not a party has no right to be impleaded against the wishes of the plaintiff. But this general rule is subject to the provisions of Order I Rule 10 (2) of Code of Civil Procedure (`Code' for short), which provides for impleadment of proper or necessary parties. The said sub-rule is extracted below:
"Court may strike out or add parties.
(2) The Court may at any stage of the proceedings, either upon or without the application of either party, and on such terms as may appear to the Court to be just, order that the name of any party improperly joined, whether as plaintiff or defendant, be struck out, and that the name of any person who ought to have been joined, whether as plaintiff or defendant, or whose presence before the Court may be necessary in order to enable the Court effectually and completely to adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the suit, be added."
The said provision makes it clear that a Court may, at any stage of the proceedings (including suits for specific performance), either upon or even without any application, and on such terms as may appear to it to be just, direct that any of the following persons may be added as a party: (a) any person who ought to have been joined as plaintiff or defendant, but not added; or (b) any person whose presence before the Court may be necessary in order to enable the Court to effectively and completely adjudicate upon and settle the question involved in the suit. In short, the Court is given the discretion to add as a party, any person who is found to be a necessary party or proper party. A `necessary party' is a person who ought to have been joined as a party and in whose absence no effective decree could be passed at all by the Court. If a `necessary party' is not impleaded, the suit itself is liable to be dismissed. A `proper party' is a party who, though not a necessary party, is a person whose presence would enable the Court to completely, effectively and adequately adjudicate upon all matters in disputes in the suit, though he need not be a person in favour of or against whom the decree is to be made. If a person is not found to be a proper or necessary party, the Court has no jurisdiction to implead him, against the wishes of the plaintiff. The fact that a person is likely to secure a right/interest in a suit property, after the suit is decided against the plaintiff, will not make such person a necessary party or a proper party to the suit for specific performance.
- Let us consider the scope and ambit of Order I of Rule 10(2) CPC regarding striking out or adding parties. The said sub-rule is not about the right of a non-party to be impleaded as a party, but about the judicial discretion of the Court to strike out or add parties at any stage of a proceeding. The discretion under the sub-rule can be exercised either suo moto or on the application of the plaintiff or the defendant, or on an application of a person who is not a party to the suit. The Court can strike out any party who is improperly joined. The Court can add anyone as a plaintiff or as a defendant if it finds that he is a necessary party or proper party. Such deletion or addition can be without any conditions or subject to such terms as the Court deems fit to impose. In exercising its judicial discretion under Order 1 Rule 10(2) of the Code, the Court will of course act according to reason and fair play and not according to whims and caprice. This Court in Ramji Dayawala & Sons (P) Ltd. vs. Invest Import - 1981 (1) SCC 80, reiterated the classic definition of `discretion' by Lord Mansfield in R. vs. Wilkes - 1770 (98) ER 327, that `discretion when applied to Courts of justice, means sound discretion guided by law. It must be governed by rule, not by humor; it must not be arbitrary, vague, and fanciful, `but legal and regular'. We may now give some illustrations regarding exercise of discretion under the said Sub-Rule. 12.1) If a plaintiff makes an application for impleading a person as a defendant on the ground that he is a necessary party, the Court may implead him having regard to the provisions of Rules 9 and 10(2) of Order I. If the claim against such a person is barred by limitation, it may refuse to add him as a party and even dismiss the suit for non-joinder of a necessary party.
But if the suit for specific performance is filed with an additional prayer for delivery of physical possession from the tenant in possession, then the tenant will be a necessary party in so far as the prayer for actual possession.
- If a person makes an application for being impleaded contending that he is a necessary party, and if the Court finds that he is a necessary party, it can implead him. If the plaintiff opposes such impleadment, then instead of impleading such a party, who is found to be a necessary party, the Court may proceed to dismiss the suit by holding that the applicant was a necessary party and in his absence the plaintiff was not entitled to any relief in the suit.
- If an application is made by a plaintiff for impleading someone as a proper party, subject to limitation, bonafides etc., the Court will normally implead him, if he is found to be a proper party. On the other hand, if a nonparty makes an application seeking impleadment as a proper party and Court finds him to be a proper party, the Court may direct his addition as a defendant; but if the Court finds that his addition will alter the nature of the suit or introduce a new cause of action, it may dismiss the application even if he is found to be a proper party, if it does not want to widen the scope of the specific performance suit; or the Court may direct such applicant to be impleaded as a proper party, either unconditionally or subject to terms. For example, if `D' claiming to be a co-owner of a suit property, enters into an agreement for sale of his share in favour of `P' representing that he is the co-owner with half share, and `P' files a suit for specific performance of the said agreement of sale in respect of the undivided half share, the Court may permit the other co-owner who contends that `D' has only one-fourth share, to be impleaded as an additional defendant as a proper party, and may examine the issue whether the plaintiff is entitled to specific performance of the agreement in respect of half a share or only one-fourth share; alternatively the Court may refuse to implead the other co-owner and leave open the question in regard to the extent of share of the vendor-defendant to be decided in an independent proceeding by the other co-owner, or the plaintiff; alternatively the Court may implead him but subject to the term that the dispute, if any, between the impleaded co-owner and the original defendant in regard to the extent of the share will not be the subject matter of the suit for specific performance, and that it will decide in the suit, only the issues relating to specific performance, that is whether the defendant executed the agreement/contract and whether such contract should be specifically enforced. In other words, the Court as the discretion to either to allow or reject an application of a person claiming to be a proper party, depending upon the facts and circumstances and no person has a right to insist that he should be impleaded as a party, merely because he is a proper party.
- If the principles relating to impleadment, are kept in view, then the purported divergence in the two decisions will be found to be non- existent. The observations in Kasturi and Sumtibai are with reference to the facts and circumstances of the respective case. In Kasturi, this Court held that in suits for specific performance, only the parties to the contract or any legal representative of a party to the contract, or a transferee from a party to the contract are necessary parties. In Sumtibai, this Court held that a person having semblance of a title can be considered as a proper party. Sumtibai did not lay down any proposition that anyone claiming to have any semblance of title is a necessary party. Nor did Kasturi lay down that no one, other than the parties to the contract and their legal representatives/transferees, can be impleaded even as a proper party….”
The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case titled as “Gurmit Singh Bhatia vs Kiran Kant Robinson & Ors.” [Civil Appeal No. 5522¬5523 of 2019] decided on 17.07.2019 has held: -
“…16. That apart, from a plain reading of the expression used in sub¬-rule (2) Order 1 Rule 10 CPC “all the questions involved in the suit” it is abundantly clear that the legislature clearly meant that the controversies raised as between the parties to the litigation must be gone into only, that is to say, controversies with regard to the right which is set up and the relief claimed on one side and denied on the other and not the controversies which may arise between the plaintiff¬/appellant and the defendants inter se or questions between the parties to the suit and a third party. In our view, therefore, the Court cannot allow adjudication of collateral matters so as to convert a suit for specific performance of contract for sale into a complicated suit for title between the plaintiff/appellant on one hand and Respondents 2 and 3 and Respondents 1 and 4 to 11 on the other. This addition, if allowed, would lead to a complicated litigation by which the trial and decision of serious questions which are totally outside the scope of the suit would have to be gone into. As the decree of a suit for specific performance of the contract for sale, if passed, cannot, at all, affect the right, title and interest of Respondents 1 and 4 to 11 in respect of the contracted property and in view of the detailed discussion made herein earlier, Respondents 1 and 4 to 11 would not, at all, be necessary to be added in the instant suit for specific performance of the contract for sale.” That thereafter, after observing and holding as above, this Court further observed that in view of the principle that the plaintiff who has filed a suit for specific performance of the contract to sell is the dominus litis, he cannot be forced to add parties against whom, he does not want to fight unless it is a compulsion of the rule of law. In the aforesaid decision in the case of Kasturi(supra), it was contended on behalf of the third parties that they are in possession of the suit property on the basis of their independent title to the same and as the plaintiff had also claimed the relief of possession in the plaint and the issue with regard to possession is common to the parties including the third parties, and therefore, the same can be settled in the suit itself. It was further submitted on behalf of the third parties that to avoid the multiplicity of the suits, it would be appropriate to join them as party defendants. This Court did not accept the aforesaid submission by observing that merely in order to find out who is in possession of the contracted property, a third party or a stranger to the contract cannot be added in a suit for specific performance of the contract to sell because they are not necessary parties as there was no semblance of right to some relief against the party to the contract. It is further observed and held that in a suit for specific performance of the contract to sell the lis between the vendor and the persons in whose favour agreement to sell is executed shall only be gone into and it is also not open to the Court to decide whether any other parties have acquired any title and possession of the contracted property. It is further observed and held by this Court in the aforesaid decision that if the plaintiff who has filed a suit for specific performance of the contract to sell, even after receiving the notice of claim of title and possession by other persons (not parties to the suit and even not parties to the agreement to sell for which a decree for specific performance is sought) does not want to join them in the pending suit, it is always done at the risk of the plaintiff because he cannot be forced to join the third parties as party¬ defendants in such suit. The aforesaid observations are made by this Court considering the principle that plaintiff is the dominus litis and cannot be forced to add parties against whom he does not want to fight unless there is a compulsion of the rule of law. Therefore, considering the decision of this Court in the case of Kasturi (supra), the appellant cannot be impleaded as a defendant in the suit filed by the original plaintiffs for specific performance of the contract between the original plaintiffs and original defendant no.1 and in a suit for specific performance of the contract to which the appellant is not a party and that too against the wish of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs cannot be forced to add party against whom he does not want to fight. If he does so, in that case, it will be at the risk of the plaintiffs….”
10A. Power of Court to request any pleader to address it.- The Court may, in its discretion, request any pleader to address it as to any interest which is likely to be affected by its decision on any matter in issue in any suit or proceeding, if the party having the interest which is likely to be so affected is not represented by any pleader.
- Conduct of suit.- The Court may give the conduct of a suit to such persons as it deems proper.
- Appearance of one of several plaintiffs or defendants for others.- (1) Where there are more plaintiffs than one, any one or more of them may be authorized by any other of them to appear, plead or act for such other in any proceeding; and in like manner, where there are more defendants than one, any one or more of them may be authorized by any other of them to appear, plead or act for such other in any proceeding.
(2) The authority shall be in writing signed by the party giving it and shall be filed in Court.
- Objections as to non-joinder or mis-joinder.- All objections on the ground of non-joinder or misjoinder of parties shall be taken at the earliest possible opportunity and, in all cases where issues are settled, at or before such settlement, unless the ground of objection has subsequently arisen, and any such objection not so taken shall be deemed to have been waived.