Filing of Written Statement:Max Period of 90 days can be Extended in Exceptionally Hard Cases

0
3144

May 31, 2018

Case name: Y.Venkata Ramana and Two Others vs. Yellaboyani Venkatamma

In the instant case, the Written Statement was filed by the respondent/plaintiff nine years after such counter claim had been filed by the petitioners.

As per Order VIII Rule 1 CPC, such Written Statement ought to have been filed by the respondent within 30 days from the date of receipt of the Written Statement-cum- counter claim of the petitioners.

As per the proviso to Rule 1 of Order VIII, the Court normally had power to extend the time for filing such Written Statement by the respondent to the counter claim made by the petitioners only for a period not later than 90 days, that too for reasons to be recorded in writing.

In view of the aforesaid and other relevant evidences on record, the High Court of Andhra Pradesh struck off the Written Statement filed by the respondent/plaintiff in answer to the counter claim of the petitioners. The High Court inter alia observed the following:

  • That the respondent/plaintiff should have filed an application seeking permission of the Court to file such Written Statement in answer to the counter claim of the petitioners beyond the period of 30 days. However, the same was not filed by the Respondent within the prescribed period.
  • That the fact that petitioners in the case did not object at the time of filing such Written Statement in answer to the counter claim, does not absolve the Court of its duty to record reasons in writing as to why it received the Written Statement filed by the respondent in answer to the counter claim of the petitioners beyond the period of 30 days.
  • With reference to the facts of the present case, the Court remarked that the only reason assigned by the respondent that he could not file the Written Statement in answer to the counter claim of the petitioners within time was that copy of the Written Statement- cum- counter claim had not been supplied to his counsel. However, on verification the same was found to be incorrect.
  • That as the reason for undue delay in filing written statement was incorrect, the Lower Court should not have allowed the respondent to file Written Statement beyond the limit of 90 days. The High Court in this regard stated that the Supreme Court[1] had permitted extension of time beyond 90 days only in exceptionally hard cases. The Court noted that in the present case, the negligence of the respondent or his counsel in reading the Written Statement-cum- counter claim of petitioners and consequently failing to file his response cannot bring the case of the respondent in the category of an exceptionally hard case.

The entire case can be accessed here.

[1] Salem Advocate Bar Association, T.N. Vs. Union of India