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Jetha Ram v/s Shaker Lal & Another

    Civil Revision Petition No. 509 of 1999

    Decided On, 19 May 1999

    At, High Court of Rajasthan

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE AMARESH KU. SINGH

    For the Appellant: Sajjan Singh, Advocate. For the Respondent: ----------



Judgment Text

1. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner.

2. This revision petition is directed against the order dated 7-5-1999 passed by the learned Additional Civil Judge (Junior Division) No. 1, Pali in civil original suit No. 103/93.

3. By the impugned order, the learned Civil Judge allowed the plaintiff to produce a receipt book for the purpose of cross-examination during the examination of Jetha Ram DW-1.

4. A perusal of the order dated 7-5-1999 shows that during the examination of Jetha Ram DW-1 (defendant), the plaintiff produced the receipt book for the purpose of cross-examination of Jetha Ram. An objection was raised on behalf of the defendant-petitioner that the plaintiff did not produce the receipt-book earlier in spite of the same being in his possession and, therefore, the plaintiff should not be permitted to produce the receipt book in Court for the purpose of cross-examination of the defendant Jetha Ram. The argument advanced by the learned counsel for the petitioner (de

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fendant) was based on the provisions contained in Order 7, Rule 18, C. P. C. Order 7, Rule 14 was also referred to the learned Civil Judge who after hearing the parties overruled the objections raised by the petitioner (defendant) in view of the provisions contained in Order 7, Rule 18(2), C.P.C. Feeling aggrieved by the order dated 7-5-1999, the petitioner approached this Court u/s 115, C.P.C. by filing the revision petition.

5. So far as the production of documentary evidence is concerned, Order 7, Rule 14, C.P.C. provides that where a plaintiff sues upon a document in his possession or power, he shall produce it in Court when the plaint is presented, and shall at the same time deliver the document or a copy thereof to be filed with the plaint. Sub-rule (2) of the Rule 14 of Order 7, C.P.C. provides that here he relies on any other documents (whether in his possession or power or not) as evidence in support of his claim, he shall enter such documents in a list to be added or annexed to the plaint. A bare reading of Rule 14 of Order 7, C.P.C. shows that Sub-rule (1) of Rule 14 of Order 7, C.P.C. does not apply to those documents which are not in possession or power of the plaintiff or the documents which are not the basis of the suit. Sub-rule (2) of Rule 14, C.P.C. deals with any other documents whether in possession and power or not, on which the plaintiff realise as evidence in support of his claim. This sub-rule does not cover those documents which are not relied upon by the plaintiff for the purpose of supporting his claim. Rule 18 of Order 7, C.P.C. reads :--

"18. Inadmissibility of document not produced when plaint filed-- (1) A document which ought to be produced in Court by the plaintiff when the plaint is presented, or to be entered in the list to be added or annexed to the plaint, and which is not produced or entered accordingly, shall not, without the leave of the Court, be received in evidence on his behalf at the hearing of the suit.

(2) Nothing in this rule applies to documents produced for cross-examination of the defendant's witnesses, or in answer to any case set up by the defendant or handed to a witness merely to refresh his memory."

6. The provisions of Rule 18 of Order 7, C.P.C. necessarily referred to the documents mentioned in Rule 14 of Order 7, C. P.C. The prohibition imposed by Rule 18 on the production of the documents is, therefore, applicable to only those documents which are required to be filed by the plaintiff under Sub-rule (1) of Rule 14 of Order 7, C. P. C. or the list whereof is required to be filed under Rule 14(2) of Order 7, C.P.C. by the plaintiff. The documents which may be produced by the plaintiff for the purpose of impeaching the testimony of any witness (including the opposite party) or for the purpose of answering to any case set up by the defendant or the documents which intended to be used only for refreshing the memory of the witnesses do not appear to be covered by Rule 14 of Order 7, C. P. C. I, therefore, have no hesitation in holding that a document which is not the basis of the claim as well as the document which is not relied upon by the plaintiff as evidence to support his claim, need not be filed in original in the Court under Order 7, Rule 14, C. P.C. nor it need be included in the list of documents to be submitted under Rule 14(2) of Order 7, C. P. C. The position is made further clear by Sub-rule (2) of Rule 18 of Order 7, C.P.C. which expressly provides that nothing contained in Rule 18 of Rule 7, C.P.C. would apply to the documents produced for cross-examination of the defendant's witnesses, or in answer to any case set up by the defendant or handed to a witness merely to refresh his memory. The reason why legislature has made a distinction between the documents which are the basis of a claim made by the plaintiff as well as the documents on which reliance has been placed as evidence of the claim and other documents, is not difficult to infer. The documents which are neither the basis of the claim nor relied upon by the plaintiff for supporting his claim are not relevant for the purpose of establishing the case set up by the plaintiff and the policy of law is that irrelevant document should not be placed on the record of the case. Rule 14 of Order 7, C.P.C. is, therefore, restricted in the application to those documents which are either the basis of the claim or which are relied upon by the plaintiff for supporting his claim. So far as the application of Order 7, Rules 14 and 18, C.P.C. is concerned, the learned Civil Judge does not appear to have committed any irregularity by holding that a document which is produced by the plaintiff only for the purpose of cross-examination is not covered by the prohibition contained in Sub-rule (1) of Rule 18 of Order 7, C.P.C. The learned counsel for the petitioner has drawn my attention to the order passed by the learned single Judge of this Court in Kanaram v. State of Rajasthan (1990) 1 RLW 179, for the purpose of supporting his submission that even if a document is required only for the purpose of cross-examination, such document will have to be filed under Order 7, Rule 14, C.P.C. at the time of filing of the plaint. I have carefully gone through the order passed by the learned single Judge in Kanaram's case. In that case a revision petition was filed before this Court against the order dated 4-1-990 passed by the learned Civil Judge, Merta by which he rejected the application of the defendant-petitioner for recalling the plaintiff Pukhraj to confront him with earlier statement dated 21-6-1980 given in another suit. The revision petitioner (defendant) contended before the learned single Judge that the learned trial Court acted with material irregularity in rejecting the application filed for recalling the plaintiff, as the plaintiff-non-petitioner Pukhraj has admitted in his earlier statement dated 21-6-1980 given in another suit that the defendant Kanaram was a tenant and not a sub-tenant. It was further contended by the petitioner before the learned single Judge that in view of the observations made in Suresh Kumar v. Baldev Raj AIR 1984 Delhi 438 (439), it was expected that the learned Civil Judge should recall the plaintiff to confront with his earlier statement dated 21-6-1980. The learned counsel for the non-petitioner brought to the notice of the Court that the defendant-petitioner had moved a similar application and the same was dismissed by the trial Court by its order dated 1-4-1989. It was further contended by the learned counsel for the non-petitioner that there was no good ground for recalling the plaintiff for confronting with his previous statement dated 21 -6-1980. It was in the context of these facts and the submissions made by the learned counsel for the parties that the learned single Judge pointed that it has been held in Bharat Singh and Another Vs. Bhagirathi, that the provisions of Section 145 of the Evidence Act are not applicable to the parties and they are applicable to the witnesses only.

7. In the instant case, the crucial question arising before the trial Court was not whether the provisions of Section 145 of the Evidence Act were or were not applicable to the cross-examination of the defendant. The only question which was posed before the trial Court was whether the plaintiff could produce the receipts for the purpose of cross-examining the defendant when he was under cross-examination. So far as the right of the plaintiff to make use of a document only for the purpose of impeaching the testimony of a party or a witness, is concerned, such right does not appear to have been taken away by Order 7. Rule 14 or 18, C.P.C. The reason is simple. Unless a witness appears in the witness-box and make a statement on oath, the question of impeaching his testimony would not arise nor it would be possible for the party entitled to cross-examine him to anticipate on what points or by the use of which document it would be proper to question the evidence of the witness. Common experience shows that it is after the appearance of the witness in the witness-box and the recording of the examt-nation-in-chief that it may be known on what points he has been given evidence u/s 60 of the Evidence Act and whether his evidence can be challenged by way of cross-examination.

8. For the reasons mentioned above, I do not fine any legal infirmity in the impugned order passed by the learned Civil Judge. As such this revision petition has no force. It deserves to be dismissed and is hereby dismissed. But, it may be pointed out that if the receipt-books are intended to be used only for the purpose of impeaching the testimony of the defendant No. 1, they would be permitted to be produced in the Court. On the other hand, if in the garb of exercising the right conferred by Section 145 of the Evidence Act read with Sub-rule (2) of Rule 14 of Order 7, C. P. C., the plaintiff is found to be abusing the provisions contained in Order 7, Rule 14, C. P. C. or Order 13, Rules 1 and 2, C. P. C., then no permission shall be deemed to have given to him to produce the receipt-books for the purpose of supporting his claim.

Final Result : Dismissed.
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