Wherever there is a clear admission of facts in the face of which it is impossible for the party making such admission to succeed

M/S Jeevan Diesels & Electricals … vs M/S Jasbir Singh Chadha (Huf) & Anr ( Supreme Court of India )

  1. Learned counsel for the respondents-plaintiffs relied on a judgment of this Court in Karam Kapahi & Others vs. M/s. Lal Chand Public Charitable Trust & Anotherreported in 2010 (3) SCALE 569 and contended that in view of the principles laid down in that case, this Court may affirm the judgment of the High Court in the instant case. This Court is unable to accept the aforesaid contention. In Karam Kapahi (supra) a Bench of this Court analyzed the principles of Order 12 Rule 6 of the Code and held that in the facts of that case there was clear admission on the part of the lessee about non- payment of lease rent. The said admission was made by the lessee in several proceedings apart from its pleading in the suit. In view of such clear admission, the Court applied the principles of Order 12 Rule 6 in the case of Karam Kapahi (supra). The principles of law laid down in Karam Kapahi (supra) can be followed in this case only if there is a clear and unequivocal admission of the case of the plaintiff by the appellant.
  2. Whether or not there is a clear, unambiguous admission by one party of the case of the other party is essentially a question of fact and the decision of this question depends on the facts of the case. This question, namely, whether there is a clear admission or not cannot be decided on the basis of a judicial precedent. Therefore, even though the principles in Karam Kapahi (supra) may be unexceptionable they cannot be applied in the instant case in view of totally different fact situation.
  3. In Uttam Singh Duggal & Co. Ltd. Vs. United Bank of India and others reported in (2000) 7 SCC 120 the provision of Order 12 Rule 6 came up for  consideration before this Court. This Court on a detailed consideration of the provisions of Order 12 Rule 6 made it clear “wherever there is a clear admission of facts in the face of which it is impossible for the party making such admission to succeed” the principle will apply. In the instant case it cannot be said that there is a clear admission of the case of the respondents-plaintiffs about termination of tenancy by the appellant in its written statement or in its reply to the petition of the respondents-plaintiffs under Order 12 Rule 6.
  4. It may be noted here that in this case parties have confined their case of admission to their pleading only. The learned counsel for the respondents- plaintiffs fairly stated before this Court that he is not invoking the case of admission `otherwise than on pleading’. That being the position this Court finds that in the pleadings of the appellant there is no clear admission of the case of respondents-plaintiffs.
  5. In this connection reference may be made to an old decision of the Court of Appeal between Gilbert vs. Smith reported in 1875-76 (2) Chancery Division 686. Dealing with the principles of Order XL, Rule 11, which was a similar provision in English Law, Lord Justice James held, “if there was anything clearly admitted upon which something ought to be done, the plaintiff might come to the Court at once to have that thing done, without any further delay or expense” (see page 687). Lord Justice Mellish expressing the same opinion made the position further clear by saying, “it must, however, be such an admission of facts as would shew that the plaintiff is clearly entitled to the order asked for“. The learned Judge made it further clear by holding, “the rule was not meant to apply when there is any serious question of law to be argued. But if there is an admission on the pleading which clearly entitles the plaintiff to an order, then the intention was that he should not have to wait but might at once obtain any order” (see page 689).
  6. In another old decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Hughes vs. London, Edinburgh, and Glasgow Assurance Company (Limited) reported in The Times Law Reports 1891-92 Volume 8 at page 81, similar principles were laid down by Lord Justice Lopes, wherein His Lordship held “judgment ought not to be signed upon admissions in a pleading or an affidavit, unless the admissions were clear and unequivocal“. Both Lord Justice Esher and Lord Justice Fry concurred with the opinion of Lord Justice Lopes.
  7. In yet another decision of the Court of Appeal in Landergan vs. Feast reported in The Law Times Reports 1886-87 Volume 85 at page 42, in an appeal from Chancery Division, Lord Justice Lindley and Lord Justice Lopes held that party is not entitled to apply under the aforesaid rule unless there is a clear admission that the money is due and recoverable in the action in which the admission is made.
  8. The decision in Landergan (supra) was followed by the Division Bench of Calcutta High Court in Koramall Ramballav vs. Mongilal Dalimchand reported in 23 Calcutta Weekly Notes (1918-19) 1017. Chief Justice Sanderson, speaking for the Bench, accepted the formulation of Lord Justice Lopes and held that admission in Order 12, Rule 6 must be a “clear admission”.
  9. In the case of J.C. Galstaun vs. E.D. Sassoon & Co., Ltd., reported in 27 Calcutta Weekly Notes (1922-23) 783, a Bench of Calcutta High Court presided over by Hon’ble Justice Sir Asutosh Mookerjee sitting with Justice Rankin while construing the provisions of Order 12, Rule 6 of the Code followed the aforesaid decision in Hughes (supra) and also the view of Lord Justice Lopes in Landergan (supra) and held that these provisions are attracted “where the other party has made a plain admission entitling the former to succeed. This rule applies where there is a clear admission of the facts on the face of which it is impossible for the party making it to succeed“. In saying so His Lordship quoted the observation of Justice Sargent in Ellis vs. Allen [(1914) 1 Ch. D. 904] {See page 787}.
  10. Similar view has been expressed by Chief Justice Broadway in the case of Abdul Rahman and brothers vs. Parbati Devi reported in AIR 1933 Lahore 403. The learned Chief Justice held that before a Court can act under order 12, Rule 6, the admission must be clear and unambiguous.
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