Order I Rule 10(2), CPC enables the Court to add a necessary or proper party so as to “effectually and completely adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the suit”.

Order I Rule 10(2), CPC enables, the Court to add a necessary or proper party so as to “effectually and completely adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the suit”.

Supreme Court of India

Decided on 10.12. 2014

Baluram Vs. P. Chellathangam & Ors.

Bench : J.T.S. THAKUR, J. ADARSH KUMAR GOEL

Civil Appeal Nos. 10940-10941 of 2014 arising out of SLP (C) Nos.996-997 of 2013

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  1. In Mumbai International Airport (supra) this Court observed :  13.”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 1 Rule 10(2) of the Code of Civil Procedure (“the Code”, for short), which provides for impleadment of proper or necessary parties. The said sub-rule is extracted below:

“10. (2) Court may strike out or add parties.-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 [pic]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.”

  1. 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 questions 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.

  1. 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 dispute 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.

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  1. Referring to suits for specific performance, this Court in Kasturi v. Iyyamperumal and others [(2005) 6 SCC 733], held that the following persons are to be considered as necessary parties:

(i) the parties to the contract which is sought to be enforced or their legal representatives;

(ii) a transferee of the property which is the subject-matter of the contract.

This Court also explained that a person who has a direct interest in the subject-matter of the suit for specific performance of an agreement of sale may be impleaded as a proper party on his application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC. This Court concluded that a purchaser of the suit property subsequent to the suit agreement would be a necessary party as he would be affected if he had purchased it with or without notice of the contract, but a person who claims a title adverse to that of the defendant vendor will not be a necessary party.

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  1. Let us consider the scope and ambit of Order 1 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 motu 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.”

 

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