Thangam vs Navamani Ammal 2024 INSC 164 :: [2024] 3 S.C.R. 146 – CPC – Written Statement – Will

Code Of Civil Procedure, 1908; Order VIII Rules 3 and 5 –Deprecated practice of not providing specific para-wise reply to the plaint in the written statement/counter affidavits – In the absence of para-wise reply to the plaint, it becomes a roving inquiry for the Court to find out as to which line in some paragraph in the plaint is either admitted or denied in the written statement filed, as there is no specific admission or denial with reference to the allegation in different paras- Order VIII Rules 3 and 5 CPC clearly provides for specific admission and denial of the pleadings in the plaint. A general or evasive denial is not treated as sufficient. Proviso to Order VIII Rule 5 CPC provides that even the admitted facts may not be treated to be admitted, still in its discretion the Court may require those facts to be proved. This is an exception to the general rule. General rule is that the facts admitted, are not required to be proved -The requirement of Order VIII Rules 3 and 5 CPC are specific admission and denial of the pleadings in the plaint. The same would necessarily mean dealing with the allegations in the plaint para-wise. In the absence thereof, the respondent can always try to read one line from one paragraph and another from different paragraph in the written statement to make out his case of denial of the allegations in the plaint resulting in utter confusion – In case, the defendant/respondent wishes to take any preliminary objections, the same can be taken in a separate set of paragraphs specifically so as to enable the plaintiff/petitioner to respond to the same in the replication/rejoinder, if need be. The additional pleadings can also be raised in the written statement, if required. These facts specifically stated in a set of paragraphs will always give an opportunity to the plaintiff/petitioner to respond to the same. This in turn will enable the Court to properly comprehend the pleadings of the parties instead of digging the facts from the various paragraphs of the plaint and the written statement- Referred to Badat and Co. Bombay Vs. East India Trading Co AIR 1964 SC 538 and Lohia Properties (P) Ltd., Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Assam Vs. Atmaram Kumar (1993) 4 SCC 6. (Para 15)

Summary: Trial Court held the Will to be genuine and High Court upheld the finding – Dismissing Appeal, SC held: the Will was not surrounded by the suspicious circumstances as the scribe and one of the witnesses were unison.

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