Delhi High Court J Sanjeev Sachdeva 05.12.17
Application under O. VII R.17 CPC
Facts: Defendant Nos. 2 to 4 seek amendment of the Written Statement dated 22.10.2007 as it was was not prepared at the instance of the Defendants. The Applicants/Defendants had not appointed Lawyer. It was contended that the Lawyer of Defendant No. 10 was advising them and Defendant No. 10 had told the Applicants not to bother about the legal proceedings. It was also contended that the Written Statement was prepared and filed by the Lawyers of Defendant No. 10 and was not shown or read out to the Applicants.
Further, it was contended that Written Statement is not verified by any of the Defendants and in the absence of the verification, the Written Statement cannot be taken to be a Written Statement. It was further contended that there have been new developments, in the meantime, which, even if the Written Statement is taken to be the Written Statement of the Applicants, have necessitated changes to their defence.
Court observed that Index “Written Statement on behalf of Defendant Nos. 2 to 5 along with their supporting affidavits” . Though the verification was typed, however, below the verification, there are no signatures of any of the parties. It was also noticed that a fresh Vakalatnama was filed by Defendant Nos. 3 & 4 on 28.07.2009 engaging a new counsel. Record further reveals that Defendant Nos. 3 & 4 were present in person in Court on 26.10.2009 and their statements were recorded by the Court under Order X CPC. From the date of filing of the Written Statement on 22.10.2007 until the filing of the subject application on 28.04.2014, i.e. for a period of nearly 7 years, the said Defendants did not raise any objection to the Written Statement
- There is no requirement in law requiring a party to sign each and every page of the pleading. If a party chooses to sign only the last page of the document and not the other pages, he would nonetheless be bound by the contents of the entire document. A party cannot be permitted to contend that he is not aware as to what is written on or not bound by pages, other than the last page because the party has chosen to only sign one page.
- A party, who signs a document is presumed to be aware of the contents of the document and is deemed to have read the same. No party can be permitted to deny a document merely on the ground that it was not shown or read over to him. When a party affixes his signature to a document, he is bound by the contents of the same. If a party chooses not to read the document before signing the same, the said party does so at its own risk. In law, such a party cannot be permitted to later contend that he was not aware of the contents of the document and is not bound by the same.
- Though verification is mandated under Order XVI Rule 15 CPC, however, lack of verification is a mere irregularity, which can be cured. Lack of verification does not invalidate or efface the documents from the records of the case.
- The main ground for seeking amendment is new developments that a fraud has been unearthed, which has necessitated change to the defence but it has not been stated as to when the alleged fraud was unearthed, entitling or giving rise to the cause of action to the Applicants to impugn the said Will or contend about forgery.
- It is settled position of law that party cannot be permitted to resile from the admissions made and simply wish away pleadings. Further, it is clearly an attempt on part of the Applicants to delay the disposal of the Suit.