Thursday, 21 January 2016

Right to lodge a caveat

‘Caveat’ means a caution or warning to the court not to issue any grant or relief without giving
opportunity to the person lodging the caveat. The object of lodging a caveat is to protect the caveator's interest who is ready to face the suit or proceedings which is expected to be initiated by his opponent. The provision of Caveat is provided in section 148A of the Code of Civil procedure, 1908.
“148A. Right to lodge a caveat— 

(1) Where an application is expected to be made, or has been made, in a suit or proceedings instituted, or about to be instituted, in a Court, any person claiming a right to appear before the Court on the hearing of such application may lodge a caveat in respect thereof.

(2) Where a caveat has been lodged under sub-section (1), the person by whom the caveat has been lodged (hereinafter referred to as the caveator) shall serve a notice of the caveat by registered post, acknowledgement due, on the person by whom the application has been or is expected to be, made, under sub-section (1).

(3) Where, after a caveat has been lodged under sub-section (1), any application is filed in any suit or proceeding, the Court, shall serve a notice of the application on the caveator.

(4) Where a notice of any caveat has been served on the applicant, he shall forthwith furnish the caveator at the caveator's expense, with a copy of the application made by him and also with copies of any paper or document which has been, or may be, filed by him in support of the application.

(5) Where a caveat has been lodged under sub-section (1), such caveat shall not remain in force after the expiry of ninety days from the date on which it was lodged unless the application referred to in sub-section (1) has been made before the expiry of the said period.”

Object of Caveat
1.       It protects the caveator's interest
2.       It prevents ex-parte orders
3.       It avoids multiciplicity of proceedings

Non-maintainability of caveat
1.       A caveat cannot be lodged with a view to support an application
2.       A caveat cannot be filed in collusion

Form of a Caveat
No form if prescribed for the Caveat in the Code of Civil procedure

Notice to the Caveator
According to the section 148-A the Court is bound to serve a notice of the application on Caveator  before passing an interim order

Time limit of Caveat
The Caveat petition remains in force only for 90 days and if during that period no case gets filed from the opposite side the Caveator has to again file a fresh caveat petition in the Court.

Cases:
All India Reserve Bank Employees Association v. Reserve Bank of India, 1966 SCR (1) 25
The plaintiffs filed a caveat before the court. The court before the expiry of 90 days, issued an interim ex parte order against the plaintiffs without serving them a notice and without hearing them. The ex parte interim order was held to be bad by the Supreme Court. 

G.C. Siddalingappa vs G.C. Veeranna, AIR 1981 Kant 242

The provision regarding service of notice as contained in sub-section (3) mandatory and non-compliance with it defeats the, very object of introducing Section 148-A.

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