Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) lays down the procedure for the rejection of a plaint. The rule provides that a plaint may be rejected if it does not comply with the provisions of the CPC, or if it appears to be barred by any law. However, it is important to note that a plaint cannot be rejected merely due to inconsistencies in averments. This is a crucial safeguard for litigants and ensures that they are not denied their day in court on trivial grounds.
The purpose of a plaint is to set out the facts on which the claim of the plaintiff is based. The plaint is required to contain a statement of the material facts on which the plaintiff relies for his claim, and the relief sought. The material facts must be stated clearly and concisely, to enable the defendant to understand the case against him and to prepare his defence accordingly. However, it is not uncommon for there to be inconsistencies or discrepancies in the pleadings. This may be due to a variety of factors, including human error, lack of clarity in the facts, or deliberate attempts to mislead the court.
Inconsistencies in averments may arise at different stages of the litigation process. They may be present in the plaint itself, or may emerge during the trial. In either case, the court is required to evaluate the evidence on record and determine the veracity of the claims made by the parties. It is important to note that the court is not expected to reject a plaint merely because there are inconsistencies or discrepancies in the averments. The court must take into account the totality of the circumstances and determine whether the claim of the plaintiff is bona fide and whether there is sufficient evidence to support the claim.
The Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of this principle in several cases. In the State of Haryana v. Chandra Mani, the court held that "the court is not expected to reject the plaint merely on account of some defect in the pleadings, particularly when the defect is curable." Similarly, in Ramrameshwari Devi v. Nirmala Devi, the court held that "mere non-description of the property in the plaint would not be sufficient to reject the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 CPC."
It is also important to note that the court has the power to allow the plaintiff to amend the pleadings if there are any inconsistencies or discrepancies. Order VI Rule 17 of the CPC provides that a party may amend his pleadings at any stage of the proceedings, subject to the condition that the amendment does not prejudice the other party. This means that if there are any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the plaint, the plaintiff may seek to amend the pleadings to correct the same. The court has the power to allow such an amendment, provided that it does not prejudice the rights of the defendant.
In conclusion, a plaint cannot be rejected merely due to inconsistencies in averments. The court is required to evaluate the evidence on record and determine the veracity of the claims made by the parties. If there are any discrepancies or inconsistencies in the pleadings, the court may allow the plaintiff to amend the same, subject to the condition that it does not prejudice the rights of the defendant. This is a crucial safeguard for litigants and ensures that they are not denied their day in court on trivial grounds.