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WHEN DEFENDANT TRANSPOSED AS PLAINTIFF WRITTEN STATEMENT SHOULD BE READ AS PLAINT - PLEADINGS AS EXPLAINED BY SUPREME COURT

JUSTICE M Saldanha, JUSTICE M R Prasad of Karnataka High Court in case of Veerabhadrappa And Anr. vs Smt. Gangamma And Anr. Reported in AIR 2003 Kant 348, 2004 (3) KarLJ 13 when a defendant gets transposed as one of the plaintiffs, me written statement filed by such defendant gets transposed and would form part of the plaint. The necessity of amendment of a plaint at that stage is only for convenience-sake. In other words, the original plaint and the written statement of the defendant No. 2 who had got transposed as a plaintiff will have to be read together. In other words, such a written statement would partake the nature of plaint and the Courts of law administering justice in an adversary system of administration of justice cannot afford to take any other view and should read the said written statement as a plaint. At this stage, it is necessary to refer to a decision of the apex Court, relied upon by the learned counsel for plaintiffs, reported in AIR 1987 1242, wherein the Supreme Court has held that the object and purpose of pleading is to enable the adversary party to know the case it has to meet. In order to have a fair trial, it is imperative that the party should state the essential material facts so that other party may not be taken by surprise. The pleadings however should receive a liberal construction, no pedantic approach should be adopted to defeat justice on hair splitting technicalities. The Supreme Court has further held that it is not desirable to place undue emphasis on form, instead the substance of the pleadings should be considered. Whenever the question about lack of pleadings is raised the enquiry should not be so much about the form of pleadings, instead the COURT must find out whether in substance the parties knew the case and the issues upon which they went to trial. Once it is found that in spite of deficiency in the pleadings parties knew the case and they proceeded to trial on those issues by producing evidence, in that event it would not be open to a party to raise the question of absence of pleadings in appeal. On careful perusal of the said written statement, there has been a specific mention that the second plaintiff and her mother first plaintiff succeeded to the estate of deceased Smt. Shivalingamma and in fact, there had been a specific prayer for joint declaration of title in respect of 'B' schedule properties in favour of both the plaintiffs.

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