IMPLEADING OF PARTIES TO A SUIT

Impleading new parties before the final hearing means including those parties in the matter of suit who are necessary for the proceedings to continue. An example for the same could be- Suppose a person met with an accident due to faulty brakes, so now this person could bring the mechanic who repaired his brakes into the matter. It is because the person’s liability is dependent upon the liability of the mechanic.

For the inclusion of third parties to a suit, there are two classifications of parties: the Necessary Party and the Proper Party. A necessary party is the one who is required for the case to get settled and without whom there could be no right decision possible. On the other hand, a Proper party is the one, whose presence may be required for the matter to get settled while keeping all the facts and circumstances into consideration. The person to whom a suit belongs is known as Dominus Litus[1] and he has the right to decide who should be involved in his court proceedings. However, if he/ she fails to include a third party, who was necessary, then the courts may be ordered for the same. Also, if the third party has suffered any grievances concerning the matter present, then he/she would be entitled to be present to overcome the losses suffered.

PROVISION IN CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE FOR IMPLEADING OF PARTIES

It is Order I of the Act,[2] hereinafter referred to as CPC, which deals with the parties to a suit, and Rule 10 of the said Order, discusses the parties who may be included/excluded by the courts at any stage of proceedings. However, concerning the specific provisions for impleading the parties under CPC, the Rule is discussed below:

An order I Rule 10 (4) of CPC provides for the impleading of new parties who may be necessary for the proceedings and the cause of action should be the continuation of the old one and not a new one. This Rule empowers the court to include a third party, at any stage of proceedings who may be necessary for the settlement of the dispute in the most effective way possible.

In the case of Shreya Milind Nimonkar vs. Seema Shanbhag and Ors,[3] wherein the doctors had performed the surgery of the plaintiff, all the surgeons involved were directed to be present before the proceedings of the courts as they were the necessary parties. It was held that even if the plaintiff fails to present an application for impleading, then even the courts have the authority to implead the necessary/proper parties required for the smooth functioning of the case.

PROVISIONS UNDER CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT FOR IMPLEADING OF PARTIES[4]

Rule 14(1)(b) of the Act,[5] hereinafter referred to as COPRA, empowers for the impleading of the new parties in a suit at any stage before the final hearing takes place.

In the case of Smt. Savita Garg vs. The Director; National Heart,[6] the court has made it clear that the new parties to a suit can be included at any stage, before the final hearing. In the cases when a patient is admitted to the hospital, it is the responsibility of the entire hospital and not just a doctor to take care of the patient. So, upon direction, the doctors have to be impleaded in the suit.

PROVISIONS UNDER CRIMINAL PROCEDURE CODE FOR IMPLEADING OF PARTIES[7]

The High Court in the case of M. Basappa vs. State[8] has held that prior notice is a necessity before impleading a person as an additional accused under Section 319 of Criminal Procedure Code,[9] hereinafter referred to as CrPC. This section empowers the court to call any person whom it thinks has committed the offense, other than the accused while undergoing trial and taking consideration of all the facts and pieces of evidence.

COMPUTATION OF LIMITATION WHEN A PARTY IS ADDED

There is a provision in the Limitation Act,[10] which prescribes the time during which the impleading of the parties must be done. Section 21 of the Act, provides that whenever a new party is added or substituted then he/she would be deemed to be the party to the suit from the time he was instituted in the suit. However, if the court is satisfied with the omission of the new party in the suit and sees the act to be in good faith, then the involvement of the new party would be seen from an earlier date.

CONCLUSION

As discussed above, impleading of parties to a suit is the process by which new parties can be brought in the proceedings of the undergoing suit. The plaintiff needs to apply for the same. However, if the plaintiff does not apply, still the court has the authority to bring a third party in the proceedings to get the matter settled most effectively and efficiently at any stage before the final hearing concludes. There are provisions concerning CPC, CrPC, Evidence Act, and COPRA as mentioned above, which deal with the effective implementation of the same. There is no requirement as such that the impleading should take place at a particular stage of the trial. The courts have the discretionary power for the same and even a second application can be filed under changed circumstances for the same. The courts can go against the wishes of the plaintiff and can order for impleadment Suo motto (on its own) or upon application, if it is essential for the matter to get settled.


[1] Black’s law dictionary, 11th edition.

[2] Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

[3] Shreya Milind Nimonkar vs. Seema Shanbhag and Ors, MANU/CF/0411/2018.

[4]http://roundup.manupatra.in/trans/viewdoc.aspx?i=ptiDy4oUEz7W4RhahAaT6h93RFUeTV40hI1vo81W7g5uCfRP5tL0pktJVchar(43)F5g3qk&id=zwKDa4S8QbBCBSkXPhUPwSGn0LGPvx8oWAIyOPr91Y2zvntRAHufchar(43)mVRRlipWe4k6oQNZmPOU7Vqqcsif606cw==, last visited 05/07/21

[5] Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

[6] Smt. Savita Garg vs. The Director; National Heart, 2004 8 SCC 56.

[7] https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2017/12/15/prior-notice-necessity-impleading-person-additional-accused-s-319-crpc/, last visited 05/07/2021.

[8] M. Basappa vs. State, Crl. Petition No. 380 of 2017

[9] Criminal Procedure Code, 1973.

[10] Limitation Act, 1963.

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