INTERPLEADER SUIT

Section 88 read with order 35 of the CPC, 1908 deals with interpleader suit. Generally, the suits that are filled before any court are between the two parties that is the plaintiff and the defendant. But in interpleader suit the conflict is between two defendants who fight to win their claim over a particular good or debt. In this kind of suit the plaintiff usually does not have any kind of interest in the subject matter of the suit, but he/she only institutes the suit so that it is insured that the property is put in the custody of the actual owner. When there are claims for a property from different defendants and it cannot be decided who is the actual owner of that property, then in that case the plaintiff files a case in front of the court so that it can be decided who is the actual owner of that property.

Example: Rohan has a 4 BHK flat in a co-operative colony. He has two wives. Because of some rare disease Rohan could not survive and after his death both the wives claimed for the property. So, Rohan’s father filed a suit in the court to decide who is the actual owner of that property.

So, in the above situation as the plaintiff has no interest in the property but only files the court before the court so that the actual owner of the property can be decided by the court and the property can be transferred to the actual owner, so this is called an interpleader suit.

Conditions of filling interpleader suit: 

  1. There must be two defendants
  2. There must be either debt, property, or money in the dispute
  3. Both the defendants should be claiming the money or property
  4. The person is willing to pay the money or transfer the property to the defendant
  5. There are no suits pending
  6. If in any case judgement is given in Res Judicata, this suit cannot be filed again in that case

Order 35 of CPC also lays down 2 conditions for the plaintiff to file an interpleader suit that are:

  1. The plaintiff himself should not haver any interest in the property that is in question in the case or the subject matter of the dispute.
  2. There must be no collusion between the plaintiff and any of the defendant.

Case Law:

  • Neeraj Sharma v The District Sangpur Khadi Gram, in this case the Punjab and Haryana high court held that an interpleader suit filed by a tenant will be applicable only when the other person claiming a right over the property is doing so through the original landlord of that property and such suits are not applicable if the person is claiming ownership independently and claiming the rent from the tenant.
  • Asaan ali v Sarada Charan Kastagir, in this case the Calcutta High Court held that interpleader suits are valid only when the applicant is willing to transfer the property or money to the defendants and he/she does not claim any interest in the property themselves, in suits where the applicant has some interests in the subject matter of the case will be dismissed on discovery of the fact that the applicant or the plaintiff has the right in the property or money.

Aishwarya Says:

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