Delhi High Court Dismisses Amendment Plea in Family Court Case

New Delhi, September 26, 2023 – In a recent judgment, the Delhi High Court ruled on an appeal filed under Section 19(1) of the Family Courts Act, 1984. The case revolves around an application for amending the Written Statement in a family dispute.

Background of the Case

The case, referred to as MAT.APP.(F.C.) 291/2023, involves a marital dispute between two individuals. The husband had previously filed a petition seeking the annulment of their marriage under Section 12(c) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1956.

The Disputed Amendment Application

During the proceedings, the wife, referred to as the appellant, attempted to amend the Written Statement through an Application under Order VI Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC, 1908). This Application was filed at a crucial stage when the husband’s evidence had already been concluded.

Grounds for Dismissal

The Delhi High Court dismissed the Application on several grounds. Firstly, the Application lacked the necessary signatures from the appellant and her counsel, despite being supported by an attested affidavit. Secondly, the Application was filed when the trial had already commenced, a point in violation of Order VI Rule 17 of CPC, 1908, which permits amendments only before the trial begins unless there is a justifiable reason for the delay.

Afterthought Arguments Rejected

The appellant argued that a new counsel, engaged on a specific date, needed time to review the case and recommend amendments. However, the Court deemed this explanation an afterthought, as the same counsel had cross-examined witnesses earlier, indicating familiarity with the case.

Delhi High Court Dismisses Amendment Plea in Family Court Case

Withdrawal of Admissions

Significantly, the proposed amendments intended to withdraw key admissions made in the original Written Statement. The Court cited legal precedent that once admissions are made in a Written Statement, they cannot be withdrawn without valid cause.

Verdict and Directions

The Delhi High Court ordered the appellant to file the Written Statement in its original form, with an appended verification, within 15 days. The Court allowed the amendment to the extent of adding the verification but maintained the admissions made in the original document.

This judgment underscores the importance of adhering to procedural rules and the significance of maintaining the integrity of admissions made in pleadings during legal proceedings.

Download Judgment

Click above to download this Judgment in the case titled MAT.APP.(F.C.) 291/2023. It can serve as a valuable resource for legal reference.

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