Order XII Rule 6 CPC – Judgment on the basis of Admission is discretion of the court not an obligation and can’t be claimed as a right.
The case involves a tenant and a landlord who had entered into a lease agreement for 24 months. Later, the lease agreement was extended for another 11 months. After the expiration of the extended lease agreement, the tenant continued to occupy the property, and the landlord filed a legal case against the tenant. The tenant’s defence was that the landlord had offered to sell the property to him and that they had signed a sale agreement in which the outstanding rent was adjusted. The landlord filed an application under Order 12, Rule 6, stating that the tenant’s defence was false and that he had admitted to being a tenant and paying a particular rent amount. The Trial Court considered the tenant’s admission and ordered specific performance in favour of the landlord, directing the tenant to hand over the property. The High Court upheld the decision, and the tenant appealed to the Supreme Court.
The main issue, in this case, was whether the court could pass judgment on admission under Order XII Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) based on the admission made by the defendant.
The party appealing the decision argued that the existence of a sale agreement between the parties should be tried in court, and if issues are deemed triable, the court should not pass a decree under Order 12 Rule 6. They claimed that the trial court failed to understand that if a judgment is made based on an admission, the appellant is permanently denied any remedy based on the merits of the case.
The respondent in the case argued that admissions made in the pleadings or in court are admissible under Section 58 of the Indian Evidence Act. They claimed that if they have a prima facie case, the court is authorized to issue a decree under Order 12 Rule 6.
Observation of the Court
The High Court examined the provisions of Order XII Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure and held that the power to pass judgment on admission is discretionary and cannot be claimed as a matter of right. The Court observed that the power of the Court to pass judgment on admission is to be exercised only when specific, clear, and categorical admission of facts and documents are on record. The Court also noted that the provision has been brought in the statute to save the time and money of the Court and respective parties.
The Court examined the Appellant’s admission in the written statement and held that it was not clear and categorical as she had also denied the tenancy. The Court noted that the defence taken by Madhuri Kumar needed to be looked into, and there was a need to decide the justiciability of defence by a full-fledged trial. The Court, therefore, held that the Trial Court was justified in dismissing the application under Order XII Rule 6 and directing for a full-fledged trial.
The court relied on the case of S.M. Asif v. Virendar Kumar Bajaj (2015) 9 SCC 287 which clarified that the legislative intention behind using the word ‘may’ in Order XII Rule 6 of the CPC was to make it clear that the power granted under this rule is discretionary and cannot be demanded as a matter of right.
The court remitted the case back to the trial court to decide the justiciability of the defendant’s defence by a full-fledged trial and held that the court could not pass judgment on admission under Order XII Rule 6 CPC.