Section – 148A, Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
Right to lodge a caveat.[Inserted by Amendment Act, 1976, w.e.f. 1-5-1977.]
148A . (1) Where an application is expected to be made or has been made, in a suit or proceeding instituted, or about to be instituted, in a Court, any person claiming a right to appear before the Court on the hearing of such application may lodge a caveat in respect thereof.
(2) Where a caveat has been lodged under sub-section (1), the person by whom the caveat has been lodged (hereinafter referred to as the caveator) shall serve a notice of the caveat by registered post, acknowledgment due, on the person by whom the application has been, or is expected to be, made under sub-section (1).
(3) Where, after a caveat has been lodged under sub-section (1), any application is filed in any suit or proceeding, the Court shall serve a notice of the application on the caveator.
(4) Where a notice of any caveat has been served on the applicant, he shall forthwith furnish the caveator, at the caveator’s expense, with a copy of the application made by him and also with copies of any paper or document which has been, or may be, filed by him in support of the application.
(5) Where a caveat has been lodged under sub-section (1), such caveat shall not remain in force after the expiry of ninety days from the date on which it was lodged unless the application referred to in sub-section (1) has been made before the expiry of the said period.]
Analysis of Caveat :-
- What is caveat:‘Caveat’ literally means “let him beware” [Aiyer’s Concise Legal Dictionary, (1995)]. Caveat petition is a precautionary measure which is undertaken by people usually when they are having very strong apprehension that some case is going to be filed in the court regarding their interest in any manner. A caveat is a caution or warning giving notice to the court not to take any step without notice being given to the party lodging the care at. Section 148-A of the code of civil procedure provides for lodging of a caveat. A caveat protects the caveator’s interest. The caveator is already ready to face the suit or proceedings which is expected to be instituted by his opponent. Hence no ex-parte order shall be passed against the caveator.
- Purpose of Caveat:– In Nirmal chandra v. Girindra narayan, AIR 1978 Cal 492, the Calcutta High Court it was observed that the object of the introduction of Section 148 A for caveat in the Code was
- To afford an opportunity of hearing to a person as against whom a proceeding is likely to be instituted This was obviously with a view to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and
- To give an opportunity to the person as against whom proceedings have been lodged in the court of hearing so that injustice was not done to him and an order was not obtained or procured by hiding the facts which may have a relevance on the decision of the controversy.
In Seethaiah v. Govt. of A.P, AIR 1983 AP 443, too this view was supported that the intention of the legislature in making this provision is to enable the caveator-respondent to be heard before any orders are passed and no orders are passed by the Court ex parte that this is the intention of the legislature.
- Rights and Duties of caveator: once a party is admitted to the status of a caveator, he is clothed with certain rights and duties. It is his duty to serve a notice of the caveat lodged by him by registered post on the person or persons by whom an application against the caveator for an interim order has been or is expected to be made. [Nirmal chandra v. Girindra narayan, AIR 1978 Cal 492.]
- Rights and Duties of of applicant :- It is the duty of the applicant to furnish to the caveator forthwith at the caveator’s expense a copy of the application made by him along with the copies of papers and documents on which he relies. This provision thus makes it obligatory for the applicant to serve his application along with all copies and documents filed or intended to be filed in support of his application.[Reserve Bank of India Employees Association v. Reserve Bank Of India, AIR 1981 AP 246]
- Rights and Duties of Court :-Once a caveat had been lodged, it is the duty of the court to issue a notice of that application on the caveator. This duty has been cast on the court obviously for the purpose of enabling the caveator to appear and oppose the granting of an interim relief in favour of the applicant. Although the expression, ‘notice of application’, has not been defined in the Code, it would include the date of hearing. It must, therefore, be taken that it is the duty of the court to give sufficiently reasonable and definite time to the caveator to appear and to oppose the application filed by the applicant. This duty of the court is in addition to the duty of the applicant under sub-section (4) and non-compliance with it defeats the very object of introducing Section 148-A and the breach thereof vitiates the order. Therefore, merely because the caveator refuses to accept the copy of the application from the applicant, the court is not absolved from serving the notice of the application to the caveator.[Siddalingappa v. Veeranna,AIR 1981 Kant 242].