Caveat India


Caveat Petition – A brief review


Civil proceedings require a variety of legal documents and include numerous procedures. One of the legal documents that can be filed in accordance with the provisions of the 1908 Code of Civil Procedure is the caveat petition. It is essential to comprehend the meaning of the term “caveat” prior to moving on.

The phrase “let a person be aware” comes from Latin and was used in the middle of the 16th century. Anyone who believes that civil litigation has been filed against him or is about to be filed against him may file a caveat petition in accordance with the rule of Audi Alteram Partem.

A precaution taken by someone who is concerned that a lawsuit will be brought against them in court is known as a caveat. Consequently, it is a notice that informs an individual that the court is about to take legal action against that individual. It is only filed in civil cases.

Caveat Petition

A caveat petition is frequently referred to as a “caveat.” A person has the right to be heard before a decision is made against him thanks to the caveat petition. Without hearing the other side, no court can make a decision or issue an order against a person.

Definition of caveat petition

Caveat’s meaning and definition are not provided in the Code. but, in case of Nirmal Chand v. Girindra Narayan, the Court provided a definition of the term “caveat,” stating that “The term “caveat” is very common in testamentary proceedings.” A caveat is a warning to the court not to grant a request or take any action without first informing the party lodging the caveat. It is a preventative measure taken by the person lodging the caveat to prevent the grant of probate or letters of administration, as appropriate.

Example: Let’s say that A owns the land. On his land, he constructs a house. Z, A’s neighbor, however, asserts that he owns some of that land. An anticipated Z’s potential application at this point. As a consequence of this, A files a caveat against Z, requesting that the court inform him of any such application Z might make.


 Legislative history Under Section 148A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908,

Anyone in India has the right to file a caveat petition. In the Indian Succession Act of 1925, a provision for lodging a caveat was initially used in testamentary proceedings, but it was only made available to all civil suits in 1976. Before 1976, anyone who knew about a lawsuit that was about to be filed or was already filed that he could challenge could file a caveat petition with the Supreme Court. According to the CPC, the petition was only valid for 90 days, and the court lacked the authority to extend it. In order to serve notice of the caveat and this petition, the caveator had to use the postal service.

After that, the caveatee must pay for and receive a copy of the application as well as any additional documents. Even if the individual was acting in his best interests, his presence was deemed premature as a result of this practice, and he lacked locus standi. As a consequence of this, the 54th Law Commission Report recommended that this provision be added to the CPC. This would make it possible for a caveat petition to be filed in all lower courts, allowing the individual to contest and appear even at the very beginning of a case or lawsuit. Consequently, Section 148 A was included in the 1976 code amendment.

Objectives of Section 148-A

Section 148 A’s primary goal is to safeguard and protect the interests of the person filing the caveat because he is concerned about a possible case. This is the scope and purpose of Section 148 A. This is done to prevent him from being ruled against ex parte. The caveator hopes that by submitting a caveat, he will be heard fairly. Audi Alteram Partem, one of the guiding principles of natural justice, is in line with this. Additionally, this is done to reduce the number of cases and spare the courts money and time.

The Karnataka High Court emphasized the goal of including this clause in the Code in G.C. Siddalingappa v. G.C. Veeranna: ” In order to give everyone who may be affected by an interim order issued on an application in a suit or proceeding instituted or about to be instituted a chance to be heard”.  According to  Civil Procedure Code’s sub-section (1)  “any person who claims a right to be heard before passing an interim order in any suit or proceeding instituted or about to be instituted in a Court has the right to lodge a caveat in regard to such suit or proceeding.”

Who is eligible to file a caveat petition?

Section 148 A defines who is eligible. According to clause 1 of Section 148 A, a person who asserts a right to appear in court may submit a caveat petition in the following situations:

  1. Where there is concern about its application.
  2. where a previous application has been submitted.
  3. in a lawsuit that is likely to be brought against him.
  4. in a suit that was already filed.

The court made it clear in the case of Mannil Paadikayil Kadeesa Umma v. Kattil Vayalil Parkkum Koiloth that a third party or complete stranger who has no interest in the matter cannot submit a caveat application.


Rights and obligations as outlined in Section 148 A

Section 148-A outlines the following rights and obligations:

Cavetor’s Duty:

A caveator is an individual who submits the caveat petition. According to clause 2 of Section 148 A of the Code, he is required by law to perform certain tasks. The opposing party (applicant) must be informed of the caveat petition by the caveator. The person who has applied for an interim order against the caveator or has the potential to do so is the opposing party.

In K. Rajasekaran v. K. Sakunthala, it was found that once a caveat is filed, the caveator must give notice to his opponent who is expected to file an application or has already filed one. The caveator is obligated to adhere to this mandatory clause. If it is determined that the adversary was not informed of the caveat, the adversary may file a petition with the Court to overturn the order that was issued against his will. The ad interim injunction granted to the caveator cannot legally be maintained if the mandatory provision was not followed.

Court’s Duty:

As stated in clause 3, this section also imposes duties on the court. It states that the court must notify the caveator of the application if it is filed after a caveat has been filed in accordance with clause 1.

Applicant’s Duty:

The duties of the applicant are outlined in Clause 4 of the provision. It states that the applicant must provide, at the expense of the caveator, any notice of any caveat that the applicant receives.

  1. The application copy.
  2. Documents that he has submitted in support of his application, including copies.
  3. Documents and papers that he can submit in support of his application.

Validity of Caveat

The caveat’s validity period According to clause (5), a caveat must be filed within no more than ninety days. A new caveat may be filed after the 90-day period has expired.


The implication of non-serving of notice by the court

In the case of C Seethaiah v. Government of A.P., it was determined that an order issued by the court without giving notice to the caveator is illegal but not null and void. It was explained what would happen if the court doesn’t serve the notice.The provision requiring the caveator to be provided with copies of the opposing party’s petitions and documents and to be heard before the court issues any order demonstrates the legislature’s intent. For this purpose, both the applicant and the court are obligated by subsections (3) and (4). The Court cannot issue the interim order, which may have an impact on the caveator, unless the condition precedent (notifying the caveator) is met.

In the exceptional case, Reserve Bank of India Employees Association and Another v. The Reserve Bank of India and Others, the court was asked to decide whether an order of stay made without first consulting the caveator is null and void or unenforceable.

The court noted that an order that was issued without adequate notice to the caveator cannot be deemed invalid. If the legislator’s goal had been to limit a civil court’s normal powers, it was argued, they could have done so directly instead of indirectly. The authority of a civil court cannot be altered, weakened, or even restricted by a remote implication. In this case, it was decided that filing a caveat petition would not limit the court’s authority even if the caveator was not informed of the hearing date. The restriction is merely the individual’s right to be informed; however, this does not prevent the court from issuing an interim order based on the merits of the case.


Where to file a caveat petition:

A caveat petition can be filed in any Civil Court with original jurisdiction, Appellate Court, High Court, or Supreme Court if the caveator anticipates legal action being taken against him in the future. Small Causes Courts, Tribunals, Forums, and Commissions are all examples of civil courts.


Step-by-step instructions to record a proviso request

An endorsed structure has been made for the recording of a proviso request, which comprises of

  1. the court’s name, which is where the caveat petition was filed.
  2. The number of any appeals, petitions, or suits that have been filed.
  3. The person submitting the caveat petition’s name and address.
  4. the opposing party’s name and address.
  5. a comprehensive description of the subject of the caveat petition.
  6. A copy of the decision against which the opposing party may file an appeal or writ petition should also be attached if a caveat petition is filed.
  7. A single copy of a Vakalatnama is also included in the caveat application.
  8. The caveator is responsible for sending the caveat notice to the opposing party via registered mail after submitting the caveat petition to the court.
  9. Although the costs of filing a caveat in court vary from court to court, they typically do not exceed INR 100.

Conclusion The caveat is a party’s petition to the court stating that the court must notify the party filing the caveat if the opposing party files a suit, appeal, or other proceedings against them. A person has the right to prevent the court from issuing ex parte orders or judgments in civil matters under Section 148A of the Code of Civil Procedure. The order or judgment is null and void if the caveator is not informed by the court prior to passing it.

A caveat cannot be filed by someone who is not a party to the proceeding. The caveator, applicant, and court’s rights and responsibilities are outlined in subsections (2), (3), and (4) of Section 148A of the Code. The intent of passing Section 148A is defeated if these sections’ rules are not followed. The court must hear the caveator’s mandatory petition before issuing any interim order. The caveat petition is valid for a period of ninety days from the filing date. The caveator may then reissue the petition.



What advantages do filing a caveat bring?

  1. The caveator’s fundamental right to be heard is safeguarded.
  2. It is possible to issue an ex parte order against the caveat or as soon as he files a caveat petition.
  3. It prevents the courts from having to deal with an excessive number of cases.
  4. The interim order cannot be enforced if it is issued ex parte.

Is it possible to file a caveat against a criminal case?

No, as stated in Deepak Khosla v. Union of India & Ors., Section 148A of the Code only applies to civil proceedings and cannot be applied to petitions filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution or the Criminal Procedure Code.

Who is unable to submit a caveat?

It was decided In the case of Kattil Vayalil Parkkum Koiloth v. Mannil Paadikayil Kadeesa Umma, that a third party or someone who is completely unrelated to the case cannot submit a caveat application.



A sample caveat petition can be accessed here.

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