Caveat India

Caveat Petition in India – Benefits, Documents & Procedure

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The Caveat Petition article has been written by Tapan Choudhury, Advocate on Record in the Supreme Court of India, My areas of practice include both Civil and Criminal Litigation. I’m a litigation Lawyer with 23 yrs practise in Civil, Criminal and Constitutional Matters, Matrimonial Matters (Divorce, Maintenance, Guardianship, etc) IPR Laws, Cheque Bounce Matters Writs in High Courts, Appeals, and Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court of India.

 

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Caveat Petition in India

In India, a Caveat Petition is a legal mechanism that allows an individual to request the court to give them notice before passing any judgment or order in a specific case. The term “caveat” means a warning or precautionary measure, and a Caveat Petition serves as a way for interested parties to ensure they have an opportunity to be heard before any decision is made by the court. Discover the step-by-step process, requirements, and key considerations for filing a Caveat Petition in the Supreme Court of India. This comprehensive guide is essential for individuals looking to safeguard their interests and navigate the legal proceedings effectively.

Introduction

The civil court system involves many processes and requires different legal documents. A caveat petition is one of the legal documents prescribed under the provisions of the Civil Code 1908. Before proceeding, it is important to understand what the word “caveat” means. 

Caveat meaning is a Latin word – that means “to make someone aware” and dates back to the middle of the 16th century. A warning notice follows the Audi Alteram Partem rule that anyone who believes that a civil warrant has been filed or is seeking file a lawsuit against them. 

Caveat is a precaution taken by a person who is afraid that someone will file a complaint against the person in court. Therefore, it is a notice that lets a person know when the court wants to do something about that person. It is applied only in civil matters. Understand more about our other Caveat India Services.

Caveat petition

A warning request is often referred to as a “caveat”. The caveat petition gives a person the right to be heard before a decision is made against them. No court can make a decision or issue an order against a person without hearing his side.

A person can file a caveat petition as a precautionary measure when they think someone will sue them in court. In simple terms, it is a notice that tells the court that another person may bring a case against him and compels the court to give justice to the Caveator (Caveat plaintiff) before deciding any case brought before him. in the right circumstances. It was added to the Civil System Act of 1908 under section 148A with the help of the 54th report of the Law Commission of India and it was incorporated in the CPS Act 104 of 1976.

Caveat petition

Definition of caveat petition

Caveat’s meaning and definition are not provided in the Code. but, in the 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.

When should I file a Caveat Petition in the supreme court?

A caveat petition should be filed in the Supreme Court of India when the petitioner believes that there is a possibility of a court decision being made without their knowledge or presence. The filing of a caveat petition is typically done as a precautionary measure to protect the petitioner’s interests and ensure that the court is aware of their position on a matter before a final decision is made.

It is advisable to file a caveat petition as soon as possible, especially if the petitioner believes that there is a risk of an ex parte order or judgment being passed without their knowledge or presence. The caveat petition must be filed before any proceedings take place in the matter and must be accompanied by a written petition stating the grounds for the caveat.

It is important to note that the filing of a caveat petition does not guarantee that the petitioner’s side will be heard, but it does ensure that the petitioner will be notified of any proceedings in the matter and has an opportunity to participate in the hearing. How Supreme Court Handle the Transfer Divorce Petition?

In which court caveat can be filed?

A caveat petition can be filed in any civil court, including the High Court and the Supreme Court of India. The specific court in which the caveat petition should be filed depends on the nature and jurisdiction of the civil proceedings for which the caveat is being filed.

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.
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What is the use of Caveat Petition?

A caveat petition is a legal document that is used as a precautionary measure by a person who is concerned that someone may file a civil suit against them. The main purpose of a caveat petition is to ensure that the court gives the petitioner a hearing before taking any legal action against them.

By filing a caveat petition, a person can ensure that they are given notice of any legal proceedings that may be initiated against them. This gives the person time to prepare their defense and respond to the case in court.

Additionally, a caveat petition can be used to prevent ex-parte orders from being issued against a person. Ex-parte orders are those issued without giving the other party a chance to be heard. By filing a caveat petition, a person can ensure that they are given an opportunity to be heard before any ex-parte orders are issued.

Overall, the use of a caveat petition is to protect a person’s rights and interests in legal proceedings and ensure that they are given a fair chance to defend themselves.

Difference Between Caveat Petition And Legal Notice

Caveat petition and legal notice are two distinct legal concepts that serve different purposes. A caveat petition is filed by a person who believes that a civil litigation case may be filed against him/her in court, whereas a legal notice is sent by a person who intends to take legal action against another person.

The key difference between the two is that a caveat petition is a preventive measure taken to ensure that the person who files it is notified when a case is filed against him/her, whereas a legal notice is a formal communication that serves as a warning to the other party that legal action will be taken against him/her.

Another difference is that a caveat petition is filed in court, while a legal notice is a document that is sent by one party to the other. Additionally, a caveat petition is applicable only in civil matters, while a legal notice can be sent in both civil and criminal matters.

To summarize, while both a caveat petition and a legal notice are legal instruments used in different situations, a caveat petition is a preventive measure, whereas a legal notice is a warning or communication of intent to take legal action.

Difference Between Caveat Petition And Caveat Application

Caveat petition and caveat application are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference between them.

A caveat petition is a legal document filed by a person who fears that legal action may be taken against them in a civil matter. It is filed before the actual lawsuit is filed and it serves as a notice to the court that the person wants to be heard before any decision is taken.

On the other hand, a caveat application is a request made to the court to place a caveat on a property. This is usually done when there is a dispute over the ownership of the property or when someone wants to prevent the sale or transfer of the property until the dispute is resolved.

How to break the caveat petition?

A caveat petition can be broken in the following ways:

  1. Filing a suit before the court: If a suit is filed before the court against the person who filed the caveat petition, the caveat becomes invalid and ineffective.
  2. Withdrawing the caveat: The person who filed the caveat can withdraw it by filing an application before the court. Once the caveat is withdrawn, it becomes ineffective.
  3. Obtaining an order from the court: A party can obtain an order from the court to remove the caveat petition. The court may remove the caveat if it is found to be frivolous or without merit.
  4. Filing a counter-caveat petition: A counter-caveat petition can be filed by the person against whom the caveat has been filed. This is a precautionary measure taken by the person to ensure that the other party does not misuse the caveat. If the court allows the counter-caveat, it becomes a protective measure against the original caveat.

It is important to note that breaking a caveat petition requires legal expertise and should only be done after consulting with a lawyer.

Benefits of caveat petition

  1. Early warning: Filing a caveat petition gives an early warning to a person that a legal action may be taken against them. This allows the person to prepare their case and respond accordingly.
  2. Protection of rights: A caveat petition helps protect a person’s legal rights and interests by ensuring that they are notified of any legal action that may be taken against them.
  3. Prevents ex-parte orders: A caveat petition prevents ex-parte orders from being passed against the person filing the caveat. This means that the court cannot pass an order without hearing both parties.
  4. Time-saving: A caveat petition saves time by ensuring that the person filing it is informed about any legal proceedings that may be initiated against them. This allows the person to prepare their case in advance, which can save time in the long run.
  5. Prevents abuse of process: Filing a caveat petition prevents abuse of the legal process by ensuring that the person filing the petition is aware of any legal action that may be taken against them.
  6. Can prevent unnecessary litigation: A caveat petition can prevent unnecessary litigation by allowing parties to reach a settlement before a case is filed in court.
  7. Provides an opportunity to defend: Filing a caveat petition provides an opportunity for a person to defend themselves against any legal action that may be taken against them.
  8. Cost-effective: Filing a caveat petition can be a cost-effective way to protect one’s legal rights and interests, as it can prevent unnecessary legal action and litigation.
  9. Flexibility: A caveat petition can be filed at any time during a legal proceeding and can be withdrawn at any time.
  10. Provides peace of mind: Filing a caveat petition provides peace of mind to a person by ensuring that they are informed of any legal action that may be taken against them and are able to prepare their case accordingly.

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Caveat Petition Format

In India, the format for a caveat petition typically includes the following information:

  1. Title of the case: The title of the case for which the caveat petition format is being filed should be clearly mentioned at the top of the petition.
  2. Details of the petitioner: The petitioner’s name, address, and contact information should be provided.
  3. Details of the respondent: The respondent’s name, address, and contact information should be provided.
  4. Grounds for filing the caveat: A brief statement of the grounds on which the caveat is being filed should be included. This should explain why the petitioner believes that their interests are at risk and why the court should hear their side of the case before making a decision.
  5. Prayer: The petition should conclude with a prayer or request asking the court to hear the petitioner’s side of the case before taking any action.
  6. Signature: The petition should be signed by the petitioner or their authorized representative.

It is important to note that the caveat petition format and content of a caveat petition may vary depending on the jurisdiction in which it is being filed. It is advisable to seek legal assistance to ensure that the petition is properly drafted and in compliance with the rules and regulations of the court in which it is being filed to learn more Trademark Lawyer Kolkata.

Time Period of Caveat

The time period for a caveat is usually three to six months from the date of filing. However, it can be extended for another six months by filing an application for extension before the expiry of the initial six-month period. It is important to note that a caveat cannot be filed before the actual dispute arises, and it must be filed before any other party initiates legal proceedings.

Fee of Caveat Petition in India?

The court fee for filing a caveat petition in India varies depending on the court in which it is being filed. In general, the fee is a nominal amount, set by the court registry, which is paid by the petitioner at the time the petition is filed.

It is important to note that the court fee for filing a caveat petition may vary depending on the jurisdiction in which the petition is being filed, as well as the amount in dispute and the relief sought. Additionally, some courts may require an additional fee for service of the notice of the petition on the respondent.

To determine the exact court fee for filing a caveat petition, it is advisable to check with the registry of the court in which the petition is being filed, or to seek legal assistance.

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.

FAQs

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?

A: 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?

A: 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.

Can a Caveat petition be withdrawn?

A: Yes, a Caveat petition can be withdrawn by the petitioner at any time.

What happens if a Caveat petition is not filed?

A: If a Caveat petition is not filed, the court may pass an order or judgment without hearing the person who would have filed the petition.

Reference

https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1067057/

A sample caveat petition can be accessed here.

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