Law does not permit anyone to take advantage of the
procedure and delay the justice dispensation mechanism. The
courts have on numerous instances observed that procedure
cannot be exploited to circumvent the provisions of statutory
law and dilate the proceedings. In a recent case, the Delhi
High Court reiterated the same opinion.1
The controversy was in respect of the design of a pressure
cooker. The defendant filed an affidavit regarding the
existence of registration of the design of the pressure cooker
in his favour in 2003, which the court allowed to be taken on
record. Following this affidavit, the plaintiff amended the
plaint to address the issue of registration. Defendant was
given time for filing a written statement in response to the
amended plaint but he did not file the amended written
statement. Later in 2007, the defendant moved an application
for amending the written statement for rejection of the plaint
as being non- maintainable against the registered proprietor of
the design and stating that some new facts had come in his
knowledge. The defendant wanted to add two more preliminary
objections. The court disallowed this and observed
"Amendment to the pleadings can be allowed by court only
if the same is necessary for the adjudication of the
controversy between the parties or if there are such subsequent
facts which are necessary to be brought on record by way of
amendment alone". The very fact of defendant not moving
for amendment of written statement for four years displays
disinterest in amending his written statement and an attempt to
prolong the court proceedings.
Even after being the given the opportunity to amend his
written statement within 30 days of amendment of the plaint,
the defendant did not utilize it. The court maintained that if
the defendant had been really interested in amending the
written statement, he would have filed an application under
Order 6 Rule 17 Civil Procedure Code, in 2003 only. The
registration of the design would have been valid evidence at
that time itself and the defendant cannot state that as a new
fact to and file for amendment of the written statement on that
basis. All the amendments sought to be made by the defendant
were in effect, expansion of the earlier paragraphs and
statements. It was clear that the defendant was acting in a
manner to dilate the litigation and dispel the court from
deciding the main issue. On the basis of the above grounds the
court dismissed the defendant's application and imposed a
fine of ten thousand rupees.
1. Hawkins Cookers Limited v. Citizen Metal Industries
(India) 2007 (35) PTC 802 (Del)
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