Ideally in a civil suit the party is required to state all the  material facts in its pleading on which its claim rely. The  Code of Civil Procedure does not explicitly provide for  a filing of “Rejoinder “or Replication” as the term is not  legally defined. However, the Hon'ble Court in exercise  of its jurisdiction is empowered to grant a leave for the  filing of a Rejoinder to allow a party to furnish  clarifications regarding additional facts/issues that  may have been raised by the opposite party in the  written statement. Filing of a Rejoinder is also essential  to explain the issues and project the correct position of  the party with respect to the new submissions averred  by the other party in its pleading. Therefore, a Rejoinder  may include response to the new facts raised through  the affidavit filed by the party.

Order VIII Rule 9 in the Code of Civil Procedure gives  power to file an additional written statement. The  expression ‘additional written statement' has not been  defined in the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (C.P.C).  According to a legal dictionary, the term ‘written  statement' means a pleading for defence.  The above  rule reads, “No pleading subsequent to  the  written  statement  of a defendant other than by  way of defence to set off or counterclaim be presented  except by the leave of the Court and upon such terms  as the Court thinks fit, but the Court may at any time  require a written statement or additional written  statement or additional written statement from any of  the parties and fix a time of not more than thirty days  for presenting the same.”

Thus, pursuant to this section the adjudicating  authority, i.e., tribunal or court may allow filing of  rejoinders to ensure that no prejudice is caused to the  other party and to also necessitate deciding on the real  controversy between the parties.


The rulings in the below-mentioned judgments sum  up the views of various courts which provide valuable  guidance on what constitutes as an essential  consideration in filing of a rejoinder.


In this case, the court observed that, “The plaintiff may  also feel the necessity of joining additional pleading to  put forth his positive case in reply to the defendant's case,  but he shall have to seek the leave of the court by  presenting the proposed replication along with an  application seeking leave to file the same. A plea which is foundation of plaintiff's case or essentially  a part of causes of action of plaintiff, in absence whereof  the suit will be liable to be dismissed or the plaint liable to  be rejected, cannot be introduced for the first time by way  of replication.”


Bombay High Court observed in this case, “As for the  plea that the award would be vitiated on account of nonobservance of rules of natural justice, all the relevant if  already on the record do not possess a problem. As  noticed, it was the bounden duty of the petitioners to  plead all the facts which were necessary for establishing  their claim in the petition. The purpose of a rejoinder is  not to fill in the gaps left by the petitioners in their  pleadings, in the petition.”


Furthermore, the principles of filing a rejoinder was  summarized most effectively in this case wherein the  HC of Rajasthan laid down the following principles:

“a) The plaintiff cannot be allowed to introduce new pleas  by way of filing rejoinder, so as to alter the basis of his  plaint.

b) In rejoinder, the plaintiff can be permitted to explain the additional facts which have been incorporated in the written statement.

c) The plaintiff cannot be allowed to come forward with an entirely new case in his rejoinder.

d) The plaintiff cannot be permitted to raise inconsistent pleas so as to alter his original cause of action.

e) Application under Order 8, Rule 9, CPC cannot be treated as one under Order 6, Rule 17 (Amendment of pleadings), CPC as both are contextually different.”


In another decision of the HC of Rajasthan, the ratio  laid down stated that, “Wide discretion is conferred on  the court in granting leave to a plaintiff for filing  subsequent pleadings. Well, it is true that in the guise of  subsequent pleadings, a plaintiff cannot be allowed to  set up a new case or incorporate certain inconsistent  pleadings but then, plaintiff's right to file replication to  meet with some of the new facts averred in the written  statement is clearly permissible under Order VIII Rule 9  CPC.

 Further, it was observed that “If in the written statement,  defendant has incorporated certain additional pleas  including the plea of adverse possession, maintainability  of the suit and limitation, such pleas in strict sense may  not be a defence in the nature of set off or counter claim  but are certainly in the nature of new facts, which if not  controverted, can prejudice the cause of the plaintiff. Being a correctional jurisdiction, it is required to be  exercised wherein it is found that orders have been  passed in grave dereliction of duty or in flagrant abuse  of fundamental principles of law or justice.

The ratio decidendi of the legal precedents on which  heavy reliance is placed cannot be disputed but then the  principles enunciated therein are required to be applied in  the backdrop of facts and circumstances of an individual  case and there cannot be any straight-jacket formula.  

While considering the prayer of the plaintiff to file  rejoinder, the nature of suit, the reliefs craved for, and  the pleas sought to be raised in the written statement  are of great significance. It is in that background; the court is required to adopt a realistic and pragmatic  approach rather than pedantic and idealistic approach.”


It can thus be seen that for an adjudicating authority to  allow leave sought by parties for filing of a rejoinder, it  will ensure that the plea raised is not a fresh plea but in  furtherance of cause of action filed in the application. It  will also confirm that the basis of Statement of Claim is  not altered or changed, and that the opposing party  gets  full  and  sufficient opportunity to reply/rebut to  the pleading and no prejudice is caused to the other  party. It must be recorded in definite finding that pleas  sought to be raised in the rejoinder are neither in the  nature of setting up a new case nor containing  inconsistent pleadings.

With due consideration to the above-mentioned  requirements, the adjudicating authority usually  adopts a realistic and pragmatic approach rather than  pedantic and idealistic approach to appreciate the  facts of each case.


1 1994 (31) DRJ 205.

2 1998 (2) Bom CR 490.

3 AIR 1999 Raj 169

4 MANU/RH/1944/2015.

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