In this article we take a look at the procedure for filing a caveat petition.
The procedures laid down for various judicial matters may appear to be tedious and may not make straightforward sense. But when you take into consideration the number of cases that are filed for a plethora of reasons by people from diverse backgrounds, then you can acknowledge the chaos that can ensue if uniformity is not maintained. And it is even more strenuous when it comes to civic cases. Because unlike criminal cases, where facts and evidence reign supreme, civic cases involve disputes between two or more parties. And arguments are given as much weightage as evidence. Where can I file a caveat petition? When the Caveator expects legal actions to be launched against him in the near future, he may file a petition for a caveat in any Civil Court of original jurisdiction, Appellate Court, High Court, or Supreme Court. Learn More about the How to Apply for a Caveat Petition In India .
The time, effort and cost involved in such matters can be unfathomable if there aren’t standard operating procedures. Hence, these procedures are laid down taking a very diverse range of circumstances into consideration. Caveat Petition And hence they may not always make sense to a person in a specific circumstance unless he is able to see it as broadly as the courts see it. And one way to look at it as the court sees it, is to see it through the lens of the principles of natural justice. Because when anything that is laid out in the Civil Procedure Code is boiled down to the intent, it will come to be seen that they are in place to serve the principles of natural justice, directly or indirectly.
One such provision of the CPC that directly serves the principles of natural justice is called the ‘caveat petition.’ The right to be heard is one of the three principles of natural justice. ‘Audi alteram partem’ is a legal maxim that defines the function of a caveat precisely. It means ‘listen to the other party’. Let us understand how a caveat reinforces the principle of natural justice and the right to be heard.
Section 148A(i) of the CPC States
But what is a caveat? A caveat is a petition that a person can file with the court when he or she believes that he or she has the right to be present at the hearing of a case and hence asks the court to notify the the caveator, the person who files a caveat, to notify him or her with regards to the date and time of the hearing as and when it is announced so that he or she can be present at the hearing and be heard if necessary. A person has a right to be present at a hearing when
- He or she suspects or anticipates becoming a party to an application that may be filed in a case that is ongoing or a case that may be imminent
- He or she believes that he or she will be affected by the ruling of the hearing on an application that may be filed in a case that may be ongoing or may be imminent.
How Does One File a Caveat Petition
Like all provisions of the CPC, Filing a Caveat petition in india also has its own procedure. Let’s take a look at the procedure that has been laid down.The first step in filing a caveat is to draft the caveat. The caveat has to be drafted in a specific format with certain details for the sake of uniformity. The details required to file a caveat are:
- Details of the court in which the caveat is being filed
- Case / Suit number pertaining to which the caveat is being filed, in case the caveat is being filed with regards to a case that is ongoing
- Summary of the case and how it might affect the caveator in case the caveat is being filed with regards to a case that may be imminent
- Name of the caveator
- Address of the caveator where the notice of the caveat should be served
- Name of the prospective plaintiff
- Address at which the notice of the caveat is served to the prospective plaintiff
The next step is to file the caveat at the court. It must be filed in the same court where the caveator is anticipating the application against him or her to be made or the ruling of the case that will affect the caveator is bound to take place. It must be filed with the prescribed court fees and the following documents:
- Application to file caveat signed by Advocate On Record (aor) containing:
- Cause title and case number
- Name of the court appealed from
- Date of impugned judgement
- Designation of the authority
- Particulars of the order etc.
- Court fees (applicable in civil matters)
- Vakalatnama and memo of appearance
- Memo of parties
- Once the application is filed, the caveator must send a notice to the parties mentioned in the caveat notifying them that a caveat has been filed along with application or acknowledgement number
- Upon completion of all formalities, the court will process the caveat application and notify the caveator with regards to activation of the caveat. The persons mentioned in the caveat will be notified that if they do file any application as mentioned in the caveat within ninety days from receiving the notice, they have to notify the caveator and furnish them with a copy of the application along with a copy of any documents that they have attached to the application. The caveator will bear the cost of the logistics of such communication
- If the caveator wishes to further extend the lookout against him or her in the matter referred to in the caveat beyond 90 days, then he or she will have to file a fresh caveat along with the court fees.
All procedures laid down under the CPC or even the IPC are highly detailed in their procedure. And however tedious they may seem, they have to be followed exactly as prescribed. The slightest mistake will lead to dismissal of the application and the procedure will have to be started all over again, leading to increased costs, time and effort. So it is always best to consult a legal expert who has been trained in these procedures and possesses a good amount of hands-on experience in the matter. If you are looking for some assistance regarding any legal matter or have some queries, get in touch with Vakilsearch and we will put you in touch with our team of experienced legal experts who will guide you and assist you with your requirements.