A caveat petition is filed as a precautionary measure, to prevent a court from taking certain actions without informing the person who is filing it.
According to Caveat petition in Indian law Civil suits in general are cumbersome as they involve procedures that are superabundant. It involves the serving of various types of documents and petitions by the parties concerned. One such type of petition is the caveat petition. The term caveat has its inception in the mid-16th century, which means ‘let a person beware’ in the Latin language. A caveat appeal in law is resorted to when people apprehend that a case might be filed against them and want to be notified by the court with respect to any action that would be possibly taken towards them.
When a caveat petition is filed, it can be inferred that certain actions cannot be taken without notifying the person who is filing the petition. The provision was introduced in the Civil procedure Code (CPC) of 1908 under Section 148A, in the CPC (Amendment 104) Act of 1976.
Although the CPC does not define the word caveat, the Court attempted it in the case Nirmal Chand v. Girindra Narayan. It was stated that a caveat is a warning issued by the person to the Court, directing the Court to refrain from taking action or granting relief to the other party without giving the caveator an opportunity of being heard and a notice pertaining to the said action.
Advantages of Filing a Caveat Petition:
A caveat petition that serves as a warning to the court exhibits the following advantages:
- A caveat in a law acts like armor to the caveator during court proceedings. Once a caveat is brought inside, the caveat is armed to counteract the suit or proceedings initiated by the opponent
- No ex-parte order can be passed against the caveator once it is filed, as the caveat serves to escape a great number of procedures
- The caveat in law saves unnecessary expenses along with the convenience of the courts
- By filing the caveat, the caveator is informed about updates in the proceedings till the end
- If the opposition applies to the court seeking temporary relief, the party will not be awarded an ex-parte interim order by the court without giving the caveator an opportunity to be heard
- An order, when issued without informing a caveator, is not enforceable.
Procedure for Filing a Caveat:
A caveat is filed in the Civil Court of original jurisdiction, in High Court, Supreme Court, or Appellate Court, wherein the rules pertaining to the filing of the petition are similar across the Courts. The basic details of the caveator like the name and address are to be enclosed along with the details of the possible applicants or appellants or plaintiffs, the subject matter of the case, the nature of the legal actions apprehended by the caveator that might be initiated in future, details of earlier proceedings, if any, on which the decisions of the current legal proceedings may be based upon, etc.
The caveat is required to be duly signed by the caveator and has to be presented to the authorised Court Officer in addition to the vakalatnama or the undertaking of the advocate who would be representing the caveator’s case in the Court.
Requisites of a Caveat Petition:
- The name and the address of the Court where the petition is being filed
- Name of the appellant or the plaintiff
- Name and address of the caveator
- The petition/appeal number
- The details about the suit or appeal, for which the caveat is being filed.
Time Limit for Filing a Caveat Petition:
Once a caveat is filed, it remains in force for a period of 90 days. The caveator is required to be informed if an application is filed within this time period. Alternatively, if an application is filed after the expiry of this time period, then neither the Court nor the Caveat applicant is obligated to inform the caveator about the same.
However, it is pertinent to note that, the caveator can opt to file a fresh caveat after the expiry of the said time period, and in that case, the caveator will be informed about the applications filed during that respective time period. For more queries contact our excepts from vakilsearch