Judgment on Admissions
ORDER XII – ADMISSIONS
Rule-6 Judgment on admissions
(1) Where admissions of fact have been made either in the pleading or otherwise, whether orally or in writing, the Court may at any stage of the suit, either on the application of any party or of its own motion and without waiting for the determination of any other question between the parties, make such order or give such judgment as it may think fit, having regard to such admissions.
(2) Whenever a judgment is pronounced under sub-rule (1) a decree shall be drawn upon in accordance with the judgment and the decree shall bear the date on which the judgment was pronounced.
In case of Dinesh Kumar Singhania v. Calcutta Stock Exchange Association Limited the Court observed that- From a perusal of the provisions under Order XII Rule 6 of the Code, it appears that the scope of the rule is that in a case where admission of fact has been made by either of the parties in pleadings whether orally or in writing, or otherwise, the judgment to the extent of admission can be given by the Court on its own motion or on the application of any party.
The provisions of Order XII Rule 6 of the Code are virtually modelled on identical provisions in the Supreme Court Practice.
Order 27, Rule 3 talks about- Judgment on admission of facts
“Where admissions of facts are made by a party to a cause or matter either by his pleadings or otherwise, any other party to the cause or matter may apply to the Court for such judgment or order as upon those admissions he may be entitled to, without waiting for the determination of any other question between the parties, and the Court may give such judgment, or make such order, on the application as it thinks fit.”
PARAMETERS WITHIN WHICH COURTS ARE TO GIVE JUDGMENT ON ADMISSION
In case of Smt. Sudesh Madhok v. Paam Antibiotics Ltd. and Anr. the Court said that “where a claim is admitted, the court has jurisdiction to enter a judgment for the plaintiff and to pass a decree on admitted claim. The object of the Rule is to enable the party to obtain a speedy judgment at least to the extent of the relief to which according to the admission of the defendant, the plaintiff is entitled." We should not unduly narrow down the meaning of this Rule as the object is to enable a party to obtain speedy judgment. Where other party has made a plain admission entitling the former to succeed, it should apply and also wherever there is a clear admission of facts in the face of which, it is impossible for the party making such admission to succeed. Admission should be clear and unambiguous.
In Raj Kumar Chawla v. Lucas Indian Services, the Division Bench states that there cannot be an inferential admission – it has to be unambiguous. In other words, the Court should not deduce an admission, as the result of an interpretive exercise. The Court’s approach while considering whether any averment or omission to traverse any material allegation amounts to an admission cannot be subjective or one side. It has to necessarily, take into consideration the implications which may arise from a party urging one contention or another, on the basis of what is on record.
IS THERE ANY PARTICULAR FORM OF ADMISSION REQUIRED?
From the language of Order XII, Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure it is clear that it is open to the Court to base a judgment on admission on the pleadings or otherwise. The word "otherwise", in the said provision clearly indicates that it is open to the Court to base the judgment on statements made by a party not only in the pleadings but also de hors the, pleadings. Such admissions may be made either expressly or constructively.
RELIEF UNDER ORDER XII RULE 6 IS DISCRETIONARY (not a matter of right)
The provision 'under Order XII Rule 6 of the Code is enabling, discretionary and permissive and is neither mandatory nor it is peremptory since the word "may" has been used. It is not incumbent on the Courts to pass judgment on admissions and in order to succeed under Order XII Rule 6 CPC; the admission of the other party has to be clear and unequivocal.
CAN JUDGMENT BE GIVEN AFTER ISSUES ARE FRAMED?
Yes. There is no time limit specified for Court to grant relief on its own or on application at any stage of the suit. The use of the expression "any stage" in the said rule itself shows that the legislature's intent is to give it widest possible meaning. Thus merely because issues are framed cannot by itself deter the court to pass the judgment on admission under O. XII R. 6, C.P.C.
Bare perusal of Order XII Rule 6 shows, that it confers very wide powers on the court, to pronounce judgment on admission at any stage of the proceedings. The admission may have been made either in pleadings, or otherwise. The admission may have been made orally or in writing. The court can act on such admission, either on an application of any party or on its own motion without determining the other questions. This provision is discretionary, which has to be exercised on well established principles. Admission must be clear and unequivocal; it must be taken as a whole and it is not permissible to rely on a part of the admission ignoring the other part; even a constructive admission firmly made can be made the basis.
CAN JUDGMENT BE GIVEN AFTER ADMISSION/DENIAL?
In Delhi Jal Board v Surendra P Malik the Court held that it is essential that the admissions must be plain, unambiguous and unequivocal and that when a defence is set up and it requires evidence for determination of the issues then the provisions of Order XII Rule 6 are not applicable and a judgment cannot be passed on the plaintiff's asking.
In Balraj Taneja and another v Sunil Madan and Another the Supreme Court referred to Order VIII Rule 5 which deals with denials and observed that sub-rule (1) of Rule 5 provides that any fact stated in the plaint, if not denied specifically or by necessary implication or stated to be not admitted in the pleading of the defendant, shall be treated as admitted. It further observed that under Rule 3 of Order VIII it is provided that the denial by the defendant in his written statement must be specific with reference to each allegation of fact made in the plaint. A general denial or an evasive denial is not treated as sufficient denial and, therefore, the denial, if it is not definite, positive and unambiguous; the allegations of facts made in the plaint shall be treated as admitted under this Rule. The court is empowered under Order XII Rule 6 to pass judgment and decree in respect of admitted claims pending adjudication of the disputed claims in the suit.
CAN JUDGMENTS BE GIVEN SOLELY ON THE BASIS OF AGREEMENT?
In case of IPRS v. Puneet Goenka it was seen that agreements amount to an unequivocal admission of liability provided they are not in contravention of law.
WHEN CAN JUDGMENT ON ADMISSION BE DECLINED?
In the case of Manisha Commercial Ltd. v. N.R. Dongre, J. Vikramajit Sen, had dismissed an Application under Order XII Rule 6 of the CPC observing that it was wholly inappropriate to permit any party to employ this provision where vexed and complicated questions or issues of law had arisen. The Apex Court has observed that it is a futile exercise, and a serious miscarriage of justice, if parties are compelled to undergo a full trial where the lis can be brought to an earlier and quicker culmination on the foundation of admissions made by a party (which obviously is usually the defendant). The Apex Court has enjoined the Trial Court to meaningfully fulfill this judicial exercise. Order XII, Rule 6 in fact prescribes this duty shall be a suo moto exercise. This Rule however, predictably invests discretion with the Court - that is - even if there is an unequivocal admission by a party but the passing of a judgment would work injustice on it, judgment could be declined.
In the case of State bank of India v. Midland Industries the Court held that where the defendants have raised objections which go to the very root of the case, it would not be proper to exercise this discretion and pass a decree in favor of the plaintiff. The purpose of Order XII rule 6 Civil Procedure Code is to avoid waiting by the plaintiff for part of the decree when there is a clear, unequivocal, unambiguous and unconditional admission of the defendant in respect of the claim of the defendant. The rule only secures that if there is no dispute between the parties, and if there is on the pleadings or otherwise such an admission as to make it plain that the plaintiff is entitled to a particular order or judgment he should be able to obtain it at once to the extent of admission. But the rule is not intended to apply where there are serious questions of law to be asked and determined. Likewise where specific issues have been raised in spite of admission on the part of the defendants the plaintiff would be bound to lead evidence on those issues and prove the same before he becomes entitled to decree and the plaintiff in that event cannot have a decree by virtue of provision of Order XII rule 6 Civil Procedure Code without proving those issues.
In the case of Raj Kumar Chawla v. Lucas Indian Services, it was said that the Court essentially should look into the fact that all essential ingredients of an admission are satisfied before such a decree is passed in favor of any of the parties to the suit. Admission has to be unambiguous, clear and unconditional and the law would not permit admission by inference as it is a matter of fact. Admission of a fact has to be clear from the record itself and cannot be left to the interpretative determination by the Court, unless there was a complete trial and such finding could be on the basis of cogent and appropriate evidence on record.
In the case of Express Towers P. Ltd. and Anr. v. Mohan Singh it may not be safe and correct to pass a judgment under Order XII, Rule 6 of the Code when a case involves disputed questions of fact and law which require adjudication and decision. Even when a party has made an admission, the Court need not dismiss or allow the suit. Judgment on the basis of admissions is not a matter of right but a matter of discretion for the Court.
Therefore, where questions of law and fact have been raised, which can be decided only at the time of trial, a Judgment under Order XII Rule 6 cannot be pronounced on the basis of alleged admissions in the written statement.
In the case of Western Coalfiels Ltd. v. Swati Industries the Court held that in the matter of judgment on admission, general rule is that the pleadings are to be read as a whole; admissions in pleadings cannot be dissected. The Court is vested with jurisdiction to pass a decree on admission on the strength of the principle laid down under Section 58 of the Evidence Act that admitted facts need not be proved and as such admissions can be considered as substantive evidence on which a decree can be passed. When the admission is qualified and conditional and not conclusive then order cannot be invited under order XII rule 6.
In the case of Naspuri Dharmaiah v. Kota Veeraiah the court held that merely on the grounds of the admissions made by the Defendant, the decree cannot be granted in terms of the prayer made in the suit. It stated that the Court holds the responsibility to check whether the Plaintiff is entitled to obtain the relief sought for and the Court should also see whether the suit is collusive meant to defeat the law concerning public revenues, public policy, etc. It mentioned that the Court ought not to pass a decree based on the admissions or consent of parties.
In Razia Begum v. Sahebzadi Anwar Begum it was held that Order XII Rule 6 has to be read along with the proviso to Rule 5 of Order VIII.
That is to say, notwithstanding the admission made by the defendant in his pleading, the Court may still require the plaintiff to prove the facts pleaded by him in the plaint.
Thus, in spite of admission of a fact having been made by a party to the suit, the Court may still require the plaintiff to prove the fact which has been admitted by the defendant. This is also in consonance with the provisions of Section 58 of the Evidence Act which provides as under:
Section 58 of Evidence Act- Facts admitted need not be proved--No fact need be proved in any proceeding which the parties thereto or their agents agree to admit at the hearing, or which, before the hearing, they agree to admit by any writing under their hands, or which by any rule of pleading in force at the time they are deemed to have admitted by their pleadings:
Provided that the Court may, in its discretion, require the facts admitted to be proved otherwise than by such admissions.
WHEN CAN JUDGMENT ON ADMISSION BE ALLOWED?
In case of Sharex Acting through Vinod Kumar Chadha v. Smt. Sudershan Suri the Court held that "Where a claim is admitted, the court has jurisdiction to enter a judgment for the plaintiff and to pass a decree on admitted claim.” In this case the execution of the lease deed had been unequivocally admitted by the appellant. Once the execution of the document has been admitted, Sections 91 and 92 of the Evidence Act, come into play. Section 91 lays down that when the terms of a contract or of any other disposition of property have been reduced to the form of a document, no evidence shall be given in proof of the terms of such contract or other disposition of property, except the document itself. Section 92 further lays down that when the terms of any such contract or other disposition of property have been proved according to the last Section, no evidence of any oral agreement or statement shall be admitted as between the parties to any such instrument for the purpose of contradicting, varying, adding to or subtracting there from. Thus, quite obviously, the pleas raised by the appellant against the contents of the lease deed are barred by Sections 91 and 92 of the Evidence Act and appear to have been made only for the purpose of delaying the trial of the case. Such pleas as ruled by this Court in the Parivar Seva Sansthan case can be ignored by the Court while adjudicating an application under Order XII Rule 6 Code of Civil Procedure if otherwise the Court finds, either on an application of any party or on its own motion, that the admissions made in the pleadings or otherwise taken as a whole justify the passing of a decree thereon. In fact, the Court in the said case has gone so far as to say that even a constructive admission firmly made can be made the basis of the decree. All that the Court is required to do is to satisfy itself that the question raised in the suit can be determined without evidence.
In case of M.M. Chhabra & sons v. Colour Plus Fashions Ltd. the High Court of Delhi said that mere dispute and mention of a vague arrangement, or oral agreement, is insufficient in absence of sufficient material on record to support a plea. Such vague averments cannot detain the Court, from exercising its powers under Order XII Rule 6, and have to be discarded.
In case of Charanjit Lal Mehra v. Kamal Saroj Mahajan Supreme Court said that Order XII Rule 6, C.P.C. is enacted for the purpose of and in order to expedite the trials. If there is any admission on behalf of the defendants or an admission can be inferred from the facts and circumstances of the case without any dispute; then, in such a case in order to expedite and dispose of the matter such admission can be acted upon.
In the case of Rohini Varshnei v. R.B. Singh the Court said that it is trite to say that in order to obtain a judgment on admissions, the admissions must be clear and unequivocal. In the matter of landlord and tenant, there are only three aspects which are required to be examined:
i) A relationship of landlord and tenant;
ii) Expiry of the tenancy by afflux of time or determination by valid notice to quit; and
iii) The rent of the premises being more than Rs. 3,500/- per month in view of the provisions of the said Act.
Thus, it can be said that Judgment on admissions dealt under Order XII Rule 6 is not a matter of right. It is discretionary and should be exercised judicially on the facts and circumstances of each case. The underlying object of the above mentioned rule is to enable a party to obtain speedy judgment on admission in respect of admitted claims pending disposal of disputed claims in a suit. It is not binding on the Court to pass a decree. A decree can be passed only to the extent of admitted claims for which admissions are clear, unequivocal and unambiguous. There is no specific form of admission required for a Court to pass a decree. It may be contained in pleadings or otherwise. It may be in writing or may even be oral. Even in cases where some dispute has arisen over any admission judgment on such admission can be passed until there is sufficient material on record to prove such dispute and vague averments. Moreover, if an admission can be inferred from the facts and circumstances of the case without dispute, Court can pass a judgment on such admission. Also it can be seen that judgment on admission can be passed at any stage either on application of party or suo moto. There is no stipulated time frame within which judgment on admission has to be passed. Merely because issues are framed in a case is no ground for rejecting an application under Order XII Rule 6. Judgment of admission can be declined when the admission is qualified and ambiguous. It can also be denied where vexed and complicated questions of fact or law have arisen which require adjudication and decision. Furthermore, the Court cannot exercise power of giving judgment on admission under Order XII Rule 6 where the defendants have raised objections which go to the very root of the case. Admission of a fact has to be clear from the facts and it should not be left to interpretative determination of Court. The Court has to exercise caution while passing a decree on admissions to see that the suit is not collusive meant to defeat law. Even if there is an unequivocal admission by a party but the passing of a judgment would work injustice on it, judgment could be declined.
# 2005 (2) CHN 601
# Uttam Singh Duggal & Co. Ltd. v. United Bank of India 200(7) SCC 120
# 129 (2006) DLT 755
# AIR 1974 MP 75
# Umang Puri v. Lt. Col. Pramode Chandra Puri(2009), http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/823883/
# Parivar Seva Sansthan vs Dr.(Mrs.) Veena Kalra & Ors AIR 2000 Delhi 349
# 2003 III AD (Delhi) 419
# AIR 1999 SC 3381
# http://www.delhidistrictcourts.nic.in/Jan10/The Indian Performing Right Society Vs. Punit Goenka.pdf
# 85(2000) DLT 211
# AIR 2006 Del266
# 129 (2006) DLT 755
# 2007 (97) DRJ 687 (DB)
# 1958 AIR 886
# (2005) 11 SCC 279
# P.P.A. Impex Pvt. Ltd. v. Mangal Sain Mittal 166(2010)DLT84
# 155 (2008) DLT 440 (DB)
# Ram Mohan Maheshwari v. Prem Interjit Khurana, MANU/DE/3122/2010
The author can be reached at: email@example.com