Order XLI Rule 22 CPC- Cross Objection Not Necessary To Challenge Adverse Findings: Supreme Court

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Order XLI Rule 22 CPC- Cross Objection Not Necessary To Challenge Adverse Findings

Case: Saurav Jain Vs. A. B. P. Design

Coram: Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah

Case No: CA 4448 of 2021

Court Observation: “25 It is apparent from the amended provisions of Order XLI Rule 22 CPC and the above authorities that there are two changes that were brought by the 1976 amendment. First, the scope of filing of a cross-objection was enhanced substantively to include objections against ‘findings’ of the lower court; second, different forms of raising cross-objections were recognised. The amendment sought to introduce different forms of cross-objection for assailing the findings and decrees since the amendment separates the phrase “but may also state that the finding against him in the Court below in respect of any issue ought to have been in his favour” from “may also take any cross-objection to the decree” with a semi colon. Therefore, the two parts of the sentence must be read disjunctively. Only when a part of the decree has been assailed by the respondent, should a memorandum of cross-objection be filed. Otherwise, it is sufficient to raise a challenge to an adverse finding of the court of first instance before the appellate court without a cross objection.”

“The principle stipulated in Order XLI Rule 22 of CPC can be applied to petitions under Article 136 of the Constitution because of this Court’s wide powers to do justice under Article 142 of the Constitution. Since the principle in Order XLI Rule 22 of the CPC furthers the cause of justice by providing the party other than the ‘aggrieved party’ to raise any adverse findings against them, this Court can draw colour from Order XLI Rule 22 CPC and permit objections to findings.”

“Though the appellant did not assail the finding of the Trial Court on the issue of jurisdiction before the High Court under Order XLI Rule 22 CPC either by filing a memorandum of cross-objection or otherwise, he is not precluded from raising the argument before this Court. This Court in view of its plenary jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution read with its power to do complete justice under Article 142, can entertain new grounds raised for the first time if it involves a question of law which does not require adducing additional evidence, specifically one concerning jurisdiction of the court which goes to the root of the matter.”

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