Amendment of Pleadings – Factors to be considered (Order VI Rule 17 – CPC)

In Revajeetu Builders & Developers v. Narayanaswamy & Sons, (2009) 10 SCC 84, the scope of amendment of pleadings was considered and it was held thus:

“On critically analyzing both the English and Indian Cases, some basic principles emerge which ought to be taken into consideration while allowing or rejecting the application for amendment:

(1)    Whether the amendment sought is imperative for proper and effective adjudication of the case;

(2)    Whether the application for amendment is bona fide or mala fide;

(3)    The amendment should not cause such prejudice to the other side which cannot be compensated adequately in terms of money;

(4)    Refusing amendment would in fact lead to injustice or lead to multiple litigation;

(5)    Whether the proposed amendment Constitutionally or fundamentally changes the nature and character of the case; and

(6)    As a general rule, the court should decline amendments if a fresh suit on the amended claims would be barred by limitation on the date of application.

These are some of the important factors which may be kept in mind while dealing with the application filed under Order 6 Rule 17. These are only illustrative and not exhaustive.”

In a recent Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court – Rameshkumar Agarwal v. Rjamala Exports Private Limited and Others, (2012) 5 SCC 337, it was held thus:

“It is clear that while deciding the application for amendment ordinarily the Court must not refuse bona fide, legitimate, honest and necessary amendments and should never permit mala fide and dishonest amendments. The purpose and object or Order 6 Rule 17 of the Code is to allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings in such manner and on such terms as may be just. Amendment cannot be claimed as a matter of right and under all circumstances, but the courts while deciding such prayers should not adopt a hypertechnical approach. Liberal approach should be the general rule, particularly in cases where the other side can be compensated with costs. Normally amendments are allowed in the pleadings to avoid multiplicity of litigations.

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