What is Caveat? (Section- 148A) – Complete details

Caveat Under Section 148-A

After going through this Article, you will get complete information regarding Meaning of Caveat, its object, Nature and Scope, who may lodge Caveat, when it may be lodge and its time limit.

Meaning :

Caveat means ‘beware‘ 

  • It is a caution or warning giving notice to the court not to take any step without giving notice to the party lodging the caveat. It provides an opportunity to the opposite party to be heard before an ex-parte order is passed.
  • In simple sense “a caveat is an entry made in the books of the office of a registry or court to prevent a certain step being taken without previous notice to the person filing the caveat”.
  • In other words, it is a caution or warning given by a party to the court not to take any action or grant any relief to the applicant without notice or intimation being given to the party lodging the caveat and interested in appearing and objecting to such relief.
  • The person/party who is filing or lodging a caveat is called Caveator.
  • Section 148-A, which was inserted by the Amendment Act, 1976 is a salutary provision. It allows a person to lodge a caveat in a suit or proceeding which was instituted or about to be instituted against him.

Section 148-A of Code contains provisions related to Caveat as-

  1.  Where an application is expected to be made, or has been made, in a suit or proceeding instituted, or about to be instituted, in a court any person claiming a right to appear before the court on the hearing of such application may lodge a caveat in respect thereof.
  2. Where a caveat has been lodged under sub- section 1 of this section, the person by whom it has been lodged, shall served a notice of it by registered post, acknowledgement due, on the person by whom the application has been, or is expected to be, made under 148(1)
  3. Where, after a caveat has been lodged under sub- section (1), any application is filed in any suit or proceeding, the court shall serve a notice of the application to the Caveator.
  4. Where a notice of any caveat has been served on the applicant, he shall forthwith furnish the Caveator at the Caveator’s expense, with a copy of the application made by him and also with copies of any paper or document which had been, or may be, filed by him in support of the application.
  5. Where it has been lodged under sub- section (1), such caveat shall not remain in force after the expiry of ninety days from the date on which it was lodged unless the application referred to in sub- section (1) has been made before the expiry of the said period.

Objects

  • The most important object of the caveat is to safeguard the interest of a person against an order that may be passed on an application filed by a party in a suit or proceeding which was instituted or about to be instituted. The person/party lodging it may not be a necessary party to such an application, but he may be affected by an order that may be passed on any suit or proceedings.
  • This section afforded an opportunity to the Caveator (person who filed a caveat) of being heard before an ex-parte order is made.
  • It avoids multiplicity of proceedings, in the absence of such provision, a person who is not a party to the suit or other proceeding but adversely affected by the order has to take an appropriate legal action against that order.

Nature and Scope

  • The provision relating to caveat would be applicable to Suits, Appeals as well as Other proceedings under the code or other enactments.
  • It is no doubt that without hearing the Caveator, no order should be passed against him, but if the Caveator is not present at the time of hearing of the application which was he filed and the court finds that there is a prima facie case in favour of the applicant, ad interim relief can be granted by the court in his favour.

Who May Lodge Caveat?

Sub- Section (1) of section 148-A prescribes qualifications for the person who wants to lodge a caveat –

  • He must be a person claiming a right to appear before the Hon’ble court on the hearing of the application, which the applicant might move for grant of interim relief.
  • It can be filed not only by necessary party but also by proper party.
  • In other words, it may be filed by any person who is going to be affected by an interim order likely to be passed on an application which is expected to be made in a suit or other proceeding instituted or about to be instituted in a court.
  • A person who is a stranger to the suit or other proceeding cannot lodge a caveat.

When Caveat May Be Lodged?

  • Normally, a caveat may be lodged after the judgement is pronounced or order is passed, But there are some exceptional cases when it can be filed even before pronouncement of judgement or passing of order.
  • The Caveator must serve a notice of it by registered post, acknowledgment due, etc. to the person by whom the application is to be made.
  • When caveat has been lodged, any application filed in that suit or proceeding, the court must serve a notice of the application to the Caveator, the applicant must also furnish the Caveator (at the caveator’s expense), a copy of the application and other documents related to that suit/proceeding.
  • The intention of the Legislature in enacting the provision of caveat is to enable the Caveator to be heard by the court before any order is passed and the court cannot pass any ex- parte order in such proceeding.

Case:

Mahadev Govind Gharge VS. Land Acquisition officer, [AIR 2011 S.C]

The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that “After filing a Caveat, the hearing for Caveator is mandatory”.

  • It is clear that once a caveat is filed, it is a condition precedent for an interim order to serve a notice of the application to the Caveator who is going to be affected by the interim order.

Time limit for lodging Caveat

Once a caveat has lodged, it will remain in force for 90 days from the date of its filing.

  • After the prescribed period of 90 days is over, it may be renewed.

 


Also Read :

Introduction to CPC

Decree

Deemed Decree 

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