Procedure for Filing a Caveat Petition In India
The term Caveat is derived from a Latin word called “cavere,” which means “hint of caution,” “warning,” or let him beware. Further, Caveat Petition Filing means submitting a notice either to the court or to any Public Official requesting them not to take any further action in a particular case without hearing the party filing the caveat application.
Further, the concept of Caveat Filing is mention under section 148A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. This section was inserted by way amendment act, 1976 and provided the right to file a Caveat to any individual having an interest in some legal proceeding regarding a certain subject matter which is about to be started before any court
Furthermore, it is noteworthy to note that a caveat remains in force for a period of 90 days starting from the date of caveat filing.
What is Caveat Petition?
The word ‘Caveat’ is nowhere defined in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. However, the definition of the term “caveat” was given in the case of Nirmal Chand v. Girindra Narayan. In this case, the Court held that a Caveat is a warning or caution given by an individual to the Court, asking them not to take any further action or grant any relief to the other side, without providing notice to the caveator and also without giving him an opportunity of being heard.
The Objective behind introducing the provisions for Filing of Caveat Petition
The underlying objective of introducing the provisions for filing of caveat petition are as follows –
- The caveat assists in safeguarding and protecting the interest of those individuals against whom an order may be passed by way of an application filed by an aggrieved party in suit or proceeding. Further, for filing a caveat petition, it is not mandatory or compulsory that the person or an individual lodging it must be a party to the suit. Hence, the people who are, although not the party to the suit but are affected by the order passed, are also qualified to apply caveat.
- Further, caveat filing also prevent commencement of multiple proceedings as all those individuals who are not only concerned with the subject-matter of the case but are also affected by the orders passed. However, not a party can join in with their agendas in the same proceeding.
Who is eligible to file a Caveat Petition?
The Caveator is an individual who apprehends that if a case is either filed in court or is about to be filed in court, in which he or she has an interest, then, in that case, he or she can file a caveat petition. Further, a Caveator can also move an application for obtaining interim relief. Furthermore, a Caveator is also qualified to become both the necessary as well as the proper party. Moreover, a person who is affected by an order passed by the court, can file a petition for caveat, although he or she is not a party to the said case.
Where can a Petition for caveat be Filed?
A Caveator can lodge or file a petition for caveat in any Civil Court of the original jurisdiction, the Appellate Court, High Court, and the Supreme Court. Further, the term Civil Courts include Forum, Tribunal, Courts of Small Causes, and Commissions.
However, in the case named Deepak Khosla v. Union of India & Ors, it was held that Section 148A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, can be applied only to the civil proceedings and not against the petitions filed under the Criminal Procedure Code or any petition made under the provisions of Article 226 of the Constitution of India.
What is the Procedure for Filing a Caveat Petition?
A Caveat Petition can be filed in the Civil Court of the Original Jurisdiction, the Appellate Court, the High Courts, and the Supreme Court. Further, the rules, regulations, and the format of the Caveat Petition is almost similar for most of the Courts.
Furthermore, the Caveator is required to provide his basic information like his name and address. Moreover, he is also required to provide the name and address of the possible applicant or the plaintiff or appellant, subject matter of the proceedings, the nature of the legal proceedings apprehended to be filed against him in the future, brief detail or summary of the earlier proceeding filed, if in case any, from which the present legal proceedings shall reap, etc.
It shall be taken into consideration that a Petition for filing caveat is required to be signed by the Caveator, who has presented the same to the authorized Court Officer together with the Vakalatnama or the Undertaking of the appointed Advocate for the possible proceedings who shall represent the Caveator.
Is there any Prescribed Format for drafting a Caveat Petition?
As such, there is no set and standard form prescribed by the Code regarding the caveat petition. However, it shall be prudent that a petition for filing caveat is required to be filed in the form of a normal petition containing all the specific details and particulars of the applications. Moreover, the Caveator in caveat petition must also mention about his legal right to appear before the court.
Further, it shall be noteworthy to note that for the requirement of entries, the stamp reporter or the registry is required to maintain a register in which all the caveat filing is entered.
What all does a Petition includes in it?
A caveat Petition given to the court that some actions may not be taken without informing and giving an opportunity of being heard to the Caveator. Further, a petition for filing caveat must contain the following listed information –
- Name of the Caveator;
- Address of the Caveator where the said notice would be sent;
- The name of the concerned court where such a caveat petition is filed;
- The total number of suits and the total number of appeals, if in case applicable;
- Brief details about the concerned suit or appeal, which is likely to be filed;
- Name of all the probable plaintiffs or the appellants along with the respondents
What are the Common mistakes made during the time of Caveat Filing?
The following listed are the common mistakes or errors that are made during the filing of Caveat –
- A petition for caveat is filed together in support of an application. Further, it is noteworthy to remember that a caveat can be file only in against of an application;
- Usually, in the case of caveat filing, Caveator forgets or unable to serve a notice to the applicant, which is again mandatory and compulsory under Section 148A of CPC.
- Generally, Caveator claim that an order or a judgment passed by the court was incorrect because the said notice was given, even after the expiration period. Then it shall be relevant to note that after the expiry of 90 days, a fresh caveat is required to be filed.
What is the Time Limit for Filing a Caveat Petition?
As provided by clause 5 of section 148-A, a caveat filed stays in force for 90 days. If the application is filed within these 90 days, then the court, along with the applicant, has to provide notice to the Caveator.
However, if in case no application is filed within 90 days, then no one has the legal duty to inform the Caveator about the same, i.e., if the application is lodged after the expiry of 90 days, the caveat filed stands null and void.
But it shall be taken into consideration that if the Caveator still wants himself to be informed about the case filed or is about to be filed, then, in this case, a fresh caveat is required to be lodged for the next 90 days.
In the end, I want to conclude by stating that section 148A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is substantive in nature and gives the right and power to any person or individual who has apprehension or fear that a case against him is either filed or is about to be filed in a court in any manner, to lodge or file a caveat in the court. Further, a caveat is allowed to be filed in only civil proceeding and not in criminal proceedings.