You are on page 1of 7


Inherent power of the Court not affectedNothing in these Rules shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the Court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court1.

When two writ appeals were filed against a common judgment and two distinct questions of law were involved, held that both appeals should have been heard together.2 It was observed in S. Santhanam and Ors. v. State of A.P., Revenue Dept. and Ors.3: All these writ petitions and writ appeals have been heard together, as they raise common questions of law and fact.

Every court is constituted for the administering justice between the parties and, therefore, must be deemed to posses, as a necessary corollary, all such powers as may be necessary to do the right and to undo the wrong in the course of administration of justice.4

Inherent powers come to the rescue in such unforeseen circumstances. They can be exercised ex debito justitiae in absence of express provisions in this code.5 The inherent power has its roots in necessity and its breadth is coextensive with the necessity.6 According to dictionary meaning, inherent means natural, existing and inseparable from something, a permanent attribute or quality, an essential element, something intrinsic, or essential, vested in or attached to a person or office as a right of privilege.7

1 2

Delhi High Court Rules. Govt. of A.P. v. Gudepu Sailoo 2000(4) SCC 625. 3 2006(2)ALD566. 4 Manohar Lal v. Seth Hiramal, AIR 1962 SC 527; State of Punjab v. Shamlal Murari , (1976) 1 SCC 719; Raj Narain v. Indira Nehru Gandhi, (1972) 3 SCC 850; Jaipur Mineral Development Syndicate v. CIT , (1977) 1 SCC 508 ; Mulraj v. Murthi Raghunathji Mahaaraj, AIR 1967 SC 1386 ; State of U.P v. Roshan Singh,(2008) 2 SCC 488. 5 Mahendra Manilal v. Sushila Mahendra, AIR 1965 SC 364 ; Manohar Lal v. Seth Hiralal, AIR 1965 SC 364 at p.537. 6 Newabganj Sugar Mills v. Union of India, (1976) 1 SCC 120 at p.123. 7 Concise Oxford English Dictionary (2005);

The inherent powers saved by section 151 can be used to secure the ends of justice.8 Chitivalasa Jute Mills v, M/s. Jaypee Rewa Cement:9 The code of Civil procedure does not specifically speak of consolidation of suits but the same can be done under the inherent powers of the court flowing from S.151 of the CPC. Unless, specifically prohibited, the civil court has inherent power to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the Court. Consolidation of suits is ordered for meeting the ends of justice as it saves the parties from multiplicity of proceedings, delay and expenses. Complete or even substantial and sufficient similarity of the issues arising for decision in two suits enables the two suits being consolidated for trial and decision. The parties are relieved of the need of adducing the same or similar documentary and oral evidence twice over in the two suits at different trials. The evidence having been recorded, common arguments need be addressed followed by one common judgment . However, as the suits are two, the court may, based on the common judgment, draw two different decrees or one common decree to be placed on the record of the two suits. Zakinaben v. Bakubhai10: The court can order consolidation of suit or proceedings under inherent powers of the court. Consent of the parties is not necessary. Crescent Petroleum Ltd. V. M.V. Monchegorsk11 :The High Court has inherent powers by virtue of s.151, Letters Patent and Art.215 of the Constitution of India to prevent abuse of its process Justice means that standard of justice which the code is designed to achieve12.

Sharbati v. Kali, A 1942 L 119. No act done or proceeding taken as of right in due course of law is an abuse of the process of the court simply because such proceeding is likely to embarrass the other party.

8 9

AIR 2004 SC 1687. AIR 1999 Guj 118,120. 11 AIR 2000 Bom 161. 12 Hubli E Co. v. Govt, A 1945 B 370.

S.151 is held applicable to consolidate suits and appeals.13

6. In Shew Narayan Singh v. Brahmanand Singh and Ors. (1), the Hon'ble Calcutta High Court considered the provisions of Order 1 Rule 3 and Order 2 Rule 3 CPC and held that a suit can be filed jointly if it cannot be held that there was a misjoinder of parties or cause of action only but in that case, the case must strictly fall within the provisions of Order 1 Rule 3 CPC and relief must be against the same cause of action and right to relief must be available against all the defendants jointly/severally or in the alternative and cause of action must be common to all the suits if they were separately filed for the reason that Order 1 Rule 3 CPC is not confined only to joinder of parties but it also embraces all cause of action against different parties and the provisions of Order 2 Rule 3 could not be interpretated so as to override or render nugatory provisions of Order 1 Rule 3 CPC. Therefore it is permissible to join different causes of action against different defendants in one suit so long as the stipulations set out in Order 1 Rule 3 CPC are complied with. 7. That was the case arising out of breach of same contract by several parties thereto, therefore, the common question of fact had to be proved against all the defendants in the suit. 8. In Ranjit Kumar Pal Chowdhury v. Murari Mohan Pal Chowdhury and Ors. (2), the same view has been reiterated. 9. In Hans Raj v. Firm Hazarimal Dipa (3), this Court came across a case where the two suits have been consolidated by the trial court; common issues had been framed and after recording the evidence the trial court passed a decree allowing both the suits. The submission to the effect that the trial court had committed an error in consolidating the suits was rejected by this Court as the trial court had the competence under its inherent jurisdiction to combine two suits. In case where the parties are the same and cause of action is the same, there can be no difficulty in consolidating the suits in exercise of inherent powers of the Court however whether

Janardan v. Shib, 43 C 95; Kali v. Suraj, 17 CWN 526,528; Kashi v. Secy of S, 29 C 140l ; Ghansam v. Bhola, 45 A 506; In re Venkatagiri, 53 M 248; Choudhary v. Brij, 3 PLJ 446; Manohar v. Laxman, A 1947 N 248; Hari Narayan v. Ram Ashish, A 1957 P 124; Suryanarayana v. Venkatasubbiah, A 1960 AP 75; Mangali Satukuri Anjaiah v, Nethi Rajaiah, AIR 2003 NOC 547; Hansraj v. Hazarimal, ILR 9 Raj 114; Bokarao & Ramgur Ld v. S, A 1973 P 340; Harish Chandra v. Kailash, A 1975 Raj 14; Multivahuji v. Kalindhivahuji, AIR 1994 Guj 42; Chitivalasa Jutemills v. M/s. Jaypee Rewa Cement, AIR 2004 SC 1687.

the suits can be consolidated must dependent upon facts and circumstances of a particular case and the decision of the two suits must rest mainly on determination of similar question and the contesting party should also be the same. Therefore this Court held that "there must be sufficient unity or similarity in the matters in issue in two suits to warrant their consolidation." 10. In Shambhoo Dayal v. Chandra Kali Devi and Ors. (4), the Allahabad High Court held that in all, suits can be consolidated provided common question of fact and law are arising and it will not be a case of misjoinder of parties. 11. Similar view has been reiterated in Mst. Rarndayee v. Dhanraj Kochar and Ors. (5), wherein examining a case where the learned trial court has rejected the application raising the plea of multifariousness at a belated stage contending that instead of two separate suits one suit could have been filed, the Court rejected the revision holding that it was not improper exercise of jurisdiction. 12. In M/s. Bokaro & Ramgur Ltd. v. The State of Bihar and Ors. (6), and in Nani Gopal Baridhyopadhyaya and Ors. v. Bhola Nath Bandhyopadhyaya and Ors. (7), it has been held that the Court has inherent discretionary power to consolidate the suits in exercise of powers under Section 151 CPC provided there is sufficient uniformity or similarity in the matters in issue in the suits or determination of suits rest mainly on the common question and it is convinierit to try them as analogues cases. In the former case, the Hon'ble Pata High Court held as under :"The question to be considered should also be as to whether or not the nonconsolidation of two or more suits is likely to lead apart from multiplicity of suits, to leaving the door open for conflicting decisions on the same issue which may be common to the two or more suits sought to be consolidated.........the convenience of the parties and the expenses in the two suits are subsidiary to the whether important considerations namely, whether it will avoid multiplicity of suits and eliminate chances of conflicting decisions on the same point." 13. In the State of Rajasthan v. Motiram (8), this Court took the view that the applicant must satisfy the Court that in case the order of consolidation is not passed it would prejudice the party and would result in failure of justice and he must show that how the separate judgments and decree, if passed, would be void or ineffective

as the whole object of inherent exercise of power under Section 151 CPC, in absence of any specific provision for consolidation of suits, is only to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and to prevent delay and unnecessary costs and expenses. By consolidation, it cannot be inferred that the Court after consolidation ceases to have jurisdiction to dispose of the consolidated suits separately. 14. In Harishchandra and Anr. v. Kailashchandra and Anr. (9), this Court considered the aspect of Order 2 Rule 2 CPC providing for bar on subsequent suit and held that bar under the said provision does not come into play when two or more suits are filed at the same time, on the same day, in the same Court with the entire cause of action, if included in one suit. However the proper procedure in such eventuality would be to consolidate them in exercise of inherent exercise of powers under Section 151 CPC. 15. In Dr. Guru Prasad Mohanty and Ors. v. Bijoy kumar Das (10). dealing with the similar provision the Orissa High Court held that the policy of law is to obviate the possibility of two contradictory decisions in respect of the same relief and the object of consolidation of suits is to avoid multiplicity of proceedings and unnecessary delay and protraction of litigation. 16. In Vishnu Kumar v. Smt. Sohni Devi and Ors. (11), this Court examined a case where the trial court has rejected the application to consolidate two separate suits on the ground that though the subject matter involved in both the suits was similar and the parties were also identical but plaintiff had no locus standi to bring that suit and that matter is not in the other suit, hence both suits were not identical and no consolidation was permitted. This Court after placing reliance upon its earlier judgment in Pratap Singh v. Madan Lal and Anr. (12), held that for consolidation of suits certain conditions have to be fulfilled including that the parties must be identical and the rights to be determined must also be identical and in case both the conditions are not fulfilled, consolidation is not permissible.

The Code Of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1956

Central Government Act - Cites 0 - Cited by 48134

Gopal Krishna Das vs Sailendra Nath Biswas & Anr on 26 February, 1975
Supreme Court of India - Cites 8 - Cited by 13 1975 AIR 1290

Vishnu Prakash & Anr. Etc. vs Smt. Sheela Devi & Ors. on 3 April, 2001
Supreme Court of India - Cites 8 - Cited by 7 AIR 2001 SC 1862 - S V Patil

The Indian Penal Code, 1860

Central Government Act - Cites 0 - Cited by 252047

Mst. Dakhan Bai And Mst. Anandi Bai vs Dhanraj on 29 October, 1958
Rajasthan High Court - Cites 2 - Cited by 5 AIR 1959 Raj 144 - D Dave

Shambhu Dayal vs Subhash Chandra And Others on 19 February, 1998

Supreme Court of India - Cites 1 - Cited by 8 - Nanavati

Koshal Pal & Ors vs Mohan Lal & Ors on 26 November, 1975
Supreme Court of India - Cites 7 - Cited by 26 1976 AIR 688

Bapulal And Anr. vs Ramesh Chandra on 15 March, 1994

Rajasthan High Court - Cites 3 - Cited by 2 AIR 1995 Raj 121

- R Balia

Harishchandra And Anr. vs Kailashchandra And Anr. on 3 April, 1974

Rajasthan High Court - Cites 4 - Cited by 1 AIR 1975 Raj 14 - S Modi

Bokaro And Ramgur Ltd vs The State Of Bihar And Another on 14 March, 1962
Supreme Court of India - Cites 6 - Cited by 46 1963 AIR 516