Whether Court can Correct ‘Accidental Slip or Omission’ of Parties

In cases where it is clear that the case is one of “ accidental slip or omission”, it is the duty of the court to correct the decree in tune with the actual intend of the Court and the parties.

The Kerala High Court in Chandran Vs. Amruthavally viewed that there is no reason to restrict the scope of Section 152 of the Code of CPC to ‘ accidental slip or omission’ of the Court and its ministerial staff alone.

Justice Sathish Ninan observed that there is nothing to indicate that the applicability of the Section is confined to cases of slip or omission by Court. It definitely takes within its compass the ‘accidental slip or omission’ of the parties also.

“Essentially the question would be whether it was an instance of ‘ accidental slip or omission’. When the Court is satisfied that the mistake or error was accidental, powers vested in the Court under Section 152 of the CPC needs to be invoked to correct mistakes in the decree, especially in a case like the present one, where parties to the suit do not dispute the fact that the particulars sought to be corrected, is a mistake.”

the Court said.

While allowing the petition the High Court further held that it would be highly inequitable in such a case, to drive the parties to a separate litigation seeking the relief of rectification of the instrument itself.

A mistake made by the parties in a deed upon which the suit is founded and carried forward into the judgment, decree or order might be or might not be an “ accidental slip or omission”. In cases where it is clear that the case is one of “accidental slip or omission”, it is the duty of the court to correct the decree in tune with the actual intend of the Court and the parties.

It is not necessary to drive the parties to a separate litigation for rectification of the deed. Giving such an interpretation to Section 152 of the CPC would only advance the cause of justice.

Even assuming that Section 152 of the CPC does not apply, still it could be corrected in exercise of the inherent power vested under Section 151 of the CPC. In such matters Courts should not be tied up by the shackles of technicalities but must strive to do justice to the parties.

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