Order 6 Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure deals with amendment of pleadings. Pleadings are the case of the Plaintiff or the Defendant in Plaint and Written Statement respectively. An amendment can be by way of altering something, modifying something, deleting something.
What is the provision for?
A plaint or written statement may be drafted by the parties or counsels in a hurried manner. In doing like this there may be errors. Even if it is prepared with taking time, by oversight some part may be missed. Also change in some circumstances may require the party to incorporate some vital details in his pleadings. In all these circumstances, the provision for amendment comes to the help of parties when his pleadings are already filed in the Court. It can be said that a party will not lose his chance to plead his good case by way of amendment only because he has already filed his pleadings.
When can the pleadings be amended?
The Court may at any stage of the proceedings allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings.(Order6 Rule17)
What should be the objective for amendment?
It shall be for the purpose of determining the real question in controversy between the parties.
Is it an exclusive right?
It is the discretion of the Court.
Is there any exception or limitation?
No amendment after commencement of trial. This is the ordinary rule. Anyhow the party can convince the court that despite due diligence, he could not raise the matter before the trial. In Dondapati Narayana Reddy v. Duggi Reddy Venkatanarayana Reddy, the Supreme Court of India held that if the plaintiff is given permission to lead additional evidence while the suit is still pending, amendment of written statement should also be permitted. Exceptions noted are 1>it should not be allowed if it is established that the amendment would be unjust and would result in prejudice against the opposite side as could not be compensated by costs or would deprive him of right accrued due to lapse of time.2>the prayer made has bicome time barred. It is also said that an amendment should not change the nature of the suit.
What is the failure to amend after order?
If a party who has obtained an order for leave to amend does not amend accordingsly whithin the time limited for that purpose by the order, or if no time is thereby limited then within fourteen days from the date of the order, he shall not be permitted to amend after the expiration of such limited time as aforesaid or of such fourteen days, as the case may be, unless the time is extended by the Court.(Order 6 Rule 18)