Signing and Verification of Pleadings

*Deepak Miglani

Verification of pleadings basically means checking or proof reading the pleadings. It is done either by one or all the parties or anyone who knows the details of the case. Thus, Verification of pleadings includes verification of both plaint and written statement. The objective of verification is to check that all the details written in the pleading are facts. This is done by the parties to prevent false claims and to make sure that there is no wrong or false information provided in it.

Every pleading must be verified by the party or by one of the parties pleading or by some other person acquainted with the facts of the case. The person verifying the pleading must specify what paragraphs he verifies upon his knowledge and what paragraphs he verifies upon information received by him and believed by him to be true. In the verification of petitions, pleadings or other proceedings, statements based on personal knowledge shall be distinguished from statements based on information and belief. In the case of statements based on information, the deponent shall disclose the source of his information.

As a general rule, every pleading must be signed by the party or by one of the parties or by his pleader. But if the party is unable to sign the pleading, it can be signed by any person authorised by him.[1]

The verification must be signed on an affidavit by the person verifying and must contain the date on which and the place at which it was signed. The person verifying the pleading should also furnish an affidavit in support of his pleadings.[2] The object underlying this provision is to fix upon the party verifying or on whose behalf verification is made the responsibility for statement that it contains, and to prevent as far as possible disputes  for the as to whether the suit was instituted or defended with the knowledge or authority of the party, who has signed the verification or on whose behalf it has been signed.[3]

Rule 14-A as added by the Amendment Act of 1976 requires a party to the suit to supply the address for service of notice. It further provides for the stay of suit of the plaintiff or striking off defence of the defendant in case the addresses supplied by him is found to be incomplete, false of fictitious.  A defect in the matter of signing and verification of pleadings is merely an irregularity and can be corrected at a later stage of the suit with the leave of the court and a suit cannot be dismissed nor an order be passed against a party on the ground of defect or irregularity inor verification of plaint or written statement.[4] Similarly, if the affidavit filed by the party is defective, a court, instead of rejecting it, opportunity to the party to file a proper affidavit.[5]

* Associate Professor, School of Law, Sushant University, Gurugram. Email id.:- [email protected]

[1]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Order 6 Rule 14.

[2]Supra note1, Rule 15

[3] A.K.K. Nambiar v. Union of India, (1969) 3 SCC 864 at p. 867.

[4] Bhikaji v. Brijlal, AIR 1955 SC 610, Purushottam Umedbhai & Co. v. Manilal & Sons, AIR 1961 SC 325.

[5] Dwarka Nath v. ITO, AIR 1966 SC 81 at p.88.

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