Deepak Chandrakant Jhaveri vs Johnson Dye Works (P) Ltd. on 3 March, 2020


Supreme Court of India

Deepak Chandrakant Jhaveri vs Johnson Dye Works (P) Ltd. on 3 March, 2020

Author: Mohan M. Shantanagoudar

Bench: Mohan M. Shantanagoudar, R. Subhash Reddy

                                                          NON-REPORTABLE

                               IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

                                CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

                      INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATION NO. 111396 OF 2018

                                               IN

                         MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO. 2757 OF 2018

                                               IN

                         MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO. 782 OF 2017

                                               IN

                               S.L.P. (CIVIL) NO. 12501 OF 2017

           Deepak Chandrakant Jhaveri & Ors.                …Petitioners

                                            Versus

           Johnson Dye Works Pvt. Ltd. & Ors.               …Respondents


           IN THE MATTER OF

           M/s New Era Fabrics Ltd.                        …Applicant/
                                                         Respondent No. 2



                                      J U D G M E N T

MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR, J. :

Signature Not Verified

Digitally signed by
GULSHAN KUMAR

This application has been filed by M/S. New Era
ARORA
Date: 2020.03.03
17:46:35 IST
Reason:

Fabrics Ltd. (hereinafter ‘Applicant’) under Section 340 read

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with Section 195(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure Code

(hereinafter ‘CrPC’) seeking institution of criminal proceedings

against Nikhilesh Keshrichand Jhaveri (hereinafter ‘Respondent

No. 3’) in Civil Appeal No. 6344/2017 (reconverted to S.L.P.

(Civil) No. 12501 of 2017) for giving false evidence.

2. The brief facts of the case are as follows:

2.1 Twelve members of the Jhaveri family, including the

petitioners herein and Respondent Nos. 3-5, claim to be the

lessors of suit premises being C.S. No. 560 and 561, final Plot

No. 268, T.P.S. III of Mahim Division, Ward No. 6/North 5546 (1-

1A) situated at Mogul Lane, Tulsi Pipe Road, known as Senapati

Bapat Marg, Mahim, Mumbai-400016. The Applicant is a

monthly tenant of the suit premises. The tenancy of the

Applicant was terminated by notice dated 11.2.2009, and

subsequently, in March 2009, the aforesaid twelve members of

the Jhaveri family filed a suit (hereinafter ‘1 st suit’) before the

Court of Small Causes, Mumbai for possession and injunction

against Johnson Dye Works Pvt. Ltd. (hereinafter ‘Respondent

No. 1’), the Applicant, and some other parties. In August 2010,

Respondent No. 1 also filed an eviction suit (hereinafter ‘2 nd

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suit’) before the Court of Small Causes, Mumbai against

members of the Jhaveri family, including the aforesaid twelve

members, contending that they were merely sub-lessees, and

that Respondent No. 1 had become the owner of the property

as it had purchased the suit property from the original owners.

2.2 On 12.08.2016, the petitioners herein, being six

members of the Jhaveri family, filed an application under

Section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure (hereinafter ‘CPC’)

before the High Court of Bombay, seeking clubbing together of

the aforesaid suits so that they could be heard together.

2.3 This application seeking clubbing together of suits

was opposed by Respondent Nos. 3-5 vide reply dated

22.12.2016 on the ground that the petitioners were acting in

collusion with a third party, namely, Gnani Investment Pvt. Ltd.

to render the 1st suit infructuous. In this reply, Respondent

Nos.3-5 pointed out that this Court, vide order dated

22.07.2016 in SLP (Civil) No. 10337/2013, had directed that the

trial in the 1st suit had to be concluded by 27.01.2017. It was

submitted that significant progress had been made in the trial

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of the 1st suit, whereas even issues had not been framed in the

2nd suit.

2.4 Vide order dated 23.12.2016, the High Court of

Bombay dismissed the application filed by the petitioners,

accepting the submissions made by Respondent Nos. 3-5. It

was against this order that Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.

12501/2017 came to be filed by the petitioners.

2.5 Vide order dated 04.05.2017, this Court granted the

relief of clubbing the suits together. The relief was granted

without notice being issued to Respondent Nos.3-5, as this

Court was of the opinion that issuing notice to them would

merely delay the matter. However, Respondent Nos.3-5 were

given the liberty to approach this Court if they had any

objections to the order.

2.6 Utilising the liberty granted to him, Respondent No.3

filed M.A. No. 782 of 2017, seeking modification of the order

dated 04.05.2017 and de-tagging of the two suits. In the said

application, Respondent No.3 stated that while the preliminary

issue of jurisdiction had already been decided by the Court of

Small Causes in the 1st suit, even issues had not been framed in

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the 2nd suit, and that therefore, the two suits should not have

been tagged.

2.7 The Applicant in its reply to M.A. No. 782 of 2017

contended that both the suits were at similar stages, as the

only difference was that the preliminary issue of jurisdiction

had been decided by the Court of Small Causes in the 1 st suit,

and that even this issue was pending consideration before this

Court. Significantly, it was contended that issues had been

framed by the Court of Small Causes in the 2 nd suit also.

2.8 In his rejoinder, Respondent No.3 admitted that due

to an oversight, it had erroneously stated that issues had not

been framed in the 2nd suit. Further, Respondent No. 3 tendered

an unconditional apology for this oversight, and sought to

provide an explanation as to why the oversight had taken

place.

2.9 On 12.01.2018, this Court allowed M.A. No. 782 of

2017, recalled the order dated 04.05.2017, and restored SLP

(Civil) No. 12501/2017 to its original file. Thereafter, this Court

heard the matter afresh, and dismissed SLP (Civil) No.

12501/2017.

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2.10 On 07.08.2018, the Applicant filed the present

application under Section 340 of the CrPC, claiming that

Respondent No. 3 had made incorrect statements in M.A. No.

782 of 2017 regarding the stages of the two suits with the

intent of misleading this Court in order to get a favourable

order.

3. Heard learned senior counsel Shri Vikas Singh

appearing on behalf of the Applicant, and learned senior

counsel Shri Amit Sibal appearing on behalf of Respondent

No.3.

4. Shri Vikas Singh contended that Respondent No.3

had deliberately stated in M.A. 782 of 2017 that issues had not

been framed in the 2nd suit, although this was factually

incorrect. It was submitted that this factually incorrect

statement was made only with a view to mislead the court and

obtain a favourable order, and that this clearly amounted to

perjury, therefore requiring initiation of criminal proceedings

against Respondent No.3

5. Per contra, Shri Sibal argued that Respondent No. 3,

in his rejoinder, had sought to explain the reasons for the

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oversight that had led to incorrect submissions being made in

M.A. No. 782 of 2017. It was pointed out that after the issues

had been framed in the 2nd suit vide order dated 03.04.2014,

the Applicant itself had filed an application on 28.10.2014

seeking framing, recasting, and deletion of issues on the

ground that the issues that had been framed vide order dated

03.04.2014 were not in consonance with tenancy law. It was

thus submitted that due to the pendency of this application,

seeking recasting and deletion of framed issues as well as

framing of certain new issues, Respondent No. 3 had

committed the inadvertent error of stating that the issues had

not been framed in the 2nd suit. Furthermore, as mentioned

earlier, Respondent No. 3 also tendered an unconditional

apology for the error.

6. We find that the rejoinder filed by Respondent No. 3

contained a clear admission to the effect that in M.A. 782 of

2017, he had stated certain facts which were not accurate. This

Court was thus apprised of the fact that such submissions were

not to be relied upon. Further, we are also of the view that the

explanation offered by Respondent No. 3 in his rejoinder seems

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reasonable inasmuch as the pendency of the application

seeking framing, recasting, and deletion of issues, filed by the

Applicant, could have caused some confusion in the mind of

Respondent No. 3 regarding the stage at which the 2 nd suit was

pending. In light of this, it would be difficult to conclude that

Respondent No. 3 had deliberately tried to mislead this Court to

obtain a favourable finding or order, more particularly when

Respondent No. 3 has tendered an unconditional apology in his

rejoinder.

7. Therefore, we are of the considered opinion that no

prima facie case is made out against Respondent No. 3

requiring initiation of criminal proceedings against him.

Consequently, the present application filed by the Applicant is

dismissed.

……………………………………………J.

[MOHAN M. SHANTANAGOUDAR]

……………………………………………J.

[R. SUBHASH REDDY]
NEW DELHI;

MARCH 03, 2020

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