O VIII R 6A
Ashok Kumar Kalra vs. Wing Cdr. Surendra Agnihotri.
A Court can exercise its discretion and permit the filing of a counter-claim after the written statement, till the stage of framing of the issues of the trial.The restriction is only with respect to the accrual of the cause of action. Having said so, this does not give absolute right to the defendant to file the counter-claim with substantive delay, even if the limitation period prescribed has not elapsed. The court has to take into consideration the outer limit for filing the counter-claim, which is pegged till the issues are framed.The defendant cannot be permitted to file counter-claim after the issues are framed and after the suit has proceeded substantially. It would defeat the cause of justice and be detrimental to the principle of speedy justice as enshrined in the objects and reasons for the particular amendment to the CPC.In exceptional circumstances, to prevent multiplicity of proceedings and a situation of effective re-trial, the Court may entertain a counter¬claim even after the framing of issues, so long as the Court has not started recording the evidence. This is because there is no significant development in the legal proceedings during the intervening period between framing of issues and commencement of recording of evidence.