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Delhi High Court allows plea on e-filing of caveat applications

A Bench of Justice Rekha Palli said that the Right to file Caveat is a statutory right, which is extended to every litigant in terms of Section 148a of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

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The Delhi High Court today allowed a petition filed by Advocate Nitin Jain, who raised a grievance that the e-filing portal of the Delhi District Court is not accepting caveat through the said mode on behalf of the lawyers and litigants, who face predicament and a great degree of convoluted obstruction in E-filing of the caveat applications.

While disposing of the petition, a Bench of Justice Rekha Palli said that the Right to file Caveat is a statutory right, which is extended to every litigant in terms of Section 148a of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

The plea place reliance on the order dated May 20, 2021 passed in Nitya Sharma vs National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, Principal Bench, Delhi, wherein the Court prima facie was inclined and found merit in the submissions of the petitioner therein, to dispense with the requirement of submitting hard copies of pleading at the time of filing before the NCLAT.

The Court was pleased to note the undertaking of the respondent, which stated to extend assurance that, henceforth, any time of inconvenience is not caused at the behest of e-filing to any litigant or lawyer.

The burden of judicial system has increased with each day unfolding and addressing grievance of the citizens, who are dreaded by the impact of the second wave of the pandemic. The dependency on electronic medium, in specific the internet, has been greatly used by the judicial system.

Keeping the said viewpoint, e-filing of cases and looking into emergent situation caused by the Covid-19 outbreak in the State of NCT Delhi, thereto, the e-filing of cases, pleadings, applications, documents, etc were allowed till the time the Court doesn’t function at full capacity, or resumes to physical functioning per se and hence, owing to the current tumultuous situation, the court extended an efficacious solution to the petitioner.

The petition said similar plight may have been faced by other litigants or lawyers, who have clients placed outside the NCT of Delhi, for instance, the client of the petitioner is based in Jaipur, who was served with a Legal Notice for alleged infringement of registered design from a Company, whose registered office is stated to be situation in Delhi, which gave an impetus to file the subject caveat application, pursuant to which the petitioner at the behest of his client filed the same through e-filing portal of Delhi District Courts, duly filling in all the requisite credentials as well as uploaded the Caveat application.

The petitioner said he was notably surprised to see the Applications marked as “Not Approved/”Disapproved” on the ground that a Caveat Application cannot be filed electronically by using the online portal of the District Courts of Delhi, stating that such an Application has to be filed physically before the filing counter.

The Bench, while addressing the respondent, remarked, “Ms Ahlawat, why are you not accepting caveat through e-filing”. The Counsel for the respondent made the submission that the contention of the petitioner is not valid and e-filing portal of the District Court are accepting application and in future, will also accept the caveat filed through the e-filing mode.

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The Court directed the District and Session Judge headquarter to ensure that in future, no counsel or litigant is caused any inconvenience and the e-filing portal has been mandated to accept the Caveat filed through e-filing.

Till the e-filing portal is operational, emphasis was made pursuant to the last line of the order, stating “It should not be read as if tomorrow the e-filing goes off and if we come back to physical, then which way should we wish for it.”

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