Caveat is a Latin term which means 'let a person beware'. In law, it may be understood as a notice, that certain actions may not be taken without informing the person who filed the Caveat. In the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 the provision of lodging Caveat Petition was inserted under Section 148-A upon the recommendations of Law Commission of India's 54th Report by the Civil Procedure Code (Amendment) Act 104 of 1976.This article is a beginner’s guide through the filing of a caveat petition in India.
Incorporated under Section 148A of Civil Procedure Code, 1908, the Indian Law defines caveat petition as a precautionary measure taken by a person who holds a strong fear or uneasiness that some case against him/her will filed in the court of law regarding any something . Caveat is basically a Latin word which means ‘let a person beware’.
There are 4 essential ingredients to the section to follow the procedure for filling of Caveat Petition. Those are as follows:-
Under Clause 1, a caveat petition can be filed by a person who claims to hold the right of appearing before the court in either of the following situations:
- Wherein it is expected to make an application,
- Wherein already the application has been made,
- In a proceeding or suit which is already instituted,
- In a proceeding or suit which is going to be instituted.
Duties of a Caveator
Clause 2 states the duties of a caveator. A caveator is a person who has lodged the caveat. Caveator needs to serve the notice of caveat by an acknowledgement registered and posted either on the person who has made the application, or is expected to make an application.
Clause 3 states the duty of the court in case of a caveat petition. Once a caveator lodges a caveat under clause 1, wherein any application is filed in a proceeding or suit, then the court will serve a notice of the application on the caveator.
Duties of the Applicant/ Person filing the Caveat
Clause 4 states the duties of the applicant. Once the notice of any Caveat has been served on the applicant then he/she needs to mandatorily present the following documents on Caveator’s expense:
- Application copy made by applicant,
- Copy/copies of document or any paper filed by the applicant supporting his/her application,
- Copy/copies of document or any paper which may be filed by the applicant supporting his/her application.
As per Clause 5, the life of a caveat petition is 90 days from the date of lodging the petition.
It is advised to seek legal advice from a Litigation Lawyer or Indian lawyer for issues pertaining to Caveat petition in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Goa, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Gurgaon or Noida.
Benefits of filling a caveat petition
There are few benefits of filing a Caveat Petition, which are as follows:-
- A caveat safeguards the advantage of a caveator . The Caveat is now ready to confront the suit or proceedings which are relied upon to be introduced by the opponent.
- No ex-parte order can go against the caveator from the time forth, since the Caveat escapes a number of procedures.
- It saves the expenses that may incur and inconvenience the courts in this manner. It protects the expenditure of the Caveat too.
- The Court might not give any 'ex-parte interim order' to the opposition party without hearing the caveator, if the opposing party files an application/procedure for temporary orders.
- An order is unenforceable if the order is passed without informing the caveator.
Requirements of Caveat Petition
- The appeal no. / Petition / suit, if it exists.
- The Court’s address where the Caveat is to be decided.
- Brief points of suit/appeal expected to be filed.
- Appellants /plaintiffs name.
- The person who is making the Caveat (Caveator’s name).
- Complete Address where notice of the Caveat transferred by RPAD to other people.
- Caveator’s Address for the notice’s support when it is registered.
Documents required for caveat petition
- Filled Index
- Form to File Caveat Signed by the Advocate on Record (AOR) containing the following documents:
- Name of The Court Appealed From
- Cause Title and Case Name
- Vakalatnama And Memo of Appearance
- Court Fees (Applicable In Civil Matters)
- Designation of The Authority
- Date of Impugned Judgment
Procedure to File a Caveat Petition before the Courts
Follow the steps below while filing a petition of Caveat in Court:-
- Attach an affidavit with the caveat petition. The Caveator has to sign both the affidavit and petition;
- (if any) Impugned order, vakalatnama, and proof of service of notice of Caveat is to be submitted to the Court, with the aforementioned documents
Where can a caveat petition be lodged?
- A person can choose to file a petition for a caveat in any Civil Court of original jurisdiction, Appellate Court, High Court, and Supreme Court, whenever the Caveator feels some legal proceedings will be filed against him in the coming future. It is important to know in such cases, the Civil Courts may choose to include Tribunals, Forums, Courts of Small Causes, and Commissions.
- Courts have held that a caveat cannot be made against a petition made under 'Article 226' of the Constitution of India or petitions made under the Criminal Procedure Code. Caveat under Section 148A of the code applies to only civil proceedings in India.
Issuing Notice in such cases
The Court has to compulsorily give notice about such an application to the Caveator. It applies to applications which are made in any suit or legal proceeding after a caveat petition is filed. At the expense of the Caveator, the applicant is expected to be made available a copy of the application made by him to the Caveator. It has to be done when a notice has been served on the applicant, along with any documents or papers that may have been submitted along with the application. Further, the decree or judgment passed becomes null and void in nature if the Court or applicant disregards the caveat and does not notify the Caveator.
Common mistakes made while filing a caveat
- It is important to remember that a caveat can be filed only against an application, because it is often seen as filed in support of an application also, which is incorrect.
- If Caveator does not remember to serve a notice to the applicant, it is not accepted by law. Thus, serving a Notice is mandatory under Section 148A of the Civil Procedure Code.
- Even after the period of expiry, Caveators often state that the order is incorrect because the notice was given. It is important to remember that after a period of 90 days, a new caveat must be filed.
Can a caveat be renewed?
A caveat has a validity of 6 months. If not renewed, then it will cease to exist 6 months after it was lodged by an individual. If it is renewed, it will continue to exist for a further 6 months, and it can be renewed an infinite number of times.
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