To avoid ex-parte orders or judgments in civil proceedings the CPC has provided right to a person, called a caveat. Caveat Petition is explained under section 148-A of the civil procedure code, 1908. Caveat petition is defined as a precautionary measure taken by a person, one who has a great fear or nervousness, that some of the other cases against him or her are going to be filed in the court of law relating to any manner. The Caveat is generally a Latin phrase that means “let a person beware”. To know more about the caveat when to lodge and what to do when a caveat against you is lodged, it is important to understand the Caveat and its implications. So let’s begin with this article.
Meaning and definition of Caveat:-
The term caveat has not been defined in the Civil Procedure Code. It has been derived from the Latin word which means “beware”. As per the dictionary meaning of Caveat, it is an entry made in the book of the offices of a registry or a court to prevent a certain step being taken without prior notice to the person entering the caveat. In the case of Nirmal Chand v.Girindra Narayan, the court defined caveat as a warning given by an individual to the court that no order or judgment shall be passed without giving notice or without hearing the Caveator( who files the caveat).
Object and scope of the Section:-
The purpose of this section is to protect the interest of the Caveator, who is prepared to face a suit or proceeding that is expected to be instituted by his opponent, he has the opportunity to hear, before an ex-parte order is given. Also, to avoid a multiplicity of proceedings, so as to save the costs and conveniences of the courts.
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Who may file Caveat:-
A caveat may be filed by any person who fulfills the qualifications prescribed in the sub-section (1) of Section 148 A-
Who is going to be affected by an interim order likely to be passed on an application that is expected to be made in a suit or proceeding instituted or about to be instituted in a court?
A person who is a stranger to the proceeding cannot lodge a caveat. Similarly, a person who supports an application for interim relief made by the applicant also cannot file a Caveat.
In the case of Kattil VayalilParkkum Koiloth V. Mannil Paadikayil Kadeesa Umma, the principle was laid down that a caveat cannot be lodged by a person who is a total stranger to the case.
What does the caveat contain?
The caveat or a notice given to the court, that some action may not be taken without notifying the caveator, should contain the following information:
If an application is made in any lawsuit or legal proceeding, after the filing of a caveat, the caveator is required to give notice of such application by the court. When a notice has been given to the applicant, it is necessary to provide a copy of the application along with the copies of the papers and documents submitted by him in support of his application, at the expense of the caveator, to the caveator. If the court or applicant ignores the caveat and does not notify the caveator, the judgment or judgment passed becomes null and void.
What is the time period for which caveat stays in force?
As per clause 5 of the section, Caveat will remain in force for 90 days from the date of its filing. After 90 days fresh Caveat petition can be filed.
What happens if that Caveat is filed and the Court and the applicant don’t give notice to the Caveator:-