Interpleader suits: Section 88 and Order 35 of the CPC
In this article, we will discuss what is Interpleader suit under section 88 and Order 35 of the CPC? What is the object of the interpleader suit? Who may file it? What are the conditions for filing it? etc.
Order XXXV and Section 88 of the CPC 1908 deal with the provisions of inter-pleader suit. Generally, ordinary suits that are filed before the Hon’ble court are between two parties, the plaintiff and the defendant. But the interpleader suit is unlike the ordinary suits between the two defendants who fight for a claim over a particular good, debt, or chattel. The plaintiff in such suits usually do not have any real interest in the subject matter of the suit and institute the suit to only make sure that the property in dispute is put in the custody of the actual owner.
Meaning of Interpleader suit:-
As per the Halsbury’s laws of England it has been stated;
“Where a person is under liability in respect of a debt or in respect of any money, goods or chattels and he is or expects to be sued for or in respect of the debt or money or those goods or chattels, by two or more persons making adverse claims thereto, he may apply to the court for relief by way of interpleader”.
Object of Interpleader suit:-
The main object to filing an interpleader suit is to get claims of rival defendants adjudicated. It is a process wherein the plaintiff calls upon the rival claimants to appear before the court and get their respective claims decided.
Conditions: section 88:-
For filing an interpleader suit there must be satisfying the following conditions:-
1. There must be some debt, sum f money or other property movable or immovable in dispute;
2. Two or more persons must be claiming it adversely to one another;
3. The plaintiff does not claim any interest in it except the charges, or cost and is ready to pay or deliver it to the right claimant;
4. There must not be pending suit in which the right of the rival claimants can be properly adjudicated.
Procedure laid down by order 35 of CPC:-
Order 35 laid down following condition which shall be satisfied by the plaintiff who seeks to file an interpleader suit;
1. The plaintiff shall state that he has no interest in the subject matter in dispute other than the charges or costs;
2. The claim made by the defendants severally; and
3. There is no collusion between the plaintiff and any of the defendants.
In the case of Mangal Bhikaji Nagpase v. State of Maharashtra in1997 the BombayHigh Court held that it is mandatory for the plaintiff to affirm that he has no interest in the subject matter of the dispute other than costs and charges.
In the case of Asaan Ali v. Sarada Charan Kastagir AIR 1922 Cal 138 the Calcutta High Court held that for a suit to be an interpleader suit, the applicant should be willing to hand over the property to the claimant and should not have any interest in it but if the applicant has an interest in the suit then such suit shall be dismissed on the discovery of the fact that the plaintiff has an interest in the subject matter of the suit.
During the pendency of the interpleader suit, if any of the defendants filed a suit against the Plaintiff, then that suit shall be stayed under sec. 10 of CPC Res Sub-judice.
Liability of the plaintiff:-
At the first hearing of the interpleader suit the court may declare that the plaintiff is discharged from all liability, and award him his costs and dismiss him from the suit, unless the justice or convenience so requires his presence.
A is in possession of the property claimed by B and C adversely. A does not claim any interest in the property and is ready to deliver it to the rightful owner he can file an interpleader suit.
At last, as per the above-stated matter, it is clear that an interpleader suit is actually between the defendants. The plaintiff cannot claim any interest in the subject matter of such suit except the charges and the costs as admissible to him under the law.