Set-off: Order 8 Rule 6
In this article, we will discuss the set-off and its meaning, when it may arise, essential and its effect, etc.
Under order 8 of the code a defendant files a written statement in reply of the plaint of the plaintiff, in this if any situation arises where the plaintiff files a suit of recovery of money from the defendant, but at same time defendant also has some debt on the plaintiff, in this case, the defendant may claim for the set off the amount against the plaintiff recoverable by him. For the setting off the amount, the defendant has to state the fact in the written statement filed by him. Provisions regarding the set-off have defined under Order 8 Rule 6 of CPC.
Meaning of set-off :-
Before starting further we should know about the set-off. Set-off means a claim by the defendant against the plaintiff or a plea in defence available to the defendant. It is a cross-claim between the parties to the suit regarding their recovery of money. It is the destruction of the debts of which two persons are reciprocally debtors to one other. As the case may be where there are mutual debts between the parties (plaintiff and defendant), one debt may be settled against the other.
When it may arise:-
Where in a suit for recovery of money by the plaintiff the defendant finds that he has also a claim of some amount against the plaintiff, then he can also file for set-off the said amount. For example; Mahesh sues Rakesh on a bill of exchange for Rs.1000. Rakesh holds a judgment against Mahesh for Rs. 3000. The two claims being both definite and ascertain, pecuniary demands may be set-off.
A defendant may claim a set-off if he satisfied the conditions follow as under-
1. The suit must relate to recovery of money;
2. The sum of money must be ascertained or definite;
3. Above said sum must be recoverable legally;
4. The sum of money must be recoverable by the defendant or by all the defendants, in case of more than one defendants;
5. It must be recoverable from the plaintiff by the defendant;
6. It must not exceed the pecuniary limits of the court in which the suit is brought;
7. Both the parties must fill, in the defendant’s claim to set-off, the same character as they fill in the plaintiff’s suit;
Effect of set-off:-
In the claim of set-off, there are two suits, one by the plaintiff, and the other by the defendant against the plaintiff, they are tried together, no separate suit is necessary. In such a case, when the defendant claims set-off, he will stand in the position of the plaintiff in regard to the amount claimed by him. In such case, if the plaintiff doesn’t appear and his suit is dismissed for default, or he withdraws his suit, etc. it does not affect the claim of the defendant for set-off and a decree may be passed by the court in favour of the defendant if he is able to prove his claim.
At last, we can say about the set-off, that it is the extinction of debts of which two persons are reciprocally debtor to one another. For example; if a person A sues B for Rs. 2000, B claims for Rs. 1000 against the A, here two claims may be set-off, it is an extinction of the debt of the one persons against the other (Rs.1000).