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Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 – O.13 r.10 – Genuineness of a deed challenged before civil court – Initiation of criminal proceedings also – In criminal proceeding deed sent for examination of signature and thumb, impression of the person challenging it, to forensic expert – Plaintiffs application calling for forensic report regarding handwriting allowed – But application calling for report regarding thumb impression dismissed – Held: Dismissal of the later application not justified – If bringing on record a document is essential for proving a case, ordinarily the same should not be refused – The procedural mechanics necessary to arrive at just decision must be encouraged. Appellant and respondents were co-sharers. Allegedly they entered into a deed of partition. Appellant filed a suit questioning the genuineness of the deed. He also lodged an FIR in that regard. In the criminal proceedings, the partition deed was sent for examination of signature and thumb impression of the appellant. In the pending suit, appellant filed an application for calling for the report of forensic report from the court of Judicial Magistrate as regards purported signature and the same was allowed. Thereafter he filed another application for calling for the forensic report regarding the thumb impression. Trial court rejected the application on the ground that the application did not furnish requisite particulars and Order 13 Rule 10 CPC did not empower civil court to direct production of document from the custody of police. An application under Article 227 of the Constitution of India was dismissed by High Court. Hence the present appeal. =Allowing the appeal, the court HELD: 1.1. If bringing on record a document is essential for proving the case by a party, ordinarily the same should not be refused; the Court’s duty being to find out the truth. The procedural mechanics necessary to arrive at a just decision must be encouraged. The court in the said process, however, would not encourage any fishing enquiry. It would also not assist a party in procuring a document which he should have himself filed. [Para 12] [668-D, E] 1.2. There cannot furthermore be any doubt that by calling for such documents, the court shall not bring about a situation whereby a criminal proceeding would remain stayed as it is a well settled principle of law that where a civil proceeding as also a criminal proceeding is pending, the latter shall get primacy. [Para 13] [668-F] 1.4. In a civil suit, a document has to be proved. The report of an expert is also required to be brought on record in terms of the provisions of the Evidence Act. Having regard to the provisions contained in Order XIII, Rule 8 CPC, the civil court would furthermore be entitled to substitute the original document by a certified copy. Therefore, the original document could have been called for. [Para 14] [669-G] Union of India and Anr. v. The State and Anr. 1961 XLII ITR 753; Kailash v. Nanhku and Ors. (2005) 4 SCC 480 and Uday Shankar Triyar v. Ram Kalewar Prasad Singh and Anr. (2006) 1 SCC 75, relied on. Anil Behari Ghosh v. Smt. Latika Bala Dessi and Ors. AIR 1955 SC 566 and Shanti Kumar Panda v. Shakuntala Devi (2004) 1 SCC 438, referred to. 2.1. In view of the fact that appellants in their application disclosed that a First Information Report was lodged on 1.11.2003 against the defendants. The same was registered as Crime No.699/03; that the original partition deed dated 28.11.2002 was sent to the Director, Forensic Science Department along with appellant’s admitted signatures by the court of Judicial Magistrate, at the request of the Investigating Officer and that plaintiffs have come to learn that a report of the expert was also filed therein in regard to the thumb impression of the appellants, trial Judge, committed a manifest error in holding that requisite particulars have not been furnished. [Paras 9 and 10] [667-F-G; 668-A-B] 2.2. Trial Judge himself had allowed a similar application so far as the opinion of the handwriting expert was concerned. It is, therefore, difficult to comprehend as to on what basis a similar prayer made by the appellant in regard to the opinion of the finger print expert could be held to be not maintainable. [Para 11] [668-C] Case Law Reference: AIR 1955 SC 566 Referred to. Para 13 (2004) 1 SCC 438 Referred to. Para 13 1961 XLII ITR 753 Relied on. Para 14 (2005) 4 SCC 480 Relied on. Para 14 (2006) 1 SCC 75 Relied on. Para 14 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 2243 of 2009. From the Judgment & Order dated 5.1.2007 of the High Court of Judicature at Madras in C.R.P.P.D No. 559 of 2005. Vijay Kumar, C. Jayaraj and Malini Poduval for the Appellants. V. Prabhakar, Ramjee Prasad and Revathy Raghavan for the Respondents.

REPORTABLE
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 IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

 CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2243 OF 2009
 (Arising out of SLP (C) No.5026 of 2007)

Lakshmi & Anr. ... Appellants

 Versus

Chinnammal @ Rayyammal & Ors. ...
Respondents

 JUDGMENT

S.B. Sinha, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. `Procedural Mechanics' involving interpretation of Order XIII Rule

10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (hereinafter called and referred to

for the sake of brevity as the `Code') falls for consideration in this appeal

which arises out of a judgment and order dated 5.1.2007 passed by a learned
 2

Single Judge of the High Court of Judicature at Madras in CRP No.559 of

2005.

3. Parties hereto are co-sharers. Allegedly, a deed of partition was

entered into by and between them on or about 28.11.2002. Questioning the

genuineness of the said deed of partition, a suit for cancellation thereof was

filed by the appellant therein. Indisputably, in relation thereto, a First

Information Report was also lodged. During investigation, the Investigating

Officer recovered the purported original deed of partition from the custody

of the respondent. It was sent for examination to the Forensic Science

Laboratory, Chennai.

4. Appellant filed an application in the said suit marked as IA No.1 of

2005 calling for the report of the forensic expert from the Court of Judicial

Magistrate, Sathyamangalam as regards the purported signatures of the

petitioner. The said application was allowed by the learned Trial Judge. In

the meantime, allegedly a second report with regard to the of thumb

impression of the petitioner on 15.2.2005 was also received from the

Forensic Science Laboratory. He filed a similar application under Order

XIII Rule 10 of the Code before the learned Trial Judge. By an order dated

8.3.2005, the Trial Court rejected the said application, stating :
 3

"But the petition does not contain the details such
as serial number and the date of the documents
which are requested to be sent for. The petition
does not mention that the documents are the
records of Crime No.699/2003 or the related
records. It has not been stated in both the petition
and the counter statement that the investigation is
over. Only the crime number has been mentioned
in the petition. Since it has not been stated on
behalf of the petitioner that the investigation is
over and that the final report has been filed in this
regard, and that it is not possible for the court to
ask from time to time the documents which are in
their possession as a result of investigation and
that the provisions of Order XIII Rule 10 of CPC
do not empower the civil court to direct the
production of document which are in the custody
of police and that it has not been stated whether
such document have been filed and kept on the file
of the court of judicial Magistrate and that the
issue whether the partition deed is false or true to
be established by examining witnesses and it is the
responsibility of the plaintiff in this regard and
after that the examination of witnesses of both
plaintiff and defendant are not over and that
keeping in mind the objections raised by the
respondents/defendants that the petitioners/
plaintiffs are in collusion with the
Sathyamangalam Police and that it is not possible
to send for the documents with the police when the
investigation is not over and that the plaintiff
could establish the falsity of the partition deed by
other witnesses and other documents and for the
said reasons the petition is not acceptable and
having decided so."
 4

5. An application under Article 227 of the Constitution of India filed

thereagainst has been dismissed by the High Court by reason of the

impugned judgment.

6. Mr. Vijay Kumar, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

appellant, would submit

(1) The learned Trial Court and consequently the High Court committed

 an error in observing that the details of the criminal case as also the

 court wherein it had been pending was not disclosed by the appellant.

(2) Order XIII Rule 10 of the Code having wide application and having

 been enacted to further the ends of justice and avoidance of

 multiplicity of proceedings, the same should have invoked.

(3) The genuineness and authenticity of the partition deed dated

 28.11.2002 being in issue in the suit, the appellants were entitled to

 call for the report of the expert to prove their case.

7. Mr. V. Prabhakaran, learned counsel appearing on behalf of the

respondent, on the other hand, would submit:

 (i) By directing the criminal court to transfer the evidence collected

 by the investigating officer the proceeding before the criminal
 5

 court shall remain stayed, the impugned order should not be

 interfered.

 (ii) Appellant should have obtained the certified copy of the report

 and filed it before the civil court, which having not been done, the

 impugned judgment cannot be faulted with.

 (iii) Appellant having not been able to establish that the report in

 question was necessary for proving their case, this Court should

 not exercise its discretionary jurisdiction under Article 136 of the

 Constitution of India.

8. Order XIII of the Code provides for production, impounding and

return of documents. Rule 1 of the said Order mandates production of

original documents by the parties at or before the settlement of issues. Rule

9 of the Order XIII provides for return of admitted documents. Rule 10

empowers the Court to send papers from its own records or from other

courts. It reads as under :

 "10. Court may send for papers from its own
 records or from other Courts.--(1) The Court
 may of its own motion, and may in its discretion
 upon the application of any of the parties to a suit,
 send for, either from its own records or from any
 6

 other Court, the record of any other suit or
 proceeding, and inspect the same.
 (2) Every application made under this rule shall
 (unless the Court otherwise directs) be supported
 by an affidavit showing how the record is material
 to the suit in which the application is made, and
 that the applicant cannot without unreasonable
 delay or expense obtain a duly authenticated copy
 of the record or of such portion thereof as the
 applicant requires, or that the production of the
 original is necessary for the purposes of justice.
 (3) Nothing contained in this rule shall be deemed
 to enable the Court to use in evidence any
 document which under the law of evidence would
 be inadmissible in the suit."

9. Appellants in their application disclosed the following facts :

1) That a First Information Report was lodged on 1.11.2003 against the

 defendants. The same was registered as Crime No.699/03.

2) The original partition deed dated 28.11.2002 was sent to the Director,

 Forensic Science Department along with appellant's admitted

 signatures by the Court of Judicial Magistrate, Sathyamangalam at the

 request of the Investigating Officer.

3) Plaintiffs have come to learn that a report of the expert was also filed

 therein in regard to the thumb impression of the appellants.
 7

10. In that view of the matter by the appellants, the learned Trial Judge,

in our opinion, committed a manifest error in holding that requisite

particulars have not been furnished.

11. Furthermore, the learned Trial Judge himself had allowed a similar

application so far as the opinion of the handwriting expert was concerned.

It is, therefore, difficult to comprehend as to on what basis a similar prayer

made by the appellant in regard to the opinion of the finger print expert

could be held to be not maintainable.

12. If bringing on record a document is essential for proving the case by a

party, ordinarily the same should not be refused; the Court's duty being to

find out the truth. The procedural mechanics necessary to arrive at a just

decision must be encouraged. We are not unmindful of the fact that the

court in the said process would not encourage any fishing enquiry. It would

also not assist a party in procuring a document which he should have

himself filed.

13. There cannot furthermore be any doubt that by calling for such

documents, the Court shall not bring about a situation whereby a criminal

proceeding would remain stayed as it is a well settled principle of law that
 8

where a Civil proceeding as also a Criminal proceeding is pending, the latter

shall get primacy.

 In Anil Behari Ghosh v. Smt. Latika Bala Dessi & Ors. [AIR 1955 SC

566], it is stated :

 "The learned counsel for the contesting respondent
 suggested that it had not been found by the lower
 appellate court as a fact upon the evidence
 adduced in this case, that Girish was the nearest
 agnate of the testator or that Charu had murdered
 his adoptive father, though these matters had been
 assumed as facts. The courts below have referred
 to good and reliable evidence in support of the
 finding that Girish was the nearest reversioner to
 the estate of the testator. If the will is a valid and
 genuine will, there is intestacy in respect of the
 interest created in favour of Charu if he was the
 murderer of the testator. On this question the
 courts below have assumed on the basis of the
 judgment of conviction and sentence passed by the
 High Court in the sessions trial that Charu was the
 murderer. Though that judgment is relevant only
 to show that there was such a trial resulting in the
 conviction and sentence of Charu to transportation
 for life, it is not evidence of the fact that Charu
 was the murderer. That question has to be decided
 on evidence."

 In Shanti Kumar Panda v. Shakuntala Devi [(2004) 1 SCC 438], this

Court held :
 9

 "(3) A decision by a criminal court does not bind
 the civil court while a decision by the civil court
 binds the criminal court. An order passed by the
 Executive Magistrate in proceedings under
 Sections 145/146 of the Code is an order by a
 criminal court and that too based on a summary
 enquiry. The order is entitled to respect and wait
 before the competent court at the interlocutory
 stage. At the stage of final adjudication of rights,
 which would be on the evidence adduced before
 the court, the order of the Magistrate is only one
 out of several pieces of evidence."

14. In a Civil Suit, a document has to be proved. The report of an expert

is also required to be brought on record in terms of the provisions of the

Indian Evidence Act. Having regard to the provisions contained in Order

XIII, Rule 8 of the Code, the Civil Court would furthermore be entitled to

substitute the original document by a certified copy. We, therefore, fail to

appreciate as to why the said original document could not be called for.

 We may notice that a Division Bench of the Calcutta High Court in

Union of India & Anr. v. The State & Anr. [1961 XLII ITR 753] held that a

document may also be called for from the authorities under the Income Tax

Act, stating :

 "Further, it may be pointed out that Order XIII,
 rule 10(I) of the Civil Procedure Code does not
 refer to a judicial proceeding. It refers to a suit or
 10

 proceeding. Even if the proceeding in connection
 with the issue of a search warrant under the
 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act be considered a
 non-judicial proceeding on the part of the
 Magistrate, such a non-judicial proceeding would
 still be within the scope of Order XIII, rule 10(1)
 of the Civil Procedure Code. In the circumstances,
 we cannot accept the contention of Mr. Dutta that
 as there was no proceeding before the Chief
 Presidency Magistrate the requisition no
 proceeding before the Chief Presidency Magistrate
 the requisition under Order XIII, rule 10 of the
 Civil Procedure Code made by the Income-tax
 Officer would not be a valid requisition."

 In Kailash v. Nanhku & Ors. [(2005) 4 SCC 480], this Court has

categorically held :

 "All the rules of procedure are the handmaid of
 justice. The language employed by the draftsman
 of processual law may be liberal or stringent, but
 the fact remains that the object of prescribing
 procedure is to advance the cause of justice. In an
 adversarial system, no party should ordinarily be
 denied the opportunity of participating in the
 process of justice dispensation. Unless compelled
 by express and specific language of the statute, the
 provisions of CPC or any other procedural
 enactment ought not to be construed in a manner
 which would leave the court helpless to meet
 extraordinary situations in the ends of justice."

 In Uday Shankar Triyar v. Ram Kalewar Prasad Singh & Anr. [(2006)

1 SCC 75], it was observed :
 11

 "17. Non-compliance with any procedural
 requirement relating to a pleading, memorandum
 of appeal or application or petition for relief
 should not entail automatic dismissal or rejection,
 unless the relevant statute or rule so mandates.
 Procedural defects and irregularities which are
 curable should not be allowed to defeat
 substantive rights or to cause injustice. Procedure,
 a hand-maiden to justice, should never be made a
 tool to deny justice or perpetuate injustice, by any
 oppressive or punitive use. The well recognized
 exceptions to this principle are :
 i) where the Statute prescribing the procedure,
 also prescribes specifically the consequence
 of non-compliance.
 ii) where the procedural defect is not rectified
 even after it is pointed out and due
 opportunity is given for rectifying it;
 iii) where the non-compliance or violation is
 proved to be deliberate or mischievous;
 iv) where the rectification of defect would
 affect the case on merits or will affect the
 jurisdiction of the court.
 v) in case of Memorandum of Appeal, there is
 complete absence of authority and the
 appeal is presented without the knowledge,
 consent and authority of the appellant."

15. In view of the aforementioned pronouncements, we are of the opinion

that the learned Trial Judge should have acceded to the prayer of the

appellants herein.
 12

16. The impugned judgment, therefore, cannot be sustained. It is set

aside accordingly. The appeal is allowed. No costs.

 .....................................J.
 [S.B. Sinha]

 .....................................J.
 [Dr. Mukundakam Sharma]New Delhi;
April 8, 2009

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