Kerala High Court Emphasizes Importance of Specific pleadings in Writ Petitions

LI Network

Published on: November 11, 2023 at 12:15 IST

The Kerala High Court, in a recent ruling, emphasized the necessity of including specific averments against parties while filing a writ petition and stressed that impleadment applications filed later cannot remedy the lack of such details.

The Division Bench, comprising Justice Anil K. Narendran and Justice G. Girish, dismissed a writ petition for lacking specific averments aligning with the sought reliefs and failing to include necessary parties in the initial array.

The court held that a mere application for impleadment after filing the writ petition would not suffice. The case involved devotees of Thrippapoor Major Sree Mahadevar Temple raising allegations of financial irregularities against the Temple Advisory Committee.

A previous writ petition on the matter was disposed of with a direction for a Chief Vigilance and Security Officer enquiry.

The present writ petition sought two reliefs: an audit of the Temple Advisory Committee’s accounts and a directive to the Travancore Devaswom Board to act on the Chief Vigilance and Security Officer’s report.

However, the Temple Advisory Committee and its office bearers were not initially included as parties and were added later through an impleadment application.

Referring to Rule 148 of the Rules of High Court of Kerala, 1971, the court highlighted that all directly affected persons should be made parties to a petition.

It cited the principle that facts and evidence must be pleaded in the petition or counter-affidavit, as stated in Bharat Singh v. State of Haryana (1998).

The court also referenced M/s. Larsen and Toubro Ltd. v. State of Gujarat (1998), emphasizing the importance of specific averments for raising issues.

The court noted that pleadings enable courts to decide the parties’ rights, and incomplete pleadings may lead to the dismissal of petitions.

It underscored that reliefs not based on pleadings cannot be granted. The second relief sought in this case, directing the Travancore Devaswom Board, was deemed inappropriate as the report implicated parties not included in the initial array.

In conclusion, the court dismissed the writ petition, emphasizing the need for meticulous pleadings and the inclusion of all necessary parties from the outset.

Case Title: Gopakumar P. v Travancore Devaswom Board

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