Caveat Petition Analysis Under Section 148A of the Civil Procedure Code
Caveat comes from the Latin word cavere, which means “warning” or “let him beware”. In essence, a caveat is an entry made in the court’s registry that prohibits a specific action from being taken without notifying the person issuing it in advance. Caveats are formal notifications that are served by the concerned party to the court or judge or to any other authorized officer in opposition to certain actions that might be implemented by them and could affect the interests of the former.
Caveats are governed by Section 148A of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), 1948. Caveats are not applicable to criminal proceedings, or petitions filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.
Significance of Section 148A:
Incorporating this provision is to protect the caveator, who might be accused or face legal action by the opponent. Furthermore, it avoids the necessity of a multiplicity of proceedings, which saves the court money and time.
Section 148A- Right to Lodge Caveat:
Section 148A states the following:
- The caveat may be filed by any person who claims the right to appear in court on the hearing of an application in a suit or proceeding before a court.
- As mentioned above, the caveator must serve a caveat notice on the person by whom the application has been made or will be made.
- If an application is filed in any suit or proceeding after the caveat is filed, the court must serve a notice to the caveator
- When an applicant receives a notice of caveat, he or she must provide the caveator with a copy of the application so made, as well as copies of any other documents he or she filed to support the application.
- Caveats are valid only for 90 days from the date of filing unless the application stated in subsection (1) has been filed before the expiry of the stated period.
Who Can File a Caveat?
Regardless of whether you are a party to the suit or not, you can only file a caveat if you claim the right to appear in court. In addition, a stranger to the suit cannot bring a suit, despite the fact that a third party can. When an individual learns about an application being filed, he or she can lodge a caveat.
Caveats cannot be lodged by a person who is interested in the interim relief for which the application has been filed. A copy of the caveat must also be filed by the caveator, or by the advocate acting on behalf of the caveator, and it must be entered into the caveat register in the format specified.
Where Can the Caveat Be Lodged?
Caveats can be filed with any civil court, appellate court, or tribunal exercising original jurisdiction.
What Happens When a Notice is Not Served To the Caveator?
When the court or applicant fails to serve the notice to the caveator, when it is supposed to be done, the order or decree is null and void.
Documents Required to File the Caveat:
- A caveat petition signed by the caveator. An advocate representing the caveator can sign the petition and attach the vakalatnama to the petition
- Caveats are recorded in the caveat register kept by the court, which mentions the date and number of the proceedings, in the prescribed form
- In the caveat petition, a copy of the application, proof of dispatch of notice, and a statement that a copy of the caveat petition has been mailed to the parties are to be attached
- An affidavit should be attached when filing a caveat in the High Court
- in addition to the prescribed court fee.