March 07, 2019

120-day deadline to file written statement mandatory in commercial suits


The proviso added to the Code of Civil Procedure by commercial courts, commercial division and commercial appellate division of the High Courts Act is mandatory, and no written statement can be taken on record in commercial suits if not filed within 120 days from the data of service of summons of the suit, the SC has ruled.

Special Leave Petitions (SCG Contracts India Pvt. Ltd. versus K.S. Chamankar Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.) against Delhi High Court orders allowing a written statement filed by the defendants even though 120 days had lapsed from the date of service of summons of this suit were being considered by a bench of Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice Vineet Saran.

The proviso reads: “Provided that where the defendant fails to file the written statement within the said period of thirty days, he shall be allowed to file the written statement on such other day, as may be specified by the Court, for reasons to be recorded in writing and on payment of such costs as the Court deems fit, but which shall not be later than one hundred twenty days from the date of service of summons and on expiry of one hundred twenty days from the date of service of summons, the defendant shall forfeit the right to file the written statement and the Court shall not allow the written statement to be taken on record.”

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