When amendment of Pleadings can be allowed in CPC
Amendment of Pleadings:
The court may at any stage of the proceedings allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings in such manners and on such terms as may be just, and all such amendments shall be made as may be necessary for the purpose of determining the real question in controversy between the parties.
All rules of court are intended to secure the proper administration of justice and should be subordinate to that purpose, so that full power of amendment must be enjoyed and should always be liberally exercised. (PLD 1985 S.C 345)
Power is discretionary:
The power to permit amendment is discretionary with the court and discretion is to be exercised in accordance with judicial principles, which are, that multiplicity of suits should be avoided and that permission to amend should be granted to further the ends of justice and that interests of substantial justice should be advanced.
Amendment where allowed:
Amendment should be allowed where there has been a clerical error or a bona fide wrong description of property, or where there has been mistake of law or fact or a legal plea is sought to be raised which will go to the root of case or a description of party etc.
Amendment where not allowed
Amendment will not be allowed where its effect would be to convert the character of the suit i.e., the fundamental character the suit should not be altered where the nature of the suit would not be changed, amendment should be permitted.
As a general rule amendment will not be allowed where it will work injustice to any and as such it will be allowed where it can be made without injustice to the other side. An amendment will work injustice if it will result in taking away a right accrued by lapse of time. Similarly defendant who has in the written statement admitted fact, cannot by amendment by allowed to make out a new case by denying the facts.
Where no injustice will be caused, the court may at stage of the suit allow the plaint to be amended by permitting an alteration in the relief claimed, as this does not ordinarily change the character or substance of the suit. (1995 SCMR 69).
The amendment will be allowed where the relief has been inadvertently left out but will be refused where the omission was deliberate.
New cause of action:
A plaintiff cannot be allowed to substitute by amendment of pleadings a new cause of action for the original cause of action, and for this purpose substantial nature of the claim has to be looked into. For instance, a suit for declaration of ownership will not be allowed to be changed into one for the specific performance of the contract, or vice verse.
Real matter in controversy:
An amendment is allowed in order to determine the real question in controversy i.e., such question as arise after the parties have joined issues, and not any matter which the defendant might want to urge after the written statement has been filed ordinarily permission win be refused if it will not help the plaintiff in substantiating his claim or the defendant in supporting his defence as for instance, where a permission is sought to raise a claim or defence which is untenable in law.
At any stage
Amendment can be allowed at any stage by the court before the passing of the final decree. An amendment will relate back to the date when the pleadings were initially filed unless an entirely new subject matter is added. It can even be allowed by the first or second appellate court or in revision or even in appeal before the Supreme Court (2003 SCMR 379).
An appeal does not lie against an order granting or refusing permission to amend. As the order u/r 17 is discretionary so an appellate court having an appeal against the decree, will ordinarily not interfere with the exercise of such discretion.