Interrogatories should not be based upon pre-determined mindset

Patna High Court- Deciding on a controversy over applicability of interrogatory, a bench of A.K Trivedi observed that interrogatories should always be guarded in a way to prevent misuse and should also be confined to the facts which are relevant to the matters in question in the suit. The Court also referred to Raj Narain v. Indira Gandhi, (1972) 3 SCC 850 wherein the Supreme Court held that questions that may be relevant during cross-examination are not necessarily relevant as interrogatories and the interrogatories served must have reasonably close connection with “matters in question”.   

In the instant case, the learned lower court had rejected the prayer made on behalf of the petitioner for interrogatories. Learned counsel for the petitioner contended that the lower court blatantly refused and that interrogatory if allowed would have shortened the cumbersome procedural law. Per contra the respondent contended that the lower court had rightly considered and opined that on account of absence of WS, it does not attract him to be served with an interrogatory.

While rejecting the petition, the Court stated that the importance as well as purpose of interrogatory has been found duly highlighted in numerous cases already decided. The Court after perusal of the facts of the instant case held that the questionnaire so formulated was not only fishing rather was based upon pre-determined mindset, and if allowed to answer it would have incriminated defendant 1. [Ram Pravesh Rai Estate (P) Ltd  v. Sri Rajesh Kumar Singh, 2016 SCC OnLine Pat 17, decided on 12.01.2016]

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