Madras High Court: Inadvertent Affidavit Errors Not Fraud To Vitiate Orders.

The Madras High Court has held that inadvertent errors made on an affidavit will not serve as ground to vitiate orders for fraud. The same was observed in an order passed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar.

A petition had been filed before the First Bench to recall an order passed in last February in an earlier petition by one Dr. V Ganeshan against commercial construction on what was contended to be earmarked as  residential areas. The court had disposed off this petition after the Chennai Corporation undertook to conduct an inspection on the site complained of and take appropriate action as per its findings.

However, the recall petitioners in the instant case approached the Court again, praying for the recall of this order on grounds that Ganeshan had not placed correct facts before the court in his affidavit.

It was pointed out that Ganeshan had submitted that the disputed area was a residential zone, whereas it actually was a mixed residential zone.  Relying on the cases of United India Insurance Co Ltd v Rajendra Singh and Ors and AV PappayaSastry and Ors Vs. Govt of AP and Ors, it was contended that the same amounted to fraud, thereby vitiating the impugned order.

The Court reiterated that the principle that a judgment would be vitiated if it had been obtained by fraud is an indisputable legal proposition. However, it went on to hold that the facts of this casedefinitely do not qualify as fraud.

It had been submitted that the area in question was in fact a residential zone when Ganeshan purchased his property. He was not aware of the fact that the area had become a mixed residential zone thereafter at the time of filing his affidavit.

Further, the Court observed that the order that was sought to be recalled is innocuous. The recall petitioners were facing several proceedings initiated by the Corporation based on their findings, including proceedings initiated before the impugned order was passed.

The recall petition was therefore dismissed, holding that,

We find absolutely no scope for entertaining this recall petition in the light of our narrative supra. We are also of the considered view, owing to all that we have stated supra, that the recall petition is bereft of merits. This recall petition fails and the same is dismissed.”


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