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This article is written by Shruti Singh from LLoyd Law College, Greater Noida.

Introduction

  • Meaning and definition

When the plaintiff on behalf of the claimant filed a suit for choosing the actual owner of the property then it is called an interpleader suit. When a Plaintiff is not in the direct possession of the property or thing, he files a suit. Petitioner has the indirect possession of the property. There is more than one defendant in this suit. Because in this suit more than one defendant can file the suit for the claim of property. When the actual owner of the property dies without transferring the property to anyone then the property transfer becomes the interpleader suit. Other than that the plaintiff may file a suit for the movable or immovable property to deliver the property to the defendant because more than one person has filed a suit for the claim of property. Debt is required in this suit or some amount of money for the dispute which is between two defendants. Defendants can claim some debt from another defendant of the property. Only the plaintiff is the one who cannot claim any cost and is also ready to deliver the property to the defendants. Interpleader is defined in Section 88 of the Civil Procedure Court

Examples

  1. Sanjeev has a 2 BHK flat in the co-operative colony. He has two wives. Because of some diseases, he caused to die. After his death, his wives claimed the property. The father of Sanjeev filed a suit in the court to decide the actual owner of the property.
  2. Akhil has 2 crores fix deposit. He has two wives and both wives have 1 child. Both of them claim the money for their child maintenance. The bank filed a suit in the court to know the order related to the real owner of the money for the maintenance of the child. 
  •  Res Judicata   

Res Judicata is the oldest law that is defined in the Civil Procedure Court under section 11. Res Judicata means the suit which has already got the judgment from the court. If any suit is filed under Res Judicata then the same subject-matter cannot filed as a new suit, in other form of law or any other court of law. If by mistake any case is filed in any other court of law which is already filed under Res Judicata then the judge can dismiss that petition directly without any further proceeding. 

  • Interpleader suit in CPC

Interpleader suit in C.P.C is defined in section 88 with order no XXXV. An interpleader suit means if any person claims any property of her husband or her parents and in case the owner of the property is dead without transferring the property, then the second owner has to claim the property from the bank or authority. After claiming for such property the bank or the authority has to file an interpleader suit in the court. Then the court will decide who will be the main owner of the property. In an interpleader suit, there were many defendants to claim the property. Plaintiff gets the monetary value for filing the suit in the court on behalf of the defendant. He is not liable for any damage.    

  • The Reinstitution of interpleader suit.

Where interpleader suit may be reinstituted and Power to state case for the opinion of the Court is defined under Section 88 and 90 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. When defendants blame each other for the claim of the same property, debt or sum of money from the plaintiff who is not in the direct possession of the property or debt and also he doesn’t claim interest and ready to deliver the property and he is ready to give the property to the claimant. The suit which is filed related to Res Judicata cannot be instituted in another court.   

  • The Object of filing interpleader suit.

The suit is filed when the object is to be claimed by the defendants. The claim of the suit gets adjudicated. The suit is filed when any person in any condition cause death and has left some of the property without transferring to other members of the family then that other family member has to claim the property or money from the bank and then the bank has to become claimant to file a suit in the court to decide whomever the property has to be transferred. This type of suit filed in the Res Judicata court. 

Interpleader suit and its condition

  • Conditions of Interpleader suit
  1. Debt, money, property either movable or immovable in the dispute.
  2. Two defendants are there in the suit.
  3. Both defendants can claim each other for the property or money.
  4. The person who has to pay the debt to the defendant is not valid for any interest. 
  5. The Claimant is willing to pay the debt, or some amount of money, or property to the defendant. 
  6. Suits are not pending in this.
  7. This suit cannot be filed twice if the judgment is given in Res judicata. 
  • Test of applicability 

The test of applicability is done during the suit when the pleading is going on. This test is done by a court of law, after this test they decide about the next owner of the property or money. This test is very important for the interpleader suit. Because in an interpleader suit one or more defendants are there. In a test of applicability, some questions are asked from the defendant during the pleading. 

  • Plaint in an interpleader suit

The Plaintiff is the person who only filed a suit in the court on behalf of defendants for the claim of property which is claimed by the different defendants. The Plaintiff has no direct possession of the property. He has an indirect possession of the property. But in this type of suit, the only plaint can file a suit. The defendant is not allowed to file a suit. 

Difference between 

Interpleader suit

Impleader suit

  1. The person who makes the interplea.

In an impleader, suit defendant files a lawsuit and brings the third party in his lawsuit who is not a part of the liability. 

 2.   There is a chance for a third party to enter into a lawsuit as their interest. 

Third-party is liable for the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant in the lawsuit. 

 3. Examples: A and B claim the property of her husband with C. C can sue A and B according to the interpleader suit in the court. A and B will litigate in court who owns the property. 

Example: A is the person who slips and falls in the owner’s house and caused an injury and then he sues the owner for his injury. 

 

 

 

Plaint in an interpleader suit

The plaintiff who sues the defendant cannot claim any interest in the subject matter in dispute in extra. They get charges or costs for the interpleader suit. There were many defendants in the interpleader suit to claim the debt or property. There is no collusion between the plaintiff and defendant. Only collusion between defendants. Where the plaintiff is capable of paid or is capable to place in the custody of the court the plaintiff has to pay or place it before he is entitled to any order in the suit. When the defendant sues the plaintiff in an interpleader suit in the same subject-matter in which the suit is already pending which is filed by the plaintiff. The proceeding will continue but against the plaintiff. 

How to file an interpleader suit?
  1.  The suit can only be filed by the plaintiff and the plaintiff can be a bank in any subject-matter of interpleader suit. No landlord can sue to his tenant or no family member can sue the defendant.
  2. All the things are kept in the custody of the court
  3. There were many defendants in the interpleader suit
  4. An Interpleader suit is filed in the subject-matter of debt, money, property, movable or immovable property. 
  5. The plaintiff from whom the property is claimed, must not claim other charges or cost who is ready to pay or deliver it to the rightful claimant. 
  • First hearing 

In the first hearing court involved in the proceedings to know the contention of the parties. In an interpleader suit plaintiff only is allowed to file a suit against the defendant when the defendant claims the debtor property from the plaintiff. Plaintiff is not in the direct possession of the property. He filed the suit on behalf of the defendant. After the suit is filed the plaintiff gets free from all liability of the suit. He gets the substantive relief. The plaintiff pays the court for the suit which is filed in the court. That amount never comes into dispute. After paying the court plaintiff gets free from all liability. Where the decision is given in favor of both parties then the opening of the packet becomes more important for the interest of both parties.     

  • Non-appearance of claimant

In any case, any party fails to come on the date of proceeding even his statement gets recorded already then also proceeding to get adjourned. He will be dismissed from the suit. And also his amount gets deducted. The plaintiff can raise an issue in case one of the parties fails to give the payment. 

  • Sub Rule 3

 Once suit proceeding has started with the provisions of rule 10 and rule 17 then the court can allow the amendment of the plaintiff by the inclusion of any property in the subject-matter of the suit and by adding certain parties in the suit as a defendant. According to rule 10 of orders, 1 says that if the suit is filed in the name of the wrong plaintiff and if the court doubted about the wrong plaintiff. The court can consider the mistake as a bonafide mistake in any stage of the trial. The court can add new parties in the suit as a plaintiff or defendant. 

  • Procedure where the defendant is suing the plaintiff 

When the defendant sues the plaintiff in the same subject-matter, even the previous suit is pending the other suit will be filed in the court and suit is against the plaintiff in the previous suit also. Cost may be the same as for the plaintiff which he has to pay to the court.

Who cannot file an interpleader suit?

Defendants cannot file the interpleader suit because defendants are the claimant who claims the property or debt from the plaintiff. The plaintiff is only allowed to file a suit in the court. And the plaintiff only pays the cost of the suit in the court. But defendants only litigate in court in the subject-matter. Defendants are free from all liability after filing the suit in the court. 

  • Interpleader suit by agents 

An Agent cannot file an interpleader suit against his owner or the party. He cannot even claim anything from the tenant and landlord. 

Case law:

  1. Smt. Mohan Devi V. SH. Gokal Chand And Anr

 Facts of the case:

The tenant filed a case against the landlord in court under an interpleader suit for threatening them to pay the rent of the house. But according to the tenant, he is paying the rent according to the date and time. Defendant 1 claimed that he lowers the rent as the rent is 250/- per month but he lowers the rent to 200/- per month. But after the relevant fact, it has been noticed that defendants tried to threaten the tenant to pay the rent. When the written statement is given by the defendant he admitted that tenant is paying 250/- per month. But according to order 33, rule 5 of CPC the suit is not maintainable. The RC and E officer observed that the tenant did not give any evidence related to his shop and it is clearly mentioned in the evidence that the tenant is not the owner of the shop and had let it out to one Alladia. He accordingly declared that the shop was vacant.

 

  • Interpleader suit by Railway Company

Railway company can file a suit against agent and third party under order 35 of rule 5.   

Case law:

  1. Chhaganlal Himatlal vs. the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway

Facts of the case:

The railway company has filed a suit in the interpleader suit against the agent and third party claiming consignor that the company is not an agent of the consignor. According to the provisions of the railway act, the company is in direct contract with the consignor for the carriage of goods. So the railway company has claimed that the company is not an agent of the consignor but they are in contract with the consignor for the carriage of goods. The court gives the decision that in virtue of Order XXXV, Rule 5 of the Civil Procedure Code, railway company is not competent to constitute an interpleader suit as it was an agent of the consignors.  

  • Interpleader suit by tenants 

No agents can sue their principles and no tenants can sue their landlords in the interpleader suit for compelling him to interplead with other person makes a claim related to the tenants through the landlord. If the other person is claiming the property with the old landlord who has no direct possession of the property and tried to ask for the rent with the tenant. Then tenant can file an interpleader suit. 

Case law

Neeraj Sharma vs. The District Sangpur Gram  

Facts of the case:

Shanti Devi who died in the year 1922 is the owner of the premises. After the death of the owner of the premises the petitioner, Neeraj Sharma claimed that he is the owner of the premises. The respondent takes the premises in dispute from Smt. Shanti Devi who is already dead. Then the petitioner filed a petition for the application for ejectment of the respondent society on the ground of non-payment of rent. After that, the petitioner filed a second petition based on the same ground. In judgment, the provisions of Order 35 Rule 5 of C.P.C are not applicable to the case because the plaintiff does not pointed out to anyone defendant to be his landlord.

  • Charge for plaintiff cost 

Where the thing claimed is capable of being paid into court or placed in the custody of the court, the plaintiff may be required to pay or place it before he can be entitled to any order in the suit. 

 

 Interpleader suitcases

 Rajan Sharma And Others vs Labh Singh And Others 6th may 2011

Facts of the case

The court finds no merit in the appeals. According to Order 35, Rule 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure, which prohibits the tenant to file a suit against his landlord for the purpose of compelling him to interplead  with any person other than making claim through such landlord. 

Car and Universal Finance Company Limited v. Caldwell

Facts of the cases:

The respondent is the owner of the Jaguar car. The third person has forced Mr. Caldwell to sell the car for a cheque amount of 965 dollars and a deposit of 10 dollars. Respondent agrees to sell the car and he sold the car and got the cheque and when he tried to convert the cheque into cash. The cheques got dishonoured. The respondent goes to the police about the whole incident and also informed this incident to the Automobile Association. The respondent told that Mr. Norris has sold the car to different dealers. The judgment is given by the high court. The court said that the contract was validly rescinded. It was so without communication, but through an unequivocal act of election, demonstrating Caldwell no longer wishes to be bound.

Facts of the case

The first has deposited the money of Rs 2000 in the bank in his savings account. After that, he fulfilled the form of the bank to recover the amount of money he deposited in the bank in his savings account. But his brother the second defendant has given notice to the bank that the money should not be recovered of the 1st defendant because that money is the share of the family members also. Then the suit has been filed by the bank against the defendant’s related to the debt. The council dismissed the petition saying that Interpleader Suit is not maintainable and the second ground for dismissal of petition is in regard to this deposit the relationship between the bank and the first defendant was that of principal and agent.

Facts of the case

The petitioner has filed a suit against the respondent. But the case gets dismissed by the civil judge. Then the third petitioner has filed a case against petitioner to recover the rent along with the profit He filed an interpleader suit. In the judgment of this case the judge dismissed the application of the petitioner under Order 35 Rule 5 of CPC. 

Facts of the case

The respondent has filed a suit against the petitioner than again petitioner has filed an interpleader suit against the respondent. Shanti Devi who died in the year 1922 is the owner of the premises. After the death of the owner of the premises the petitioner, Neeraj Sharma claimed that he is the owner of the premises. The respondent takes the premises in dispute from Smt. Shanti Devi who is already dead. Then the petitioner filed a petition for the application for ejectment of the respondent society on the ground of non-payment of rent. After that, the petitioner filed a second petition based on the same ground. The Provisions of Order 35 Rule 5 C.P.C is not applicable in the case.

Facts of the case:

This is related to tax. The petitioner has the factory in which he manufactures the vehicles in the state of Maharashtra and the state of Rajasthan. The petitioner claimed that he has regional offices where his vehicles all governmental works are done related to tax and many more. The tax law came into question. The judgment held that:

  1. Section 6A does not create conclusive presumption as contended on behalf of the assessee.
  2. The order of assessing authority is accepting form F and passed during the assessment at any point.
  3. Its amenability to the power of reopening and revision depends upon the provisions of the concerned sales tax enactments by virtue of the operation of section 9(2) of the Central Act.
  4.  It is not possible to accept that an order under Section 6A(2) has an independent existence.
  5. An order refusing to accept Form F may or may not be applicable independently depending upon the provisions of the sales tax enactments, but it is certainly capable of being questioned if an appeal is preferred against the order of assessment.
  6. If orders accepting Form F are sought to be reopened, it can be done as part of the reopening of assessment or may be done independently, which would depend upon the language of the relevant provisions of the concerned State Acts.

 Interpleader suit format 

In the court of Civil Judge at Delhi 

                                                   Suit no. …………../19 …………

  1. Rajan Sharma 

New Delhi, Janakpuri                                                                …………………….. Plaintiff 

  1. Labh Singh

     New Delhi, Saket                                                               …………………. Respondent 

  1. Labh Singh

     New Delhi,                                                                      ……………………..Respondent

                                                  Plaint under Order 35 Rule 1 

The plaintiff respectfully states as follows;

 (Matter of Rent Restriction)

  1. Petitioner is the tenant of the shop 
  2. Respondents 1 and 2 are the owner of the shop

  (Facts constituting a cause of action)

  1. Respondent 1 and 2 have submitted that the interpleader suit filed by the petitioner is not maintainable.  
  2. Filed a petition for ejectment on the ground of personal necessity.
  3. Petitioner agreed to deposit the rent to the court. 
  4. The respondent no 1 and 2 have accepted this demand of petitioner of giving rent to the court. 

   According to Order 35, rule 5

  1. The tenant has the right to file a suit against all the owners of the shop.
  2.   The respondent’s suit is maintainable and has action. 
  3.   Counsel for the petitioner is not applicable. 
  4.   The suit is against the owner of the shop.
  5.   The tenant cannot file a suit against the landlord. 

                                                         Jurisdiction

Tenant is not applicable to the suit.

The tenant cannot file a suit against landlord according to rule 35

The relief claimed: the plaintiff prays that

No relief claimed because this case gets dismissed because the tenant cannot file a suit against the landlord.

 

  Place: ………………………..                                                         Signature of the plaintiff 

Plaintiff                                                                                                             Advocate for

 

                                                            Verification 

I,………….., verify that content from 1 to the last para is valid and correct according to my knowledge and belief and is concealed there. 

 

Signature 

Plaintiff 

      

Interpleader suit in the USA 

The plaintiff has to deny his claim to the res for the avail of interpleader remedy. But this rule is removed from the jurisdiction of interpleader suit. If claimant claims for the property of his member who already died to the beneficiary. But if the beneficiary proves that the owner dead is a suicide than the claim of the claimant denies. The claimant has to prove in the court that the owner of the property dies with the accident, not died as suicide.  According to the U.S.A jurisdiction, there are two types of interpleader actions. 

Interpleader governed by 28 U.S.C. and 1335 which allows an individual with a stake which is, or maybe, claimed by two or more adverse claimants, to interplead those claimants and bring them into a singular action. Title 28 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) is the portion of the United States Code (federal statutory law) that governs the federal judicial system and U.S. Code 1335 provides for interpleader suit according to which The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action of interpleader or in the nature of interpleader filed by any person, firm, or corporation, association, or society having in his or its custody or possession money or property of the value of $500 or more, or having issued a note, bond, certificate, policy of insurance, or other instrument of value or amount of $500 or more, or providing for the delivery or payment or the loan of money or property of such amount or value, or being under any obligation written or unwritten to the amount of $500 or more.

Section 88 of the order no 35 of the C.P.C under Indian law specify that quantum of the property against the title of the interpleader suit. 

While according to the U.S law 1335 provides the money or value of the property is having a note, bond, certificate, policy of insurance. 

In the Indian Law, there were no types of interpleader suit but in the U.S law, there were types of interpleader suit. 

Conclusion

At last, I would conclude my topic by saying that interpleader suit means the suit which was filed by the plaintiff on behalf of defendants because the actual owner of the property or debt dies and plaintiff who is in the indirect possession of the property can file a suit on behalf of defendants, who claim for the ownership of the property. Because this has one more than the defendant. There is a collusion between defendants. Defendants only litigate in court in front of judges. Plaintiff has no direct possession of the property he is only there to sue in court to decide who will be the actual owner of the property or debt. He is liable for the amount of money for the suit filed. An interpleader suit is defined in the Civil Procedure Court. Interpleader suit can only be file under Res Judicata. This suit cannot be reviewed in any other court of law. This suit once reviewed in the court of law then it cannot be reviewed twice.  

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