The term "caveat
" originates from the Latin word "cavere," which means "warning"
or "let him beware." Essentially, a caveat is a provision that prevents someone
from taking a specific action without prior notice to the person who issued the
caveat. A caveat petition is an official notice served by a party to the court,
judge, or authorized officer. It opposes certain actions that could potentially
impact the interests of the party issuing the petition.
A caveat petition is a precautionary measure taken by someone when they believe
that a case might be filed against them. It ensures that their interests are not
adversely affected if an order is passed without allowing them to present their
side of the story.
The Civil Procedure Code (CPC), 1908 includes a provision called Section 148A
that allows for the use of a caveat. It's important to note that caveats are
only applicable in civil proceedings and not in criminal proceedings or
petitions filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.
In the Indian Supreme Court, a "caveat" is a legal notice filed by an interested
party to ensure they are given the chance to be heard before any orders or
judgments are made in a specific case. If a person or organization anticipates
that a case that affects their interests may be filed, they can file a caveat to
notify the court and request to be informed and heard before any decisions are
Caveats in the Supreme Court of India are filed under Order XL Rule 1 of the
Supreme Court Rules, 2013. This rule specifically deals with the filing
procedure and requirements for caveats in the Supreme Court. It provides
detailed instructions on how to file a caveat and the conditions that must be
met for it to be accepted.
If you wish to file a caveat in the Supreme Court to safeguard your interests
and make sure that your voice is heard before any orders or judgments are made
in a particular case, it is crucial to follow the procedures and requirements
detailed in Order XL Rule 1 of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013. This involves
submitting the required information and documents along with paying the
applicable fees, if necessary, for filing the caveat.
Section 148A of the CPC
If someone believes that they have the right to appear in court for a specific
application or proceeding, they can file a caveat. A caveat is filed when there
is an expected or ongoing court case, and a person wants to claim their right to
be part of it.
The person submitting the application or expected to submit it must receive a
caveat notice from the caveator, as mentioned earlier.
After the caveat is filed, the court must notify the caveator if any application
is submitted in a lawsuit or legal proceeding.
Once an applicant receives a notice of caveat, they must provide the caveator
with a copy of the application and any other relevant legal documents that
support their case.
The validity of a caveat lasts for 90 days from the filing date. However, this
timeframe can be extended if the application mentioned in subsection (1) is
initiated before the 90-day period expires.
Objective of Caveat
The primary aim of filing a caveat is to avoid exparte orders, which are court
orders made without hearing the opposing party. When someone or an entity files
a caveat, they essentially request that the court refrain from making any
decisions in a specific case without giving them a chance to present their
Caveats are often used when there is a possibility of a legal dispute, and the
party submitting the caveat wants to safeguard their interests. This ensures
that they won't be disadvantaged by a decision made without their involvement.
Once a caveat is filed, if a relevant case is brought before the Supreme Court,
the court must inform the party who submitted the caveat (also known as the
caveator) and provide them with an opportunity to present their side in the
The purpose of including this provision is to safeguard the caveator's interests
in case they face any accusations or legal actions from the opponent.
Furthermore, this provision helps reduce the burden on the court by avoiding
multiple proceedings and minimizing costs and inconveniences.
Persons eligible to file a Caveat
Individuals who have standing in court, whether they are directly involved in
the case or not, can file a caveat. It is important to clarify that while a
third party can submit the application, someone completely unrelated to the case
cannot avail of this option. Once informed about an impending application, any
person with the right to appear before the court is entitled to lodge a caveat.
On the other hand, if someone is seeking interim relief related to the
application, they are not allowed to submit a caveat. The caveator, or their
representative advocate, must file the caveat along with a duly registered copy
of it in the specified format in the caveat register.
Court where Caveat is to be filed
A caveat can be filed in any civil court, appellate court, or tribunal that has
original jurisdiction. When someone anticipates legal action against them in the
future, they can file a caveat petition in a Civil Court of original
jurisdiction, Appellate Court, High Court, or Supreme Court. Civil Courts
encompass Small Causes Courts, Tribunals, Forums, and Commissions.
Result of Notice being Not Served to the Caveator
If the court or applicant fails to serve the notice to the caveator when
required, the order or decree that has been passed becomes null and void.
Documents Required for filing the Caveat
To file a caveat in court, there are certain steps to be followed: The
petitioner or their advocate should sign the petition and attach the vakalatnama.
The caveat should be recorded in the designated form in the caveat register,
which includes the date and proceeding number. Along with filing the caveat, a
copy of the application along with proof of dispatch of notice to relevant
parties should be attached. If filing in a High Court or Supreme Court, an
affidavit must also be submitted with the petition. The prescribed court fee for
that specific court needs to be paid.
Procedure of filing a caveat
To file a caveat petition, you need to fill out a specific form which includes
the name of the court where you're filing the petition. If there's already a
suit, petition, or appeal filed, you should include its number along with your
personal information as the petitioner. Also, provide the name and address of
the opposing party and a detailed description of the matter for which you're
filing the caveat petition.
In case of an appeal or writ petition, attach a copy
of the decision against which you believe the opposing party might file an
appeal or writ. Along with this, include one copy of a Vakalatnama. Once you've
filed the caveat petition in court, it's important to serve notice to the
opposing party via registered post. The specific costs associated with filing a
caveat may vary between courts but are generally below INR 100.
A caveat is a legal petition filed by one party to notify the court that if the
opposing party initiates any legal proceedings, they should inform the party who
filed the caveat. This ensures that no ex parte orders or judgments are made
without notifying the caveator. According to Section 148A of the Code of Civil
Procedure, failing to notify the caveator before issuing an order or judgment
renders it void. Only individuals involved in the legal proceedings can file a
This rule is outlined in Section 148A of the Code, which defines the
rights and responsibilities of the caveator, applicant, and court in
sub-sections (2), (3), and (4). To ensure the effectiveness of Section 148A, it
is crucial to adhere to the rules stated in these sections. One mandatory
requirement is for the court to hear the caveator's petition before issuing any
interim order against them. The caveat petition remains valid for a period of 90
days from its filing, after which it can be renewed by the caveator if
Written By: Md.Imran Wahab
, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9836576565