Characteristics of Inter-Pleader Suit – Code of Civil Procedure

1) the plaintiff does not claim any interest in it except the charges, or costs and is ready to pay or deliver it to the right claimant;

2) there must be some debt, sum of money or other property movable or immovable in disputes;

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3) two or more persons must be claiming it adversely to one another;

4) There must be no suit pending in which the right of the rival claimants can be properly decided.

Procedure:

‘The plaintiff who seeks to file an interpleader suit shall satisfy the following conditions laid down by Order 35 of C.P.C.:

(i) The Plaintiff shall state that he has no interest in the subject matter in dispute other than the charges or costs;

(ii) The claims made by the defendants severally; and

(iii) There is no collusion between the plaintiff and any of the defendants.

While the inter-pleader suit in progress, if any of the defendants files a suit against the Plaintiff, that suit shall be stayed under Sec. 10 of C.P.C. “Res – Subjudice”.

The Court may order the Plaintiff to place the thing claimed in the custody of the Court and provide his costs by giving him a charge on the thing claimed.

Another characteristic feature of inter-pleader suit is that at the first hearing, the Court may declare that the plaintiff is discharged from all liability, award him his costs and dismiss him from the suit, unless the justice or convenience so requires his presence.

Exceptions to inter-pleader suit:-According to Rule 5 of Order 35, Section 88 of C.P.C., the following persons cannot file inter-pleader suit namely-

(i) An agent cannot sue his principal;

(ii) A tenant cannot sue his landlord.

Ex:

A deposits a box of Jewels with B as his agent. He then writes to C for the purpose of making the Jewels a security for a debt due from himself to C. A afterwards alleges that C’s debt is satisfied, and C alleges the contrary. Both claim the Jewels from B. B may institute an inter-pleader suit against A and C.

Note:

This illustration explains when an inter-pleader suit can be filed. Here C claims through A therefore, B is justified in filing inter-pleader suit under Section 88 C.P.C.