Q. Whether a defendant can file counter claim against a co-defendant ? What procedure should be adopted by the Court in case counter claim against a co- defendant is filed ? [MPCJ2014]

Ans. The provision relating to filing of the counter claim is contained in Order VIII -Rule 6A to 6G of the CPC. It shows that a counter claim can be filed regarding a cause of action accruing to defendant against the plaintiff. In this entire scheme, no provision is made for permitting a counter claim by a defendant against his co- defendant. Hence, a defendant cannot file a counter claim against a co-defendant.

However, it is relevant to mention that the Hon’ble Supreme Court in case of Rohit Singh and others versus State of Bihar, (2006) 12 SCC 734 has held that a counter claim has necessarily to be directed against the plaintiff in the suit, though incidentally or along with it may also claim the relief against the co- defendant in the suit.

Accordingly, the defendant has no independent right to maintain counter-claim against a co-defendant. Hence, if such counter claim is filed, then court may reject it by following the principle of the rejection of the plaint.