Admissions can be enforced against a party to the suit only in conjunction with the attached reciprocal conditions.

The Hon’ble Calcutta High Court in a recent judgement held that while deciding an Application for Decree on admission under Order XII Rule 6 of the CPC, an admission made by the Defendant must be enforced against the Defendant only with the conditions which are attached to the admission.


  1. The Plaintiffs had filed an application under Order XII Rule 6 of the CPC for a Decree on an alleged admission made by the Defendant in the Minutes of Meeting held after the filing of the suit where negotiations had taken place between the parties for the rate at which the Defendant was to compensate the Plaintiffs.
  2. The application was filed on the basis of the Minutes of Meeting between the parties held on 1st October 2022 wherein the Defendant had acknowledged that a sum of Rs.16,01,89,691/- is payable in three equal instalments by the Defendant upon withdrawal of the suit on account various heads such as arrears of rent, mesne profits, maintenance, car parking charges and GST from 1st October 2015 till the date of the meeting held on 1st October 2020.
  3. It was the contention of the Plaintiffs that the admission on the part of the Defendant as to the liability of the Defendant was unequivocal and a severable promise as opposed to a reciprocal promise and is independent and unconditional.
  4. It was argued on behalf of the Defendant that the Minutes of Meeting did not contain an unequivocal and unconditional admission. It was contended that in fact the minutes record a mutual agreement containing inseverable and reciprocal obligations between the parties to resolve all disputes by way of an out of court settlement.
  5. During the course of the argument the Plaintiffs have relied on the admission on the part of the Defendant as recorded in the Minutes of Meeting and have sought a judgement on that basis. Whereas, the Defendant had contended that the alleged admission, if at all, was one half of the reciprocal promises made by the parties and cannot result in a judgement until and unless the Plaintiffs perform their part of the promise.
  6. While deciding the matter, the Calcutta High Court held that having failed to withdraw the suit filed by the Plaintiffs and having resiled from the agreed terms the Plaintiffs cannot now seek to enforce only one of the reciprocal promises which is advantages to the Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs had admittedly kept the suit and all other applications pending for seeking various reliefs against the Defendant. The Plaintiffs cannot rewrite the minutes or interpret the minutes in a manner which would clearly be inconsistent with the understanding of the parties of the agreed terms on the date when the minutes were signed. The Plaintiffs and the Defendant would have to be confined within the contours of the agreed terms and seek such reliefs which are in consonance with the agreed terms.
  7. The High Court further held that the statutory premise of Order XII Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure “Judgement on Admissions” is that a party making an admission of fact in a pleading or otherwise, whether in an oral or written form will be held to it on the application of the other party or the court on its own motion. The admission so made may be transformed to an order or judgement of the court subject to its discretionary considerations and solely confined to such admission. The precondition to a judgement being pronounced on the admission made by a party is that the admission must be capable of standing on its own and sustain its life and form even when taken out of context. In other words, the admission, relied on by the party, who seeks to enforce it against the party which made the admission, must not be emasculated when pulled out of its surrounding circumstances. The admission used for pronouncing judgments must be unequivocal, independent and unconditional. It cannot be an admission which would fulfil the aforesaid conditions only when placed in conjunction with other conditions closely intertwined with the admission. Since Order XII Rule 6 empowers the Court to pronounce judgements on the admission without waiting for the termination of the other questions between the parties, true to the spirit in which it has been used in the code.
  8. The High Court held that in the case at hand, admission made on behalf of the Defendant with regard to the amount payable by the Defendant to the Plaintiffs becomes unmistakeably deflated without the corresponding obligation of the Plaintiffs to withdraw the suit will stop this is all the more so when the payment was to be made only after withdrawal of the suit. Hence, given the legislative intent behind Order XII Rule 6 of the CPC, the admission of the Defendant becomes conditional and one half of reciprocal promise in the absence of the Plaintiffs failing to withdraw the suit. The court further held that the admission must then be enforced as against the Defendant in conjunction with the conditions which are attached to the admission. Both the conditions form the crux of the minutes of the meeting and the parties must hence be directed to act in accordance with the terms which were mutually agreed by them1.

By - Chaitanyaa Bhandarka

  1. High Court of Calcutta Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction, Order dated 3rd November 2022 in IA No. GA/16/2021 in CS 114 of 2016