• Hon’ble Supreme Court in a case of “Gurcharan Singh vs. Surjit Singh & Anr.” [I.A. No. 2 to 6, in Special Leave Petition (C) No. 7735 of 2010, application decided on 2nd Nov. 2012] has held that

    where a party has  been impleaded as respondent in an appeal but such  respondent  was  dead  before filing of the appeal, the  remedy  of  the  appellant  is  not  to  file  an application for substitution of legal representatives  of  such  respondent, but to file an application for an amendment of the appeal memorandum and  in a case where such application for amendment is filed beyond  the  limitation prescribed  for  filing  the  appeal,  the  appellant  must  also  file   an application under Section 5 of the Limitation Act for condonation  of  delay in filing the application for amendment and if the Court is  satisfied  with the explanation given by the appellant for the delay, the Court can  condone the delay and allow the amendment of the appeal memorandum.” [Para No. 6]

    SC observed that:

    Order XVI of the Supreme Court Rules, 1966 is titled “Appeals by Special Leave”.  Rules 8 and 9 in Order XVI which provide for substitution and addition of parties are extracted hereinbelow:

    “8. Where any person is sought to be impleaded in the petition as the legal representative of any party to the proceedings in the Court below, the petition shall contain a prayer for bringing on record such  person  as  the  legal  representative  and  shall  be  supported by an affidavit setting out the facts showing him  to  be the proper person to  be  entered  on  the  record  as  such  legal representative.

    9.  Where at any time  between  the  filing  of  the  petition  for special leave to appeal and the hearing thereof the record  becomes  defective by reason of the death or change of status of a party  to the appeal or for any other reason, an application shall be made to  the Court stating who is the proper person  to  be  substituted  or entered on the record in place of or in addition to  the  party  on record.  Provisions contained in rule 33 of Order XV shall apply to the hearing of such applications.”

    Considering the authorities discussed above, the  aforesaid  provisions  of Order XVI Rules 8 and 9 will apply where  at  the  time  of  filing  of  the Special Leave Petition, the respondent was alive and  after  the  filing  of the Special Leave Petition  his  legal  representatives  are  sought  to  be substituted, but will not apply where  the  respondent  was  dead  when  the Special Leave Petition was filed.  Where the respondent was  dead  when  the Special Leave Petition  was  filed,  the  Court  can,  in  the  interest  of justice, allow an application for amendment of the  Special  Leave  Petition and condone the delay in filing such an application  for amendment  if  the delay is satisfactorily explained. [Para 7]