Q. Sunil Sues Amit and Manish for Rs. 10,000. In the same suit Amit claims set off of a debt of Rs. 3,000 due to him alone by Sunil. Will Amit succeed in his claim of set off? Give reasons. Sail (Steel Authority of India) Law Officer Exam. 2006 (Based on memory).
Ans: No, Amit will not succeed in his claim of set off.
Reasons: This problem is based on Order 8, Rule 6 of Civil Procedure Code which incorporates the provisions relating to set off in a money suit.
According to Rule 6 of Order 8 one of the essential conditions for the application of rule of set off is that amount claiming to be set off must be legally recoverable by all the defendants if more than one.
In the present problem there are two defendants (more than one) namely Amit and Manish but set off is claimed by only one defendant namely Amit because there is a debt of Rs. 300 due to him alone by Sunil.
Thus, in the given problem doctrine of set off will not apply in view of provisions made in Rule 6 of Order 8 because sum of money claimed to be set off is not recoverable by both the defendants from plaintiff which is essential in case of more than one defendant.
It is notable that facts of this problem have been taken from Illustration (g) attached to Rule 6 of Order 8 which reads as follows—“’A’ sues ‘B’ and ‘C’ for Rs. 1,000. ‘B’ cannot set off a debt due to him alone by ‘A’”.