Difference between Caveat Petition and Legal Notice

It Caveat petition is explained under Section 148A of Civil Procedure Code, 1908. Caveat petition is defined as the precautionary measure taken by an individual who holds a great fear or nervousness that some of the other cases against him or her are going to be filed in the court of law related to any manner. The caveat is generally a Latin phrase which means ‘let a person beware’. In law, it is a formal notice where the person is always intimated before any legal actions are taken against him or her. By doing this, the caveator is ensuring that the court will hold a reasonable hearing before taking any decisions on any case brought against him/her.

Whereas, a legal notice is filed under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and it is filed only in civil cases. All legal action can be taken only after the notice has been served upon the entity who wishes to take to court. It is only this process that legalizes getting a matter to court. The notice sent is known as a legal notice. So, legal notice is an official communication to a person or an entity, informing the other party’s intention to undertake legal proceedings against them.

Filing Caveat Petition and Legal Notice

Caveat petition can be filed by any individual claiming a right to appear before the court, where an application is anticipated to be made, where an application is already made, in a suit or the proceeding instituted, in a suit or proceeding which is going to be instituted.

A legal notice contains information such as detailed statements and facts related to the grievance for which the action needs to be taken, alternatives or relief sought by the grieving party, and how the relief or problem in hand can be solved, a summary of facts and how they can be solved.

Duties of the Legal Body

Once the court accepts the caveat petition, the caveator is informed when a case is filed. According to law, “the Court shall serve the notice of the application on the Caveator (person initiating caveat petition)”, which makes it compulsory not discretionary.

The court can serve a notice of the caveat through registered post acknowledgement due on the individual by whom the application has been made, and on the individual by whom the application is expected to be made. The caveat notice is served on the applicant. He or she can then furnish the caveat expenses, with an application copy made by him or her along with copies of any supporting documents or papers.

A legal notice is generally a simple document but it requires a lot of exactness and accuracy and use of correct language to ensure the message sent across is perfect. A lawyer or a legal expert can help in putting forth the legal notice as per the prevailing law and wording it as per the necessity of the particular issue. A legal notice is drafted with the issue, the relief sought and the exact period to solve the issue. It is addressed and sent to the other party through registered post.

Legal Notice can also be sent personally. One can always draft a legal notice and approve it before sending it to the other party.  It is necessary to do the citing of law under which the claim is raised. This is due to the importance of the wording in legal notice when the case reaches the court.

Information Included

The caveat petition should consist of the information such as-

1)   Name of the court

2)   The suit or petition or appeal no. if existing

3)   Name of the caveator

4)   Details of suit or appeal

5)   Names of possible appellants or plaintiffs

6)   Address of the Caveator

7) Other parties’ addresses to where the notice of the caveat  has been sent by RPAD

The Caveat Petition filed will only be valid for 90 days. The petition will not remain in force after ninety days.

The legal notice must mention the below points:

  1. Name of the parties
  2. Facts and grievances caused to the sender
  3. Compensation
  4. Signature and stamp of the lawyer (who is sending the legal notice on behalf of the client)

Caveat Petition and Legal Notice

In India, lawyers consider legal notices as essential legal documents as they can prepare the way for negotiations and settling disputes between the parties.

The caveat is mostly a boon for the public. This is because it rarely shares any distressing or disturbing rule to people or the system. As explained above The whole purpose of caveat is to secure the interest of the caveator. The rules don’t allow him or her to misuse the rights given to them. One can file a caveat only when he or she opposes the application and not when they favour the same. This is one of the disadvantages of the caveator. Also, a person will not be permitted to file a caveat if he is new to the proceedings. Section 148-A applies to trial court only and does not apply to the appellate court which might be considered the only biggest bane to the caveator.

Hence, the caveat petition practices are in support of a caveator’s interest. It also helps the court in saving money and time from multiple hearings. This is both cost-saving and convenient for the legal body.

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