In the case of Biraji @ Brijraji & Anr. v. Surya Pratap & Ors1 ., the Supreme Court of India held that, in the absence of pleadings submitted at the appropriate stage within the stipulated time, any amount of evidence submitted later on, will not be taken into consideration by the Court.

In this case, the validity of an adoption deed from 2001 was challenged before the Court in a suit filed in 2010. Evidentiary records were submitted, when the matter was up for final arguments and after the stage of evidence was closed, to show that the biological father of the child who was being adopted was not present at the time of the execution of the deed of adoption. The Trial Court, High Court and in this case, the Supreme Court also held that the Courts cannot accept evidence which was not included in pleadings at such a later stage. The Court observed, “The suit in Original Suit No. 107/2010 is filed for cancellation of registered adoption deed and for consequential injunction orders. In the adoption deed itself, the ceremony which had taken place on 14.11.2001 was mentioned, hence it was within the knowledge of the appellants/ plaintiffs even on the date of filing of the suit. In the absence of any pleading in the suit filed by the appellants, at belated stage, after evidence is closed, the appellants have filed the application to summon the record relating to leave/service of the father.”

The Court observed, “It is fairly well settled that in absence of pleadings being submitted to the Court, any amount of evidence will not help the party. When the adoption ceremony taken place on 14.11.2001 and is mentioned in the registered adoption deed, was questioned in the suit, there is absolutely no reason for not raising specific plea in the suit and instead to file application at a belated stage. It is clear from the conduct of the appellants, that in spite of directions from the High Court, for expeditious disposal of the suit, appellants/plaintiffs were trying to protract the litigation.

It is often seen in trademark proceedings that litigants try to submit evidence at conclusive stages of the proceedings also. However, with Supreme Court’s judgment clarifying upon the point, it can be re-instated that evidence in support of pleadings that have not been made at appropriate stages cannot be taken on record by the courts, later.