Y.K. Sabharwal, J.
1. The winding-up petition (C.P. No. 138 of 1988) has been filed by Kalra Iron Stores seeking an order of winding up of the respondent, Faridabad (P.) Ltd. (for short, "the company") on the ground of the inability of the company to pay the debts due to the petitioner. Para 2 of the winding up petition reads :
"That the petitioner is an iron and steel merchant having his registered office at 19/7, Mathura Road, Opp. Escorts Plant-II, N.I.T. Faridabad, and is engaged in business of supplying all kinds of rods, angles, flats, etc.
2. The constitution of the petitioner-firm has not been stated in the winding up petition. It has not been stated whether the petitioner is a sole proprietorship firm or a partnership firm. The petition is supported by an affidavit of Gajindra Kalra. The portion of the affidavit relevant for the present purpose reads thus :
"That I am the partner of the firm and as such fully competent to swear this affidavit. I am well conversant with the facts and circumstances of the case.
That I have read the accompanying application for winding up petition under the Companies Act, 1956, under sections 433 and 439, for appointment of provisional liquidator under XXXIX, section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure and application for
restraining/alienating assets under section 450 and have understood the contents thereof and I state that the facts stated therein are true to the best of my knowledge derived from the record of the case."
3. Notice was issued to the company to show cause why the petition be not admitted. In the reply affidavit filed by the company a preliminary objection has has been taken that the petitioner has not stated the constitution of the petitioner concern and that it is obligatory for the petitioner to state the nature and constitution of the petitioner. An objection has also been raised in the preliminary objections to the nature of affidavit. The company has pleaded that an affidavit to the effect that "the contents are true to the best of my knowledge" is not an acceptable affidavit and is liable to be rejected and moreover particulars of the record have not been disclosed.
4. The petitioner has filed this application under Order 6, rule 17, read with section 151, Civil Procedure Code, seeking amendment of the petition with a view to substitute the existing paragraph 2 of the petition by the proposed paragraphs 2, 2(a) and 2(b). In substance by an amendment the petitioner seeks leave of court to state in the petition that it is a registered firm under the provisions of the Indian Partnership Act; the name of the firm has been entered in the Register of Firms and the name of Gajindra Kalra appears in Forms "A" and he is one of the partners of the firm and continues as a partner of the firm.
5. The application is vehemently opposed by the company. The grounds of objection are two : (1) that the petition as laid was defective as there was no proper affidavit in support thereof because of defect in verification, and (2) for non-compliance with section 69 of the Indian Partnership Act.
6. There can be no doubt that this court in exercise of the power under rule 6 of the Companies (Court) Rules, 1959, read with Order 6, rule 17 and section 151, Civil Procedure Code, has jurisdiction to allow amendment so long as the amendment is not mala fide or it does not introduce a fresh or a new cause of action. Justice S. Rangarajan in Ego Metal Works P. Ltd., In re : Bhagat Industrial Corporation Ltd. v. Ego Metal Works P. Ltd.  47 Comp Case 201 (Delhi) rejected the contention that the winding up petition could not be allowed to be amended at all. After noticing rule 6 of the Companies (Court) Rules and section 643 of the Companies Act the learned judge held that rule 6 is wide enough to enable a court to order amendment even of a winding up petition if the circumstances of the case warrant the same. The decision of T. P. S. Chawla J. in Inder Kuar Jain v. Osra Bottling Co (P.) Ltd.  47 Comp Case 194 (Delhi) was cited with approval and also the decision of the Nagpur High Court in Bastar Transport and Trading Co. v. Court of Wards, Bastar  25 Comp Case 108.
7. Mr. Khanna, learned counsel for the company, contends that as per a proper affidavit in support of the petition has not been filed, the petition is not maintainable and thus the application for amendment is liable to be dismissed. The objection is that Gajindra Kalra in his affidavit has not stated that the facts in the petition are "true to his knowledge" but has used the words "true to the best of my knowledge". The other objection in that Kalra has not specified the record from which his knowledge was derived by him. Reliance has been placed by Mr. Khanna on a Single Bench decision of the Calcutta High Court in Gaya Textiles Pvt. Ltd. v. Star Textile Engineering Works Ltd. , in support of the proposition that different
considerations apply to defects in verification of a winding up petition. Counsel submits that in respects of defects in verification of plaints the considerations to be applied are different as allegations in the plaint can be acted upon only on proof of the same by evidence or upon admission by the defendant whereas allegations in a winding up petition can be treated by the court as evidence without any further proof and that the winding up order relates back to the presentation of the winding up petition. The Calcutta High Court to the conclusion that a defect in verification cannot be rectified by granting leave to the petitioner to rectify such a petition for the reason that the winding up order would come into existence on the date of such re verification and this would create a good deal of confusion regarding the assets of the company and rights of third parties. The leave to re verify the petition was declined and the petition was dismissed. With respect to the learned judge of the Calcutta High Court I have my reservations in concurring with the conclusions reached in the said decision but for the view I am taking hereinafter it is not necessary to go deeper into that aspect.
8. In support of the contention that the verification is defective Mr. Khanna relies upon the decision of the Supreme Court in State of Bombay v. Purushottam Jog Naik . In that case, the Supreme Court did not approve the verification which read, "true to the best of the information and belief" and said that such type of slipshod verifications might well in a given case lead to the rejection of the affidavit. The Supreme Court also said that the verification should invariably be modelled on the lines of Order 19, rule 3 of the Civil Procedure Code whether the Code applies in terms or not. In the present case, Kalra has not said that the facts stated in the petition are to the best of his knowledge and belief. According to Kalra, the facts in the petition are true to the best of his knowledge derived from the records of the case. Where a deponent states that facts are true to knowledge and which true to belief. On the facts of the present case the cited decision has no applicability. For the same reasons reliance by Mr. Khanna on decisions in Sunder Industries v. General Engineering Works, New Delhi , and another decision reported in the same volume in the case of D. N. Gupta v. Jaswant Singh, , is misconceived. Mr. Khanna, however, is right in the submission that "true to the best of knowledge" is something lesser than "true to knowledge". The ideal and strictly correct verification would be "true to knowledge" and not "true to the best of knowledge". The lack of an ideal and strictly correct verification need not amendment. That would be too narrow and hyper-technical an approach. Likewise, the verification should specify the record from which knowledge or information, as the case may be, is derived but once again, the absence of such specification, need not necessarily result in dismissal of the petition particularly when there is no prejudice to the opponent in the instant case, reference to the record of the case by Kalra is obviously to the record pertaining to the dealing with the company. I do not find any substance in the first objection.
9. Reverting to the second objection, it has to be borne in mind that section 69 of the Indian Partnership Act contains only a prohibition on an unregistered firm filing a suit to enforce a right arising from a contract or conferred by the said Act. The firm has to be registered and the person suing has to be a registered partner. The suit to attract section 69 has to be one to enforce a right arising from a contract or a right conferred by the Act. Mr. Khanna has not been able to cite any judgment holding that section 69 would be applicable to winding up proceedings under the Companies Act. In the winding up petition primarily the court is required to adjudicate whether the respondent is commercially solvent or insolvent and is not to enforce any right arising from a contract. The proceedings are not a "suit". No decree like a suit is passed. The petitioner in this case is only exercising statutory right under the Companies Act. That right is not arising from a contract between the petitioner and the company. In my view, the provisions of section 69 have no applicability to proceedings under the Companies Act. I am fortified in my view by a Division Bench decision of the Madras High Court in Kottamasu Sreemannarayanamurthy v. Chakka Arjanadu AIR 1939 Mad 145, holding :
"A petition for the adjudication of a debtor as insolvent is not a proceeding to enforce a right arising from a contract. The right which the creditor who files the insolvency petition against his debtor is seeking to exercise is the right of a creditor who finds his debtor in insolvent circumstances to have the assets of the debtor administered in insolvency and distributed for the benefit of the creditors as a body. This is a right which is conferred upon the creditors by statue and is not a right arising out of a particular contract of loan between a petitioning creditor and a debtor. The mere fact that the petitioning creditors constitute a firm and the debt is due to the firm in which the petitioners are partners and they cannot file a suit to recover the amount due to them unless the firm is registered, does not deprive the petitioners of their right to file a petition in insolvency."
10. Mr. Khanna also relies on sub-section (3) of section 69 in support of his contention that the provisions of sub-sections (1) and (2) shall apply to "other proceedings" as well. Reliance is also placed by learned counsel on the decision of the Supreme Court in Jagdish Chandra Gupta v. Kajaria Traders (India) Ltd., . The Supreme Court was considering the applicability of the provision of section 69 to arbitration proceedings. The Supreme Court opined that sub-sections (1) and (2) will be applicable to claims of set off and also to other proceedings of any kind which can properly be said to be form enforcement of any right arising from contract except those expressly mentioned as exceptions in sub-section (3) and sub-section (4). Thus, for applicability of section 69 other proceedings have to be for enforcement of any right arising from a contract. The provisions of section 69(3) are also very clear. The proceedings of winding up are not for enforcement of a right arising from a contract and as such neither section 69(3) nor the decision relied upon by Mr. Khanna has any applicability.
11. Apart from the above, section 69 does not require the plaintiff to state in the plaint that the plaintiff is a registered firm. In case of dispute the plaintiff has to prove the registration of the firm and that the person suing is a registered partner. The absence of such averment does not result in rejection of the plaint (see Mohammad Ibrahim and Sons v. Behari Lal Beni Pershad AIR 1938 Lahore 96).
12. In my opinion, the amendment sought for is only clarificatory in nature. It only seeks to explain the constitution of the petitioner firm. It does not add any fresh claim. It does not introduce any new cause of action. The court has to adopt a liberal and not a very technical and narrow approach while considering amendment applications. The court is required to do substantial justice between the parties. The rule of procedure are not meant to defeat substantial justice. They are meant to promote the ends of justice. Kalra has said in the affidavit though not in the petition, that he is a partner in the firm. The objections raised by the company are untenable and are also hypertechnical in nature.
13. For the reasons stated above, the applicant is allowed to amend the petition on payment of Rs. 500 as costs. The amended petition be filed and costs paid within two weeks. Reply to the amended petition be filed within three weeks thereafter and rejoinder within two weeks after that C.A. No. 4158 of 1989 is disposed of in the above terms.
14. C.P. No. 138 of 1988.
15. List it for further proceedings on January 30, 1991.