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Order VII Rule 11 CPC | There Cannot Be Piecemeal Rejection Of Plaint: Delhi High Court

Suhavi Arya
4 Feb 2022 5:30 AM GMT
Order VII Rule 11 CPC | There Cannot Be Piecemeal Rejection Of Plaint: Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court has held that there cannot be a piecemeal rejection of a plaint under provisions of Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC. In other words, Plaint can either be rejected as a whole or not at all.The observation is in line with the Supreme Court's decision in Madhav Prasad Aggarwal & Anr. v. Axis Bank Ltd. & Anr. Therein, a Division Bench had held as follows:"it is...

The Delhi High Court has held that there cannot be a piecemeal rejection of a plaint under provisions of Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC. In other words, Plaint can either be rejected as a whole or not at all.

The observation is in line with the Supreme Court's decision in Madhav Prasad Aggarwal & Anr. v. Axis Bank Ltd. & Anr. Therein, a Division Bench had held as follows:

"it is not permissible to reject plaint qua any particular portion of a plaint including against some of the defendant(s) and continue the same against the others. In no uncertain terms the Court has held that if the plaint survives against certain defendant(s) and/or properties, Order 7 Rule 11(d) of CPC will have no application at all, and the suit as a whole must then proceed to trial. 12. In view of this settled legal position we may now turn to the nature of relief."

Justice Amit Bansal further reiterated that while deciding an application under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC, the Court only has to see the averments made in the plaint and the documents filed along with the plaint.

Background

The Court was dealing with a petition filed under Article 227 of the Constitution against an order passed by the Additional District Judge, whereby the application filed on behalf of the petitioner/defendant for rejection of plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC was dismissed.

The suit was filed for specific performance in respect of purchase of the property.

The petitioner's application under Order VII Rule 11 for rejection of the plaint was dismissed by the Trial Court on the following grounds – (i) the grounds raised by the petitioner were a mix of law and facts which are matters of trial, (ii) the petitioner cannot claim that the respondent is barred from filing a suit against the petitioner because there has been violation of other laws and (iii) disputed questions related to agreement to sell etc., are matters of trial.

In the present petition before the High Court, the petitioner/defendant argued that the respondent/plaintiff cannot file a plaint based on agreement to sale. It was alleged that payment of Rs. 57,00,000/- by the respondent/plaintiff in cash is barred by Sections 269SS and 269T of Income Tax Act. The petitioner also stated that all the amounts paid were not to him but her sons.

The counsel for respondent/plaintiff on the other hand argued that the amount was paid through cheques to the sons of the petitioner, as per the instructions of the petitioner herself. Further, the cash amounts were paid to the petitioner herself.

Furthermore, the respondent's sons were witnesses to the agreement to sell and it has been recorded therein that out of the total sale consideration, a sum of Rs.1,10,75,500/- has already been paid by the respondent to the petitioner; and without prejudice to the contention that Sections 269SS and 269T of the Income Tax Act are not applicable in the facts and circumstances of the present case, the payments in cash were made before the said sections became part of the statute.

Findings

The Court did not find any merit in the submission of the petitioner that the plaint and the documents filed with the plaint do not disclose any cause of action or is barred under any law.

"This Court is of the prima facie view that Sections 269SS and 269T of the Income Tax Act would not be applicable in the facts of the case as the said Sections deal with loans or deposits made and not payments made pursuant to an agreement to sell," it opined.

The Court further added that the said Sections became part of the statute only from June, 2015. Whereas, it is the contention of the respondent that the payments were made prior to the June, 2015. "This can only be determined in the trial," it remarked.

Moving forward, it noted that even if it is assumed that the relief of specific performance cannot be granted and that the agreement to sell was not valid in law, the respondent has made an alternative prayer for recovery of Rs.1.95 crores towards damages.
On this note, the Court made it clear that there cannot be any piecemeal rejection of a plaint under provisions of Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC. Therefore, the suit would have to proceed with trial.

The petition was finally dismissed with costs of Rs.30,000/- as the Court of the opinion that all these grounds were taken by the petitioner only to resile from her obligations under the agreement to sell and to delay the adjudication of the suit.

Case Title: Kavita Tushir v. Pushpraj Dalal, CM (M) 13/2022

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 81

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment


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