Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Section 10 CPC 'Eviscerates' Litigant's Right To Expeditious Trial, Must Be Construed Strictly: Delhi HC

Awstika Das
22 Sep 2022 2:45 AM GMT
Delhi High Court

The Delhi High Court has reiterated that Section 10 of Code of Civil Procedure would apply only where the whole subject matter in both the proceedings is identical.

Section 10 CPC prevents the trial of a suit in a matter regarding which there is already a case pending in a court of competent jurisdiction. When the same parties file two or three cases in the same matter, the competent court has the power to stay proceedings of another court.

Justice C Hari Shankar observed that since suits, which are pending before different courts, may often have overlapping issues and result of one may influence the outcome of another, the Code contains various provisions to deal with such contingencies.

"As against this, Section 10 of the CPC is a somewhat drastic provision, inasmuch as it brings the trial in the later suit to a complete halt. It eviscerates, therefore, in a manner of speaking, the right of the litigant to expeditious trial. The corridors of the court not being the most habitable of places, where one would choose to linger long, Section 10 is required to be construed strictly," the Court added.

The Court was dealing with a plea challenging trial court's decision to reject an application under Section 10 of CPC in a suit related to a property dispute between two siblings.

In the case, the sister's claim was that cause of action of the subject matter and relief prayed for in the suit filed by her brother in 2021 were identical to a suit instituted by their mother in 2016. Advocate Tushar Mahajan represented the petitioner.

The mother's suit seeks a declaration that a sale deed - existing in her son's favour - was void ab initio, as she was allegedly fraudulently made to execute it. Her son's suit prays for restoration of possession of the property - since his sister and her husband were obstructing ingress.

Refusing to stay the trial of the suit instituted subsequently, the the Court dismissed the petition in limine, with no order as to costs. It said the cause of action in both the suits cannot be said to be same.

The Court placed reliance on Supreme Court decisions in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences v. C. Parameshwara (2005) 2 SCC 256 and Aspi Jal v. Khushroo Rustom Dadyburjor (2013) 4 SCC 333 in which the law relating to Section 10 was expounded.


Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 894

Click Here To Read/Download Judgment

Next Story