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

Order 7 Rule 11 CPC | Power Of Rejection Of Plaint Mandatory, Can Be Exercised At Any Stage Before Conclusion Of Trial: Punjab & Haryana High Court

Drishti Yadav
25 April 2022 5:15 AM GMT
Order 7 Rule 11 CPC | Power Of Rejection Of Plaint Mandatory, Can Be Exercised At Any Stage Before Conclusion Of Trial: Punjab & Haryana High Court
x

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that powers of the Court conferred under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC are mandatory in nature and can be exercised at any stage of the suit, but before the conclusion of the trial.The observation was made while dealing with two revision petitions filed under Article 227 of the Constitution, challenging an order dismissing Petitioner's application...

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that powers of the Court conferred under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC are mandatory in nature and can be exercised at any stage of the suit, but before the conclusion of the trial.

The observation was made while dealing with two revision petitions filed under Article 227 of the Constitution, challenging an order dismissing Petitioner's application for rejection of plaint as not maintainable on the ground that trial was at the stage of evidence, and another order vide which the injunction application filed by the respondents/plaintiffs under Order 39 Rule 1 CPC was allowed.

The Respondents (original plaintiffs) had filed a suit for title under Section 13-A of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961 for declaring them as owners in possession of the suit land before the Court of Collector. During its pendency, plaintiffs also filed the suit in question before the Civil Judge, for restraining the defendant from dispossessing or interfering into the peaceful possession of the plaintiffs in the suit property.

The Petitioner (Gram Panchayat) argued that jurisdiction of the Civil Court was specifically barred under Section 13 of the Act, the suit in question was not maintainable. It was further submitted that the trial Court gravely erred in observing that since the trial was at the stage of evidence, an application under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC was not maintainable.

At the outset, the High Court held that in order to decide a dispute under Section 13-A of the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Act, 1961, jurisdiction would exclusively lie with the Collector, to the exclusion of the Civil Court.

The bench comprising Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul while allowing the petitions held that as far as the facts of the instant case are concerned, the jurisdiction of the Civil Court over the matter would be barred.

Adverting to the case in hand, the relief claimed in the civil suit involves the adjudication of rights of the parties over the suit property, hence, the jurisdiction of the Civil Court over the matter would, therefore, be barred under Section 13 of the Act.

After considering rival submissions of the parties, the court stated that Section 13 of the act that deals with Bar of Jurisdiction in Civil Courts, provides, that the jurisdiction to decide whether any dispute as to right, title, or interest in any land or immovable property vests in the Gram Panchayat, would exclusively lie with the Collector, to the exclusion of the Civil Court.

Coming to the next contention that there was no alternative remedy available to the plaintiff for restraining the defendants, the court held that the same is devoid of any merits because the Collector has the power to grant an injunction.

Section 13-A (2) of the Act provides for deciding the suits under Section 13-A(1) in the same manner, as is provided for, in the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). Hence, the Collector also does have all such incidental powers to decide the suit effectively and also has the powers to grant injunction.

Court further held that the plaintiffs would be at liberty to avail alternative remedies before the appropriate Forum/Collector under the provisions of the Act.

While stating that the trial Court has erred in observing that since the evidence had commenced, an application under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC was not maintainable, the court concluded that the powers of the Court under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC are mandatory in nature.

It needs to be clarified and reiterated that the powers of the Court conferred under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC are mandatory in nature and can be exercised at any stage of the suit, but before the conclusion of the trial.

For reasons discussed above, the court allowed both the revision petitions and set aside the orders.

Case Title : Gram Panchayat Hansawas Khurd v. Dhan Singh and Others

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (PH) 86

Next Story