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Order VII Rule 11 CPC - Court Has To Read Plaint As A Whole; Can't Reject It Only Reading Few Lines : Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
14 March 2022 2:30 PM GMT
Order VII Rule 11 CPC - Court Has To Read Plaint As A Whole; Cant Reject It Only Reading Few Lines : Supreme Court
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While considering an application for rejection of plain under Order VII Rule 11 CPC, the Court has to go through the entire plaint averments and cannot reject the plaint by reading only few lines/passages and ignoring the other relevant parts of the plaint, the Supreme Court has held.A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna set aside the judgment of the Calcutta High...

While considering an application for rejection of plain under Order VII Rule 11 CPC, the Court has to go through the entire plaint averments and cannot reject the plaint by reading only few lines/passages and ignoring the other relevant parts of the plaint,  the Supreme Court has held.

A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna set aside the judgment of the Calcutta High Court which rejected a plain on the ground that suit for declaratory relief under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act was not maintainable.

Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act, which embodies the "doctrine of part-performance", gives protection to a person who has taken possession of a property on the basis of a contract from eviction by transferor on the ground that the transfer has not been completed in the manner prescribed by law.

In this case, the High Court of Calcutta set aside the order passed by the trial court refusing to reject the plaint. The High Court rejected the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 CPC mainly on the ground that the suit is barred by limitation and that a suit for a declaration simpliciter under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act would not be maintainable as against the actual owner. 

In appeal, the plaintiffs contended that the High Court has not at all properly appreciated the fact that the plaintiffs claimed the relief in the suit invoking Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act and also prayed for the relief of permanent injunction. On the other hand defendants contended, by relying on Delhi Motor Company Vs. U.A. Basrurkar, AIR 1968 SC 794, that the suit for a declaration simpliciter under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act would not be maintainable.

Perusing the judgment, the Apex Court noted that, while holding that the suit is barred by limitation, the High Court  considered only the averments made in a particular paragraph and has not considered the entire plaint averments.

"Only in a case where on the face of it, it is seen that the suit is barred by limitation, then and then only a plaint can be rejected under Order VII Rule 11(d) CPC on the ground of limitation. At this stage what is required to be considered is the averments in the plaint. For the aforesaid purpose, the Court has to consider and read the averments in the plaint as a whole. As observed and held by this Court in the case of Ram Prakash Gupta (supra), rejection of a plaint under Order VII Rule 11(d) CPC by reading only few lines and passages and ignoring the other relevant parts of the plaint is impermissible."

Regarding the rejection on the question of Section 53A TP Act, the bench noted that the the plaintiffs have also prayed for the decree for a permanent injunction claiming to be in possession and the declaration and permanent injunction as such invoking Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act. Setting aside the High Court order, the bench observed:

"When the suit is for a decree of permanent injunction and it is averred that the plaintiffs are in possession of the suit property pursuant to the agreement and thereafter, they have developed the land and that they are in continuous possession since more than twelve years and they are also paying taxes to the Corporation, the cause of action can be said to have arisen on the date on which the possession is sought to be disturbed. If that be so, the suit for decree for permanent injunction cannot be said to be barred by limitation. It is the settled proposition of law that the plaint cannot be rejected partially. Even otherwise, the reliefs sought are interconnected. Whether the plaintiffs shall be entitled to any relief under Section 53A of the Transfer  of Property Act or not has to be considered at the time of trial, but at this stage it cannot be said that the suit for the relief sought under Section 53A would not be maintainable at all and therefore the plaint is liable to be rejected in exercise of powers under Order VII Rule 11 CPC."


Headnotes

Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 ; Order VII Rule 11 -  Rejection of Plaint - While considering an application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC, the Court has to go through the entire plaint averments and cannot reject the plaint by reading only few lines/passages and ignoring the other relevant parts of the plaint - Only in a case where on the face of it, it is seen that the suit is barred by limitation, then and then only a plaint can be rejected - The plaint cannot be rejected partially. (Para 7,7.1. 7.4)

Transfer of Property Act ; Section 53A - Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 ; Order VII Rule 11 - Suit seeking reliefs of declaration and permanent injunction invoking Section 53A  - Whether the plaintiffs shall be entitled to any relief under Section 53A or not has to be considered at the time of trial, but at this stage it cannot be said that the suit for the relief sought under Section 53A would not be maintainable at all and therefore the plaint is liable to be rejected in exercise of powers under Order VII Rule 11 CPC. (Para 7.4)

Summary: Appeal against judgment of Calcutta High Court which rejected the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 CPC mainly on the ground that the suit is barred by limitation and that a suit for a declaration simpliciter under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act would not be maintainable as against the actual owner - Allowed - High Court has not considered the entire plaint averments - The plaintiffs have also prayed for the decree for a permanent injunction claiming to be in possession and the declaration and permanent injunction as such invoking Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act. When the suit is for a decree of permanent injunction and it is averred that the plaintiffs are in possession of the suit property pursuant to the agreement and thereafter, they have developed the land and that they are in continuous possession since more than twelve years and they are also paying taxes to the Corporation, the cause of action can be said to have arisen on the date on which the possession is sought to be disturbed. If that be so, the suit for decree for permanent injunction cannot be said to be barred by limitation.


Case name | Citation: Biswanath Banik vs Sulanga Bose | 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 280

Case: CA 1848 OF 2022 | 14 March 2022

Coram: Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna







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