Rejection of plaints under civil procedure code, order 7 rule 11
Author: Mr. Rishabh Kumar, ICFAI Law School, Dehradun, Intern at Vohra and vohra, Delhi.
Introduction: The code of civil procedure tells us the rules of the civil courts /commercial courts. It is a procedural law related to the administration of civil proceedings in India. It is divided into two part; the first part contains 158 sections and the second part contains 51 orders & rules. The sections in the civil procedure code provide provisions of general principle provisions of jurisdiction and orders and rules provides proceedings and method which governs civil proceedings in India. The CPC is a vehicle for dispersion of justice with a universal applicability in the sense that is applicable not just for the trail of courts but also reverberate through the various H.C rules prescribing the rules of business for writ courts and Supreme court rules 1966 prescribing the rules of business for the Apex court. As such the code of civil procedure has its own place in the Indian legal system.
Scope of rule: Order 7 rule 11shows that the plaint can be rejected only if it appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law. The court must give a meaningful reading to the plaint and if it is manifestly vexatious or meritless in the sense of not disclosing the clear right to suit, the court may exercise its power under the rule 11 of order 7 of the code of civil procedure 1908. The Supreme Court in the case Kuldeep Singh Parthenia v Bikram Singh Jarya held that for an application under order 7 rule 11(a) of CRPC, only pleadings of the plaintiff can be looked into and neither the written statement nor averments can be considered for inquiry.
Rejection of plaint — The plaint shall be rejected in the following cases:
- Where it does not disclose a cause of action – Under the code of civil procedure code 1882, s 53, it was not obligatory upon the court to reject the plaint if it did not disclose a cause of action. In a Bombay decision, Gaganmal Ramchand v. honking and Shanghai Banking corps ltd, AIR 1950 Bom 345.it has however been held that the court has a discretion under the new code of civil procedure. Under the present rule, the court is bound to reject a plaint if it does not disclose a cause of action. If the plaintiff does not disclose facts that give the plaintiff the right to seek relief against the defendant, the facts that are necessary to prove the damage caused to the plaintiff. Case law on this provision – M.P. Shipping Services Pvt. Ltd. V. World Tanker Carrier Corporation; AIR 2000 Bom 35.
- Where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;or it was held in Annapurna Dassi v Sarat Chandra, AIR 1935 Cal 157the relief claimed is undervalued and the valuation is not corrected within the time fixed by the court, the plaint must be rejected and such rejection will be the dismissal of the suit; through the plaintiff may present a fresh plaint under order 7 rule 13.
- Where the relief claimed is properly valued, but the plaint is returned upon paper insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to supply the requisite stamp-paper within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so – If the plaint is insufficient stamp under court fees act and the plaintiff fails to supply the plaint with correct stamp value. It was held in case Deoraj v. Kunj Behari, AIR 1930 Mad 266, that the reasonable time must be allowed after the court has decided that the court-fee paid is insufficient.
- The suit appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law; where a suit appears from statements in the plaint to be barred by the law of limitation, but the plaint is not rejected when presented, the court may, in proper case allow the plaint to be amended at the hearing, which is held in the case Gunnaji v Makanji (1910)ILR 34 Bom 250. Example, when the plaint filed, looks like to be barred by any statue and gives no right to the plaintiff to file the suit and liable to rejected if the court accepts the plaint is barred by law.
- Where it is not filed in duplicate – In any suit a duplicate copy of the plaint has to be filed and when a duplicate copy of plaint is not filed it is liable to be dismissed.
- Where the plaintiff fails to comply with provisions of rule 9 – Where the plaintiff fails to comply with the order 7 rule 9.
Two modes of rejecting the plaint
- The Defendant can file an application in the form of Interlocutory Application in any stage of proceedings.
- Suo moto rejection under order 7 rule 11. Suo moto means own its own motion the court can itself try a suit under order 7 rule 11 if the plaint fulfills the conditions above discussed.
Landmark cases on the rejection of plaint:
- Radhakrishnan v Wali Mohamod, AIR 1956 Hyd 133, it was held that where a plaint was signed by a person not authorized to do so and the plaintiff did not remedy the defect when called upon to do so, the court could reject the plaint under the rule.
- In Arivadandam v Satyapal, the Supreme Court observed that if on a meaningful, not formal, reading of plaint it is manifestly found to be vexatious and meritless in the sense of not disclosing a clear right to sue, the court must exercise its power of rejection under this rule.
- Application for Rejection of Plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure can be filed at any stage and the Court has to dispose of the same before proceeding with the trial, the Apex Court has reiterated in ROJA VS. U. S. RAYU.
- An order rejecting a plaint is a decree and hence is Appealable. Held in Bibhas Mohan Mukherjee v. Hari Charan Banerjee AIR 1961Cal 491 (FB).
- Where the suit filed earlier was at the stage of recording of evidence and an application under order 7 rule 11 of the code was filed to delay the proceedings of the suit, the application under order 7 rule 11 of the code was rejected. As held in Sopan Sukhdeo Sable V. Asstt. Charity Commr. AIR 2004 SC 569 (572).
- Where subsequent event renders a suit infructuous, they can be brought to the notice of the court by an application under s 151 of the code of civil procedure and the court can dismiss the suit after making necessary inquiry into the facts and circumstances, which is held in shipping corporation of India v. Machado Brothers, AIR 2004 SC 2093
Readers may get a comprehensive understanding of these provisions and how they can get benefits for them to understand. Code of Civil Procedure, 1907 is the most important subject for anyone who wants to get in litigation and who wants to increase their knowledge in civil litigation. I include that for the purpose of determining whether plaint discloses cause of action or not, the court has to present that every-averment made in the plaint is true, power to reject a plaint under order 7 rule 11 must be exercised only if the court comes to the conclusion that even if all the allegations made in the plaints are proved, the plaintiff would not be entitled to any relief what so ever.
IN THE COURT OF THE LD. ………………..CIVIL JUDGE, () at (District Name)
T.S.No.-…………. of …………….
An application under Order 7 Rule 11 r/w section 151 of CPC
- That the (Matter)
- That the present petition s bona fide and for ends of justice.
- That the petitioner would be prejudiced if the prayer for rejection of plaint is rejected. For ends of justice, this petition be allowed.
In the circumstances mentioned above, it is, therefore, be prayed that your honour be pleased to reject the plaint as provided for under the provision of order 7 rule 11 of CPC. And to pass such other order as deemed fit and proper.
A F F I D A V I T
I Sri …………s/o …………………., aged about …….. years, by faith Hindu, by profession – business, resident of …………………………, do hereby solemnly affirm and declare as follows:-
- That I am the plaintiff of this case and as such, I am fully conversant with the facts and circumstances of the same.
- That the statements mentioned above are true to my knowledge and belief.
Identified by me