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An Analysis: Place Of Suing

The term place of suing, simply refers to the location of the trial. This is covered in sections 15 - 21 of the CPC. Every court has its own monetary and geographic jurisdiction. The suit must be filed at the court of lowest grade authorized to try it, according to Section 15 of the CPC.

To assess whether a civil court has jurisdiction, one must first determine if the suit falls into a category barred by S. 9 of the CPC. The Courts shall have authority to try all civil matters, except those for which their competence is expressly or impliedly restricted, according to Section 9. As a result, if an action is barred under s. 9, it cannot be filed in any civil court.

The jurisdiction is divided into two i.e., pecuniary jurisdiction (section 15) and territorial jurisdiction. Territorial jurisdiction is again divided into suits w.r.t immovable property ( S. 16-18), movable property (S. 19) and other kinds.

Pecuniary Jurisdiction:
The lawsuit must be filed in the lowest-level court. This rule is a procedural regulation that has no bearing on the jurisdiction of a case, making it only an inefficient under s. 90 of the CPC rather than illegal. The plaintiffs assessment in the plaint will be accepted, not the sum determined by the judge in the ruling. Generally, a court allows the plaintiff's assessment of the lawsuit, but if the plaintiff inflated or underestimated the value for some private benefit, it is the court's responsibility to recalculate the amount.

In Tara Devi v. Shree Rhakur Radhakrishna Maharaj, it was held that when an objective criterion of valuation exists, putting a valuation on relief by neglecting that standard may be manifestly capricious and unjust, and the court may be justified in interfering. The pecuniary jurisdiction of each court differs from one state to another state.

Territorial Jurisdiction:

  1. Immovable property (s. 16-18)
    Immovable property is dealt with in Section 16 clauses a-e. For the recovery of immovable property with/without rent or revenues, for the partition of immovable property, for the foreclosure, sale, or redemption of a mortgage of or charge upon immovable property, for the determination of any other right to or interest in immovable property, and for compensation for wrong to immovable property (TORT).

    The lawsuit must be filed solely in the court that has jurisdiction over the immovable property. The issue arises, however, when the property is subject to the jurisdiction of multiple courts. S. 17 of the CPC is used to combat this issue. Section 17 specifies that a matter can be filed in any court if it comes within the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court. Section 18 of cpc states that, a place of an institution when the jurisdiction of courts is uncertain.
  2. Movable property (s. 19)
    As per section 19, when suit is for compensation for wrong done (TORT) or to movable property, If it is executed within the jurisdiction of one Court and the defendant resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another Court, the litigation may be initiated at the plaintiffs choice in either of the mentioned Courts. In other words, the plaintiff can file a lawsuit at the residence of respondent, place of business, or the location where the wrong was done. The simplest way to understand this is to use an example
Example: A person "X" who resides in Gurugram carries his business of transportation of wood from Delhi. "Y" ordered some wood to be transferred from Delhi to Calcutta but in middle i.e. Gujarat the wood was misplaced. Now Y can sue X at Gurugram as this is his place of residence, may be at Delhi as this is his place of caring business, may be at Lucknow as the wrong was committed here.

Section 20:
Section 20 of the act covers all the other cases not covered by any of the earlier discussed provisions. The plaintiff can file suit in the following place:

The defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or

Any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or

The cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.

For example, X lives at Shimla, Y at Calcutta and Z at Delhi. X, Y and Z being together at cochin, Y and Z make a joint promissory note payable on demand and deliver it to X. X may sue Y and Z at cochin, where the cause of action arose. He may also sue them at Calcutta, where Y resides, or at Delhi, where Z resides. However, in each of these cases, if the non- resident defendant objects, the suit cannot proceed without the leave of the Court.

Section 21:
According to S. 21 of the CPC, a jurisdictional objection must be made as early as practicable in a case. In the case of Hira Lal v. Kali Nath, it was held that an appeal court will not entertain an objection to the venue of a lawsuit unless the following three conditions are met:

The objection was filed in the first instance court:
It was made at the earliest feasible opportunity in circumstances where matters are resolved at or before settlement of issues.

There is a miscarriage of justice.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Ms.Mudunuri Jahnavi Lahari
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Authentication No: SP226028498091-17-0922

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