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According to Order VII Rule 11 CPC, a complaint may be rejected on the grounds that the plaintiff failed to establish the cause of action: Supreme Court

Kavya Sharma ,
  24 February 2023       Share Bookmark

Court :
IN THE HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE
Brief :

Citation :
CIVIL REVISION No. 200 of 2021

CAUSE TITLE:

PRADEEP SINGH SENGAR & OTH v DILIP BUDHANI & OTH 

DATE OF ORDER:

9th February 2023

JUDGE(S):

HONOURABLE SHRI JUSTICE SUBODH ABHYANKAR

PARTIES:

Petitioner: PRADEEP SINGH SENGAR S/O GOVIND SINGH

                 JAYANTI SINGH SENGAR D/O PRADEEP SINGH SENGAR

                 PUSHPA W/O JAGDEESH BHAVSAR

                 KAJAL W/O MAHESH VERMA

Respondent: DILIP BUDHANI S/O BALRAM BUDHANI

                      DEVI AHILYA SHRAMIK KAMGARGARH

                     JAGDISH BHAVSAR

SUBJECT:

The Hon’ble High Court of Madhya Pradesh (hereinafter referred to as ‘High Court’ or ‘the Court’), has set aside the impugned order dated 12th March 2021 and the plaintiff's complaint is hereby rejected because it does not set forth any cause of action, and the court is compelled to grant the respondents' motion submitted in accordance with Order 7 rule 11 of the CPC.   

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

Civil Procedure Code 1908

  • Section 115 – states the revision jurisdiction of the High Court. 
  • Order 7 Rule 11 - The court would not allow the plaintiff to needlessly drag out the litigation if there is no cause of action revealed in the lawsuit or if it is prohibited by time limits under Rule 11(d). To avoid wasting additional judicial time, it would be essential to terminate the false litigation in such a situation.

BRIEF FACTS:  

  • The plaintiff claimed that the land was purchased on year 1999 from the defendants.  
  • The said land could not be transferred gradually; the remaining land should have been sold to the plaintiff according to defendant number 4 and 5. However the defendant number 2 and 4 entered into an agreement which was questioned by the plaintiff in the civil original suit. The court said that the sales agreement between the parties is inadmissible and against the law. Plaintiff filed another suit with regards to the remaining area of land which is still pending.
  • An application was filed by the parties under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC stating that there is no such cause of action due to lack of documents clarifying the ownership right of the disputed property by the plaintiff. Therefore it was prayed that the present suit should be disposed of by the court. 
  • The said application was rejected on the grounds that the plaintiff should be given equal opportunity to be heard and the cause of action was mentioned in the plaint. A revision petition has been filed against the order rejecting the dismissal of the plaint. 

QUESTIONS RAISED:

What is the applicability of Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC in rejecting the plaint on the ground that there was no cause of action? 

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE APPELLANT

  • It was submitted by the council that court overlooked the documents filed by the petitioner which stated the fact that the petitioner has not presented a single document on record establishing his eligibility to receive the relief requested in the plaint.
  • Even in the earlier lawsuit brought by the plaintiff, the Civil Court only determined that the land's owner, defendant No. 5, is not permitted to sell the land for more than its offered area of 17,897 square feet. In the aforementioned case, it was determined that the agreement made between the defendant No. 5 and the defendant Nos. 1 to 3 is void.
  • As a result, it is argued that the plaint lacks locus standi and, on the basis of its plain claims, discloses no cause of action, making the lawsuit amenable to dismissal.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT

  • It has been argued by the council that since the learned Judge of the trial court correctly determined that the respondents have made proper statements concerning the basis of action, no action for intervention is made out.
  • The defendants had requested ten chances to submit the written statement before the application was submitted under Order 7 Rule 11 of the CPC, which blatantly shows that their only goal is to drag out the process even further.
  • Therefore, it is requested that the civil revision should be rejected because the contested order does not require any intervention. 

ANALYSIS BY THE COURT:

  • The court relied upon the judgment Liverpool & London S.P. & I Assn. Ltd. v. M.V. Sea Success: 9SCC p. 562, para 139. With regards to this case law the court went forwards with the test for determining the power of the court to dismiss the plaint or move forwards with the proceedings. A decree would be issued if the averments in the plaint were accepted entirely at face value and combined with the documents cited.
  • The court noted the formal statements with regards to the cause of action in the plaint such as the date however the time was not specified about the denial of the transfer of the land by the defendant. Along with that there was no such document was filed where the defendant agreed to sell the land to the plaintiff.
  • A review of the aforementioned plaintiff's pleadings makes it abundantly clear that, while the plaintiff contends that the defendants have no right, title, or involvement in the disputed land, the plaintiff has also filed a lawsuit seeking the operation of the deed of sale against the defendants with regard to the same property.
  • To determine whether the plaint reveals a cause of action or whether the lawsuit is legally barred, the formal documents must be reviewed in their entirety. The defendants' stance in the written declaration or in the motion to dismiss the complaint is completely irrelevant.
  • Altogether the plaintiff failed to establish the cause of action therefore this revision petition will be allowed and hereby the plaint filed by the plaintiff is rejected. 

CONCLUSION

In the above case the importance of Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC has been elaborated. Under this rule the papers submitted with the plaint must be taken into account when determining the application. When a document is cited in the plaint and serves as its foundation, the document should be considered an integral component of the plaint.

It rule itself is binding in nature. It says that if any of the reasons listed in clauses (a) through (e) are proven, the plaint "shall" be denied. The court must refuse the plaint if it determines that there is no cause of action disclosed in the complaint or that the lawsuit is prohibited by legal restrictions. 

Legal right does not exist and that can be invoked by the plaintiff or the respondent unless a correlative obligation arises in the suit filed before the court. Initially a right cannot be exercised when there is an absence of enforceable duty. 

Click here to download the original copy of the judgement

 
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