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  • According to the Bombay High Court, the court's power to reject a plaint under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) is a drastic power that must be exercised with caution. 
  • In a property dispute, Justice Anuja Prabhudessai was hearing an appeal against a trial court order rejecting the appellant's plaint. 
  • The Court overturned the order and directed the lower court to resume the trial. The appellant was the plaintiff in the current case. He was contesting the Collector's order in a property dispute involving his grandparents' property.
  • One of the defendants applied for the plaint to be rejected under Order 7 Rule 11(d) of the CPC, claiming that the plaint is barred by law under Section 12F of the Daman Abolition of Proprietorship of Villages Regulation, 1962. (DAVPR). 
  • The trial court dismissed the application, stating that the collector had violated basic judicial procedure and thus the civil court's jurisdiction was not barred. 
  • Following that, another defendant filed an application for plaint rejection based on the same grounds as well as the fact that the limitation period had expired. This time, the trial court granted the application while dismissing the plain without referring to the previous order.
  • The appellant, represented by Senior Counsel Ram Apte, contended that the previous order dismissing the application for rejection had not been challenged and had become final. 
  • As a result, the principle of res judicata applies. The court cannot later grant another application for dismissal of the plaint on the same grounds. 
  • It was argued that the plaintiff made a significant delay in filing the suit, which is barred by the statute of limitations. 
  • It was also claimed that the Plaintiffs had challenged the orders of the relevant authorities under Section 12A of the DAVPR.
  • The court relied on the Supreme Court's decision in Dhulabai v. State of Madhya Pradesh, which held that the bar of jurisdiction should not be inferred in cases where the statutory authority failed to act in accordance with the fundamental principles of judicial procedure. 
  • The court also cited an Apex Court decision in Y.B.Patil v. Y.L.Patil, which held that res judicata principles can be invoked in a subsequent stage of the same proceeding. 
  • The court also noted that the Collector's order was issued against a deceased person and thus is null and void. It cannot be used against legal representatives who were never called to the stand to defend their client's case.
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