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  • In the case of Foti Rakabchand Jain through LRs vs Foti Ratanlala Jain through LRs the Madhya Pradesh HC has held that the rejection of an application under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC would be illegal if the Court sought to rely on the written statements of the defendant rather than solely relying upon the averments in the plaint.
  • The case of the petitioner/defendant was that the respondent/plaintiff had filed a suit for cancellation of the sale deeds and the possession of the suit land. After service of the notice on the petitioner/defendant, they sought for a rejection of the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC on the grounds that the dispute falls under the provisions of section 170B and section 257 of the MP Land Revenue Code, which bars the jurisdiction of the civil court from adjudicating upon this matter.
  • However, this application was rejected by the trial Court. Aggrieved, the petitioner/defendant filed a revision before the HC.
  • The HC observed that the reason which was cited by the trial Court while dismissing the application filed by the petitioner under Order VII Rule 11 was that the same was to be adjudicated on the basis of the pleadings filed by the defendants and the other objections would have to be decided on the basis of the evidence advanced by both the parties.
  • Thus, the main issue which was to be decided by the HC was whether the averments of the defendants would also need to be taken under consideration while rejecting a plaint under Order VII Rule 11.
  • The HC has observed that on a perusal of the impugned section, the relevant fact which needs to be taken under consideration while deciding upon an application under Order VII Rule 11 are the averments in the plaint. The pleas taken by the defendant in his written statement would be completely irrelevant.
  • The Court also observed that a direction to file a written statement without deciding upon the application under Order VII Rule 11 would be a procedural irregularity.
  • In support of it’s view, the Court relied upon the decision of the Hon’ble SC in Sapan Sukhdeo Sable & ors vs. Assistant Charity Commissioner ors where the SC has held that the said section casts a duty upon the Court to reject the plaint when the same is hit by any of the provisions of clauses (a) to (d) of Rule 11, without any intervention of the defendant.
  • The Court also observed that in Sajjan Sikaria & ors. vs. Shakuntala Devi Mishra and ors. the Apex Court had reiterated that while dealing with an application under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC, what has to be considered is the plaint. The consideration of the written statement is not a condition precedent.
  • Thus, the revision was allowed and the trial Court was called upon to adjudicate on the application under Order VII Rule 11.
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