Place of Suing
Section.15 to 21 CPC deals with the Court in which a suit is to be instituted, as follows:
S.15 Court in which suits to be instituted.
S.16 Suits to be instituted where subject matter situate.
S.17 Suits for immovable property situate within jurisdiction of different Courts.
S.18 Place of institution of suit where local limits of jurisdiction of Courts are uncertain.
S.19 Suits for compensation for wrongs to person or movable S.20 Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises.
S.21 Objections to jurisdiction.
S.15 Court in which suits to be instituted.
Every suit shall be instituted in the Court of lowest grade competent to try it. Here competency refers to pecuniary jurisdiction, which shall be determined by High Court from time to time.
Objects: the main objects of the section is :
-> To reduce the burden of the higher Courts.
-> Afford convenience to the parties and witnesses who may be examined by them in such suits.
The District Judge and Sub-Ordinate Judges all have jurisdiction over all Original Suits., cognizable by the Civil Court subject to the condition suits are to be instituted in a Court of lowest grade competent to try it.
S.16 Suits to be instituted where subject matter situation
Subject to pecuniary and other limitations prescribed by any law, suits for:
1) Recovery of immovable property with or without rents and profits,
2) Partition of immovable property,
3) Foreclosure, sale, redemption in cases of mortgage or charge upon immovable property,
4) Determination of any other right or interest in immovable property,
5) Compensation of wrong to immovable property,
6) Recovery of movable property actually under attachment,
Shall be instituted in Court, within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate.
It is also provided that
– When suit is filed t obtain relief respecting or compensating any wrong to any immovable property, – And relief can be entirely obtained through personal obedience. In above case, the suit can be instituted either at:
· Court within whose local limit the property is situated.
· Court within whose local jurisdiction the defendant voluntarily resides or conducts business or trade.
Anand Bazaar Patrika V Biswanath Prasad
Held a suit for Specific performance for, contract of sale with possession, it has to be instituted in the Court in whose jurisdiction the property is situated and can not be filed where cause of action arises.
Seetha Rama Chetty V Kamala Amma
In a suit filed in Bangalore for a property located in Tamil Nadu, to determine right and interest in the immovable property, Court held that as long as the defendant is residing within the jurisdiction of Bangalore Court, where the suit is instituted, the suit was maintainable under S.16(d) read with the proviso.
S.17 Suits for immovable property situate within jurisdiction of different Courts
Where the subject matter of the suit, immoveable property, is situated within the local jurisdiction of two or more different Courts, the suits may be instituted in any Court, within whose local jurisdiction, a portion of the property is situated, and Court is competent to adjudicate over entire suit property, not just portion situated in its jurisdiction.
S.18 Place of institution of suit where local limits of jurisdiction of Courts are uncertain
When it is uncertain as regards under which of the two or more Courts, the territorial jurisdiction falls into, and one of such Courts has also ascertained such uncertainty, then it may proceed to entertain and dispose the suit related to the property; after recording the existence of such uncertainty.
Where no such statement has been recorded and objection is raised in appeal or revision, the Higher Court will not allow such objection unless:
=> At time of institution of suit, no reasonable ground for uncertainty as to Court was there, and,
=> It has resulted in consequent failure of justice.
In these cases, apart from the uncertain territorial jurisdiction, the Court should be competent as regards
-> nature of suit -> pecuniary jurisdiction.
S.19 Suits for compensation for wrongs to person or movable
In case of wrong to person or movables :-
=> In place where Cause of Action arose => In place where the defendant ordinarily resides or carries business or personally works for gain.
Eg: Defendant Hits Plaintiff
A ————————–> B Madras Delhi Delhi <= Place of Residence/Occurrence
Cause of action lies in Delhi, so can sue in Delhi. The defendant resides in Madras, so can sue in Madras.
S.20: Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises Subject to aforesaid limitations, i.e Ss 15 to 19,every suit shall be instituted in Court within whose local limits of jurisdiction:-
– Defendant(s) at time of commencement of suit actually or voluntarily resides carries business or trade or personally works for gain.
– any of the defendant ( if more than one) at time of commencement of suit actually or voluntarily resides carries business or trade or personally works for gain, provided
(a) Court gives leave to do so (b) Defendants who don’t reside there accept.
– Where cause of action arises.
For the purpose of S. 20, it is deemed that a Corporation carries on its business at its
– Sole/ Principal office. – Sub-Ordinate Office, if cause of action arose at such location.
A resides in Shimla, B resides in Calcutta , C resides in Delhi. A B and C together in Benaras , and B and C together execute a joint promissory note payable on demand and delivered it to A in Benaras.
A may sue B and C at (A) Benaras where Cause of Action.
(B) Calcutta or Delhi where A/B resides provided other defendant accepts or Court grants leave.
Patel Roadways V Parsad Trading Company 1992 Where defendant has Principal Office at one place and Sub Ordinate office at another, and Cause of Action arose, in place where the subordinate office is located, then the place of subordinate office where cause of action arose is the relevant place for filing the suit and not the place where principal office is located. Held, that, the explanation to S.20 provides an alternative locus for corporation’s place of business and not an additional one.
ABC Lamnart Private Ltd V AP Agencies Held, the jurisdiction of Court in matter of contract will depend on the suits of contract and Cause of Action arising through connecting factors. Further held, the parties may agree to vest jurisdiction in one of the many competent Court and such Ouster Clause is valid if
– the clause is explicit , precise and unambiguous. – not hit by Ss. 23 and 28 of Indian Contract Act.
S.21: Objections to jurisdiction
No objection as to place of suing is allowed in any Appellate or Revisionary Court , unless
– such objection was taken in the Court of first instance at the earliest possible opportunity.
– in cases where settlement is arrived, at or before, such settlement and
– there has been a consequent failure of justice.
No objection as to competence of Court as to pecuniary jurisdiction will be allowed at any appellate or revisionary Court unless, conditions mentioned above are satisfied.
No objection as to competence of executing Court will be allowed unless
– such objection was taken in the Court of first instance at the earliest possible opportunity and, – there has been a consequent failure of justice.
RSDV Finance Company Ltd V Shree Vallabh Glass Works 1993
Where in respect of a suit the two conditions namely 1)such objection was taken in the Court of first instance at the earliest possible opportunity. 2) in cases where settlement is arrived, at or before, such settlement , are satisfied and the third condition namely 3) there has been a consequent failure of justice, has not been satisfied, it was HELD that Court would not be justified in allowing objection to jurisdiction of Court in appeal.