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Section 21 CPC, Objection to Pecuniary Jurisdiction To Be Taken At First Insurance at Earliest Possible Opportunity: Rajasthan High Court

Team SoOLEGAL 24 Jan 2022 4:07pm

Section 21 CPC, Objection to Pecuniary Jurisdiction To Be Taken At First Insurance at Earliest Possible Opportunity: Rajasthan High Court

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court, Jaipur Bench, has remarked that under Section 21 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, the objection to pecuniary jurisdiction must be raised in the first instance as soon as feasible.

Justice Sudesh Bansal, ruled;
“It is settled position of law as per Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure that the objection with regard to pecuniary jurisdiction shall be taken at the first instance at the earliest possible opportunity.”

Notably, the court stated that adjournments in the matter should not be allowed without reasonable cause and should only be given when necessary by a reasoned ruling or on a competent written application made to the satisfaction of the trial Court.

The court also stated that the trial court should follow the principles laid out in M/s. Shiv Cotex vs. Tirgun Auto Plast Pvt. Ltd. 2011 (9) SCC 678, in which the Supreme Court held that adjournments should be limited to three/four times during the life of the suit, as well as the provisions of Order 17 CPC.

Furthermore, the court instructed the trial court to resolve the underlying matter, which had been pending before it since 2008, within four months of the date of presentation of a certified copy of this ruling. The parties are also ordered to appear before the trial Court on January 27, 2022.

Facts
The plaintiff-appellant had petitioned the trial Court for a declaration, possession, damages, and an obligatory and permanent injunction relating to the alleged invasion of his land by the Mafias. The present petition was filed by the appellant after the defendants-respondents' application was granted and the plaint was ordered to be returned under Order 7 Rule 10 CPC for filing before the Competent Court.

Arguments
The plaintiff's counsel argued that after recording both sides' evidence on all issues, the case was posted for final arguments, and at that point, the defendants filed an application on 10.08.2021 stating that the learned court below lacks pecuniary jurisdiction to hear and decide the suit, and thus the suit is liable to be dismissed.

Using Harshad Chiman Lal Modi v. D.L.F. Universal Ltd. 2005 as authority, the counsel argued that the trial court ignored the provisions of Section 21 of the CPC,1908 and incorrectly accepted the defendants' application by returning the plaint to the plaintiff under Order 7 Rule 10 CPC for filing before the Competent Court.

He further contended that the impugned order should be annulled since 13 years had elapsed since the complaint was filed, and the plaintiff would be significantly affected if the impugned ruling was upheld.

In contrast, the counsel for the defendants stated that a cursory reading of the plaint reveals that the trial court has financial jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter, and thus the trial court correctly issued the challenged ruling.

Defendants' counsel also adds, based on several Apex Court rulings, that the challenge to pecuniary jurisdiction can be raised at any time, even before the decision is issued.

Findings
The court stated that it is undeniable that the complaint was filed in 2008, and a cursory reading of the plaint reveals that the litigation's valuation was addressed. The court also took the plea that the trial court is competent to hear and consider the issue in question based on the valuation set in the plaintiff's plaint.

The court further noted that when the written statement was filed, the defendants made no such objection in their written statement.



Tagged: Rajasthan High Court   Section 21 CPC   Civil Procedure Code   Justice Sudesh Bansal   Supreme Court  
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