Jurisdiction and Limitations are the two major points which bothers every person who wants to move to a Court of Law for one or the other Relief/s. Hence today I would like to give you a birds eye view of the jurisdiction (i.e. the place/region) wherein a particular case can be filed and time within which a case can be filed.Hope it helps people at large by saving lot of time and anxiety before they decide to move Court.Here I discuss about Indian Law on the subject and also I would like to give interesting /useful Links to have a global knowledge of the subject.
PLACE OF SUING IN CIVIL MATTERS
Courts in which suits to be instituted :
Every Suit shall be instituted in the Court of the lowest grade competent to try it.
Jurisdiction means power to decide and pass appropriate order as sought.
SUITS TO BE INSTITUTED WHERE SUBJECT MATTER SITUATE – Subject to the pecuniary or other limitations prescribed by any law, suits:-
(a)for the recovery of immovable property with or without rent or profits,
(b)for the partition of immovable property
(c)for foreclosure, sale or redemption in the case of a mortgage of or charge upon immovable property.
(d)For the determination of any other right to or interest in immovable property
(e)For compensation for wrong to immovable property
(f)For the recovery of movable property actually under distrait or attachment shall be instituted in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate.
Provided that a suit to obtain relief respecting, or compensation for wrong to immovable property held by or on behalf of the defendant may, where the relief sought can be entirely obtained through his personal obedience, be instituted either in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate or in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant actually and voluntarily reside or carries on business, or personally works for gain.
SUITS FOR IMMOVABLE PROPERTY SITUATE WITHIN JURISDICTION OF DIFFERENT COURTS:
Where a suit is to obtain relief respecting, or compensation for wrong to immovable property situate within the jurisdiction of different Courts, the suit may be instituted in any Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any portion of the property is situate.
Provided that, in respect of the value of the subject matter of the suit, the entire claim is cognizable by such Court
PLACE OF INSTITUTION OF SUIT WHERE LOCAL LIMITS OF JURISDICTION OF COURTS ARE UNCERTAIN
(1)Where it is alleged to be uncertain within the local limits of the jurisdiction of which of two or more Courts any immovable property is situate any one of those Courts may, if satisfied that there is ground for the alleged uncertainty, record a statement to that effect and thereupon proceed to entertain and dispose of any suit relating to that property and its decree in the suit shall have the same effect as if the property were situate within the local limits of its jurisdiction.
Provided that the suit is one with respect to which the Court is competent as regards the nature and value of the suit to exercise jurisdiction.
(2)Where a statement has not been recorded under sub-section(1) and an objection is taken before an Appellant or Revisional Court that a decree or order in a suit relating to such property was made by a Court not having jurisdiction where the property is situate, the Appellate or Revisional Court shall not allow the objection unless in its opinion there was at the time of the institution of the suit, no reasonable ground for uncertainty as to the Court having jurisdiction with respect thereto and there has been a consequent failure of justice.
SUITS FOR COMPENSATION FOR WRONGS TO PERSON OR MOVABLES
Where a suit is for compensation for wrong done to the person or to movable property, if the wrong was done within the local limits of the jurisdiction of one Court and the defendant resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another Court, the suit may be instituted at the option of the plaintiff in either of the said Courts.
OTHER SUITS TO BE INSTITUTED WHERE DEFENDANTS RESIDE OR CAUSE OF ACTION ARISES
Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction:-
(a)the defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain or
(b)any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution or(c) the cause of action wholly or in part arises.
A Corporation shall be deemed to carry on business at its sole or principal office in India or, in respect of any cause of action arising at any place where it has also subordinate office, at such place.
(a)A is a trademan in Calcutta.B carried on business in Delhi.B by his agent in Calcutta buys goods of A and requests A to deliver them to the East Indian Railway Company.A delivers the goods accordingly in Calcutta.A may sue B for the price of the goods either in Calcutta where the cause of action has arisen or in Delhi whereB carries on business.
(b)A resides at Simla, B at Calcutta and C at Delhi.A, B, C being together at Banaras, B and C make a joint promissory note payable on demand, and deliver it to A. A may sue B and C at Banaras, where the cause of action arose.He may also sue them at Calcutta where B resides, or at Delhi where C resides but in each of these cases if the non resident defendant objects the suit cannot proceed without the leave of the Court.
The principle behind clauses (a) and (b) is that suit be instituted at a place where the defendant is able to defend it without undue trouble.
In a suit based on judgment the cause of action must be said to have arisen at that place where the judgment is rendered.If the plaintiff chooses to sue upon the judgment he cannot find jurisdiction on the basis of original cause of action.
Part of cause of action includes even a fraction of cause of action.The magnitude or percentage of the cause of action is immaterial.
In suits arising out of Contracts mere making of offer does not form part of the cause of action.
A Contract is complete only when the offer made is accepted.It is the acceptance of that offer that gives rise to the cause of action and not merely an offer.Hence, even though the offer is made from Bangalore, it cannot be said that part of the cause of action arose in Bangalore.In a suit, the cause of action will consist of making of the contract its breach at a place where it has to be performed and other facts.A suit for breach of contract can therefore be brought at the option of the plaintiff either at the place where the contract was made or where the breach was committed.
The Court in India has jurisdiction to entertain and try a suit if the defendant resides in a place within the jurisdiction of that Court on the date when the suit is instituted though cause of action of the suit arose outside India, and the defendant was outside India at the time of accrual of the cause of action.
Parties cannot by agreement confer jurisdiction on Court which it does not possess under the Code of Civil Procedure.
The suit on the basis of an agreement signed within the territorial jurisdiction of two different Courts can be filed in any one of those two Courts.
Finding recorded by a Court not having jurisdiction does not operate as res-judicata (AIR 2003 Kar 118)
The Contract was entered into through correspondence.Court has to look into the whole correspondence to find out whether the cause of action arose within the jurisdiction of particular Court.Where a letter of correspondence is posted it would determine territorial jurisdiction of the Court.Invoice passed subsequent to contract containing a condition excluding the jurisdiction of a Court other than a particular Court is not relevant, would not determine the jurisdiction of the Court.
In a case where payment through a Negotiable Instrument was sent by post the place where the negotiable instrument was posted would be the place of payment and for jurisdiction.
Defendant by sending a reply cannot create cause of action (AIR 1996 SC 543)and file a suit the same is liable to be dismissed.
Suits against Companies should normally be filed where Company has its registered office (1994 SCC 225)
An agreement suggesting ouster of jurisdiction of all the Courts which otherwise would have jurisdiction over the subject matter of dispute will be unlawful and void.
If the Court has no jurisdiction at all parties cannot by an agreement confer a jurisdiction on the Court.
WHAT IS MEANT BY CAUSE OF ACTION?
The fact or combination of facts that gives a person the right to seek judicial redress or relief against another. Also, the legal theory forming the basis of a lawsuit.
In a cause of action for battery, the rule of law is that any intentional, unpermitted act that causes a harmful or offensive touching of another is a battery. This is the major premise and is stated first. Supporting facts, constituting the minor premise, appear after the rule of law. For example, a statement of facts for a case of battery might be “The plaintiff, while walking through ABC Store on the afternoon of March 11, 1998, was tackled by the defendant, a security guard for the store, who knocked the plaintiff to the floor and held her there by kneeling on her back and holding her arms behind her, while screaming in her ear to open her shopping bag. These actions caused the plaintiff to suffer injuries to her head, chest, shoulders, neck, and back.” The cause of action concludes with a statement that the defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries and that the plaintiff is entitled to compensation from the defendant.
The facts or circumstances that entitle a person to seek judicial relief may create more than one cause of action. For example, in the preceding example, the plaintiff might assert claims for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and violation of civil rights. She might also bring claims for negligent hiring (if the guard had a history of violent behavior which the store failed to discover) or negligent supervision. (When damages are caused by an employee it is common to sue both the employee and the employer.) All these causes of action arise from the same set of facts and circumstances but are supported by different rules of law and constitute separate claims for relief.
A cause of action can arise from an act, a failure to perform a legal obligation, a breach of duty, or a violation or invasion of a right. The importance of the act, failure, breach, or violation lies in its legal effect or characterization and in how the facts and circumstances, considered as a whole, relate to applicable law. A set of facts may have no legal effect in one situation, whereas the same or similar facts may have significant legal implications in another situation. For example, tackling a shoplifting suspect who is brandishing a gun is a legitimate action by a security guard and probably would not support a claim for relief if the suspect were injured in the fracas. On the other hand, tackling a shopper who merely acts in a suspicious manner while carrying a shopping bag is a questionable exercise of a guard’s duty and may well give rise to justiciable causes of action.
Some useful links: