Rejection of plaint by court at pre-trial stage.

Drastic power of Rejection of plaint.

A civil action called civil suit commences with filing of a petition called plaint. Rejection of the plaint under Order VII rule 11 of the CPC is a drastic power conferred in the court to terminate a civil action at the threshold. The conditions precedent to the exercise of power under Order VII rule 11, therefore, are stringent and have been consistently held to be so by the Courts.

Consideration of pleadings:

It is the averments in the plaint that has to be read as a whole to find out whether it discloses a cause of action or whether the suit is barred under any law. At the stage of exercise of power under Order VII rule 11, the stand of the defendants in the written statement or in the application for rejection of the plaint is wholly immaterial. It is only if the averments in the plaint ex facie do not disclose a cause of action or on a reading thereof the suit appears to be barred under any law the plaint can be rejected. In all other situations, the claims will have to be adjudicated in the course of the trial.

Written statement of Defendant is irrelevant:

Reading the plaint as a whole and proceeding on the basis that the averments made therein are correct, which is what the Court is required to do, it cannot be said that the said pleadings ex facie discloses that the suit is barred by limitation or is barred under any other provision of law. The claim of the plaintiffs with regard to the knowledge of the essential facts giving rise to the cause of action as pleaded will have to be accepted as correct. At the stage of consideration of the application under Order VII rule 11 the stand of the defendants in the written statement would be altogether irrelevant.

Conclusion of Supreme Court of India:

Both the suits were filed in July 2002 which is well within three years of the date of knowledge, as claimed by the plaintiffs, of the fact that the property had not been transferred in the name of plaintiff No.2 by the defendants Nos. 1 and 2. The aforesaid averments made in the plaint will have to be accepted as correct for the purposes of consideration of the application under Order VII rule 11 filed by the defendants Nos. 1 and 2. If that be so, the averments in the plaint would not disclose that either of the suits is barred by limitation so as to justify rejection of the plaint under Order VII rule 11 of the CPC.
[Source: P.V. Guru Raj Reddy v P. Neeradha Reddy]

 

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