Judgment Summarized by Delhi Law Academy – Jaipur
These appeals arise from the common order of the High Court of Madhya Pradesh [Indore Bench] dated 7th May, 2002.
Respondent No. 7 in the appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) No. 13234 of 2002 and the sole respondent in the appeal arising out of S.L.P. (C) 14577 of 2002 filed suits in February, 2002, out of which these appeals arise.
- The appellant filed an application under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 in the suits praying the court to dismiss the suits on the ground stated therein. Before us, it is stated that the plaint is liable to be rejected under Clauses (a) and (d) of Rule 11 of Order VII C.P.C. While so, the said respondents also filed the application under Order VIII Rule 10 C.P.C. to pronounce judgment in the suits as the appellant did not file his written statement. There was also an application by the appellant under Section 151 C.P.C. praying the court to decide first the application under Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. By order dated 8th December, 2001, the learned Trial Judge dismissed the application under Order VIII Rule 10 as well as the application filed under Section 151 C.P.C.
Insofar as the application under Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. is concerned, the Judge directed the appellant to file his written statement. Aggrieved thereby, the appellant filed afore-mentioned revision petitions before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh [Indore Bench].
On May 7, 2002, the High Court, while confirming the order of the learned Trial Judge reiterated the direction given by the learned Trial Judge that the appellant should file his written statement and observed that the trial court shall frame issues of law and facts arising out of pleadings and that the trial court should record its finding on the preliminary issue in accordance with law before proceeding to try the suit on facts. It is against this order of the High Court that the present appeals have been preferred.
Learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant contended that having regard to the very nature of the relief claimed by the plaintiffs, the plaints are liable to be rejected under Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. and that the court ought to have considered the said application or merits instead of giving direction to file written statement which would amount to not exercising the jurisdiction vested in the court. It is further contended that the High Court also did not appreciate that the plaints do not show any cause of action.
The short common question that arises for consideration in these appeals is, whether an application under Order VII Rule 11 ought to be decided on the allegations in the plaint and filing of the written statement by the contesting defendant is irrelevant and unnecessary.
A perusal of Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. makes it clear that the relevant facts which need to be looked into for deciding an application thereunder are the averments in the plaint. The trial court can exercise the power under Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. at any state of the suit -before registering the plaint or after issuing summons to the defendant at any time before the conclusion of the trial. For the purposes of deciding an application under Clauses (a) and (d) of Rule 11 of Order VII C.P.C., the averments in the plaint are germane; the pleas taken by the defendant in the written statement would be wholly irrelevant at that stage, therefore, a direction to file the written statement without deciding the application under Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. cannot but be procedural irregularity touching the exercise of jurisdiction by the trial court. The order, therefore, suffers from non-exercising of the jurisdiction vested in the court as well as procedural irregularity.
We remit the cases to the trial court for deciding the application under Order VII Rule 11 C.P.C. on the basis of the averments in the plaint, after affording an opportunity of being heard to the parties in accordance with law.
There is consistent and reliable evidence establishing that all the accused had attacked the house of the informan