Return of Plaint || O.7 R.10 || CPC ||
In this article, we will discuss the topic of Return of Plaint under Order 7 Rule 10, 10A, 10B, CPC, 1908.
The provisions regarding the return of plaint are provided under the Order 7 Rules 10, 10A, 10B, CPC, 1908. The court, if it found that it does not have jurisdiction in the suit, can return by an order that the plaint to be presented in the proper court. The defect of jurisdiction can be of territorial, Pecuniary or Subject matter.
Return of Plaint:-
Return of Plaint means when a court found that in any suit presented before it has no jurisdiction to try it, then the trial court may, by the order of returning the plaint, may return the plaint to be presented to the proper court.
Procedure for returning the Plaint:-
On the returning of the plaint, the court is required to endorse on the plaint the following particulars [Rule 10 (2)]:-
1. Date of Presentation
2. Date of Returning
3. Name of the party which presented the plaint
4. Reasons for returning the plaint.
Grounds for return of plaint:-
The court shall return a plaint on the following grounds:-
Court has no jurisdiction:-
The term jurisdiction refers to the legal authority, to do justice in accordance with the means provided by law and subject to the limitation imposed by law. The court should return the plaint when it has no jurisdiction to try it.
Objection to jurisdiction:-
If the party to the suit has any objection as to the jurisdiction of the court, the court may return the plaint.
Power of court to fix a date of appearance in the court where plaint is to be filed in proper court after its return:-
Where in any suit, after the defendant has appeared, the court is of opinion that the plaint should be returned due to non-jurisdiction, it shall, before doing so, intimate its decision to the plaintiff. [ R 10-A (1)].
On receipt such notice, the plaintiff may apply to the court specifying the court in which he proposes to present the plaint after its return, praying that the court may fix a date for the appearance of the parties in the said court, and requesting that the notice of the date so fixed may be given to him and to the defendant. [R 10-A (2)]
Where an application is presented by the plaintiff as aforesaid, the court shall, before returning the plaint and notwithstanding that the order for the return of plaint was made by it on the ground that it has no jurisdiction on the matter prescribed in plaint:-
a.) Fix the date for the appearance of the parties in the court in which the plaint is proposed to be presented, and
b.) Give to the plaintiff and to the defendant notice of such date for appearance. [R10-A(3)].
Where the notice of the date for appearance is served, it shall not be necessary for the court in which the plaint is presented after its return, to serve the defendant with a summon for appearance in the suit, unless the court, for reasons to be recorded, otherwise directs. [ R.10-A (4)].
This rule has been added to Order 7 with a view to empowering the court hearing an appeal against an order of return of plaint to direct that, instead of the plaint being returned, the suit may be transferred to the court in which it should have been instituted. Further, the provisions for abolish the necessary for serving the summons on the defendants, where the order of return of plaint was made after the appearance of the defendants in the suit.
Amar Chand v. Union of India, AIR 1973 SC 313
It was held that when a plaint is filed in the proper court, after getting it back from the wrong court, it cannot be said to be a continuation of the suit and the suit must be deemed to commence when a plaint is filed in the proper court.
The order of returning the plaint is appealable under Order 43 Rule 1.
As per the above-stated matter, it can be said, that jurisdiction of the court is necessary, to obtain adjudication and the decision of court without jurisdiction is a nullity in the eyes of the law, and not binding of anyone, though this is subject to the exceptions of section 21 of CPC.