Monday, 9 April 2012

Rejection of Plaint – Order 7 Rule 11

Rejection of Plaint – O.7 R.11 and disclosure of complete cause of action as contemplated under O.7 R.1(e)

ORDER 7 RULE 11: Rejection of plaint
The plaint shall be rejected in the following cases:-
(a) where it does not disclose a cause of action;
(b) where the relief claimed is undervalued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;
(c) where the relief claimed is properly valued but the plaint is written upon paper insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to supply the requisite stamp-paper within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so;
(d) where the suit appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law;
(e) where it is not filed in duplicate;]
(f) where the plaintiff fails to comply with the provisions of rule 9:

Provided that the time fixed by the Court for the correction of the valuation or supplying of the requisite stamp-paper shall not be extended unless the Court, for reasons to be recorded, is satisfied that the plaintiff was prevented by any cause of an exceptional nature for correcting the valuation or supplying the requisite stamp-paper, as the case may be, within the time fixed by the Court and that refusal to extend such time would cause grave injustice to the plaintiff.

ORDER 7 RULE 1: Particulars to be contained in plaint
The plaint shall contain the following particulars:-
(a) the name of the Court in which the suit is brought;
(b) the name, description and place of residence of the plaintiff;
(c) the name, description and place of residence of the defendant, so far as they can be ascertained;
(d) where the plaintiff or the defendant is a minor or a person of unsound mind, a statement to that effect;
(e) the facts constituting the cause of action and when it arose;
(f) the facts showing that the Court has jurisdiction;
(g) the relief which the plaintiff claims;
(h) where the plaintiff has allowed a set-off or relinquished a portion of his claim, the amount so allowed or relinquished; and
(i) a statement of the value of the subject-matter of the suit for the purposes of jurisdiction and of court-fees, so far as the case admits.

In order to commence a legal action, the person must have some real grievance against the person, which is the foundation of any legal action, i.e. he must claim that his rights, whether under the law, or under the contract, or under equity, or under the common law or customs, is infringed.

In the absence of “required pleadings”, the Plaint may be wanting in “Material proposition of fact” [contemplated under O.14 R.1(2)] which the Plaintiff must prove (if disputed by the adversary) in order to claim reliefs; and therefore no issues could be framed if the pleadings are alleged to be wanting in specific details, or alleged to be vague or general in nature. “Material proposition” appears to be such proposition of facts which are peculiar to each kind of Suits, which must be alleged to exist in the Plaint to claim relief.

AND, whereas what material facts are to be pleaded, would of course depend upon the nature of relief claimed / prayed for, however, the judicially ascertained definition of “cause of action” would furnish a brilliant answer as what should be pleaded in the Plaint / WS. Let us look at Cause of action.

Broadly speaking, Cause of action has two dimensions, one, the accrual of cause of action, i.e. that moment of time when the rights of the Person is infringed and such infringement of right entitles him to move the Court of law, although he may choose not to move the Court immediately; like for example, a Persons sells goods and raise Invoice, dated 01.01.2014, and where the terms of payment agreed was 7 days from the date of Invoice; and therefore, if the payment is not made by 08.01.2014 (7 whole days would be calculated from 02.01.2014 to 08.01.2014), the Seller will have accrual of “Cause of action” on 09.01.2014; And second, cause of action means, the bundle of facts which are necessary (sufficient) to prove by the Plaintiff, to claim a decree from the court; or to say, every fact, which, if traversed, it would be necessary for the Plaintiff to prove, in order to support his right to the judgment of the Court.

From the second definition, it also follows that the Plaintiff is not obliged to prove every fact which is being “disputed” by the defendant; and he is required to prove only those facts which are “necessary”, in order to support his right to the judgment of the Court. The expression “material facts” is also known as “Integral facts”. (2007) 6 SCC 769 – Paras 40, 41.

Therefore, in the backdrop of reliefs he is claiming, it is for the Plaintiff to ascertain, the facts he has to prove, to authoritatively ask for judgment in his favour; and therefore must clearly set out in his pleadings, those facts. The pleadings, as far as possible, must be supported by documentary evidences [O.7 R.14; O.8 R.1A] available under the law.

Therefore, a heavy burden is cast upon the Plaintiff who invokes the jurisdiction of the Court, to make out a clear cut case for the reliefs he claims; and my brief experience shows that a frivolous Suit would always be wanting in “pleading of material facts”, and the Plaint may liable to be rejected as provided under O.7 R.11(a) to (d), as the case may be; and in every Application under O.7 R.11(a), it must be shown that, in the chain of events, Plaintiff is obliged to prove “this fact” to claim “this Relief”, and the said “this fact” is not “duly” pleaded in the Plaint; and therefore, the Plaint does not disclose cause of action. “Duly” implies a fact which is pleaded and which is supported by applicable / required documentary evidence, upon which the Court can frame an “issue” if the said fact is disputed;

And if the Plaintiff makes out a good case, the burden then falls upon the Defendant to “traverse” the material facts; and his failure to adequately “traverse” the material facts, as provided under O.8 Rr.1A, 3, 4, and 5, may entitle the Plaintiff to claim decree based on the mandate of O.12 R.6, r/w O.15, r/w Sections 17 and 58 of Evidence Act.

While deciding O.7 R.11 Applications, whilst WS may not be looked into, at the same time, for the purpose of securing that Plaint discloses complete cause of action, it may be presumed that everything stated in the Plaint is denied in the WS, and then, based on this presumption, the Court may see, Principal issues which invariably arises in the nature of Suit which is filed, if can be framed. It may be appreciated that “Issues” can only be framed where the Party adduces sufficient evidence (documentary or otherwise) in support of his plea, in the Plaint.

Therefore, in every litigation, the Plaintiff must discern / make himself duly acquainted with, as which set of facts he must prove, so as to authoritatively ask for the relief he is claiming; and more so, it is important for the defendant to discern / make out those “set of facts” which must be pleaded and proved by the Plaintiff, before he can authoritatively ask for judgment in his favour, for, if the Plaintiff fails to plead or prove even one fact among those “set of facts”, may render the case of the Plaintiff “fall”.

Plaint founded on pleas unsupported by any material on record, the Plaint does not disclose any cause of action, shall be rejected under O7R11, (2008) 2 Punj LR (D) 41, 48 (Del), (2008) 10 SCC 97, 103; (2005) 10 SCC 760, 778.

Object of O.7R.11 – Keep out of Courts irresponsible law Suits. Order 10 is a tool in the hands of Court to effectuate object behind O7R11. The Plaint can be rejected even without intervention of the Defendant. The duty is cast upon the Court to perform its obligation. (2004) 3 SCC 137, 147.

A plaint can be rejected under O7R11 for institutional defects. AIR 2009 (NOC) 915 (Ker) (DB).
The trial Court can exercise powers under O7R11 at any stage of the Suit. (2004) 3 SCC 137; (2003) 1 SCC 557.
Where the Suit is not maintainable, the HC can under invoke jurisdiction under Article 227 and reject the Plaint. (2008) 2 MLJ 646, 652 (Mad).
Power to reject Plaint can be exercised even after framing of issues and when matter is posted for evidence, (1998) 2 SCC 70, 76, 77.
(2004) 3 SCC 137;
(2003) 1 SCC 557;
O.7 R.11 – Rejection of Plaint – the case must fall within the four corners of the provisions of O.7 R.11 – truthfulness of narration of facts in Plaint / WS are not to be judged at the stage of rejection of Plaint – AIR 2011 (NOC) 260 P & H – Para 24.
Summary dismissal – (2011) 6 SCC 456

O.7 R.11(a) – rejection of Plaint – cause of action – non existence of – Application rejected – AIR 2011 Guj 27 – Paras 15, 17.
O.7 R.11 – rejection for want of cause of action – courts shall look into Plaint and not on W.S. – Application for Rejection rejected – AIR 2011 Mad 136 – Para 10. 
O.7 R.11(d) – Suit barred by law – AIR 2011 Mad 136 – Paras 15, 16, 23.
O.7 R.11 – Colgate Palmolive versus Rajendra Vinayak – 2012 (2) All MR 225 – Para 12

The Court will not wait for disposal of Application made under O7R11 till the framing of issues, AIR 2009 Jhar 86, 87.

If the Plaint is manifestly meritless or vexatious, the Court can reject Plaint under O7R11 even before the Defendant has filed his WS. 2009 AIHC 1455, 1457 (Gau).

Plaint can be rejected at any stage. Application by party not necessary. (2003) 1 SCC 557; AIR 1999 All 109, 125; A 2008 (NOC) 1248 (Mad); (2008) 1 CTC 527; A 2004 Gau 107; AIR 2009 (NOC) 915 (Del) (DB).

Clever drafting creating illusion of cause of action, (1998) 2 SCC 70, 77, 81.

Defect in POA is curable. Rejection not warranted. AIR 2006 AP 337, 343.

An order rejecting Plaint is appelable in terms of section 2(2) of CPC and not Revisable. (2002) AIHC 283, 285 (AP); (2003) Andh LD 105 (AP).

O7R11 and O14 R2 – Court has power to decide its own jurisdiction and questions regarding the maintainability of the Suit. (2003) 8 SCC 134, 143.

Order under O7R11 is a decree.
(1996) AIHC 998, 999 (Cal) (DB);
2000 All LJ 2357 (All);
AIR 2009 Pat 71.

For deciding application under O7R11 (a) to (d), the averments in the Plaint are germane. Pleas taken in WS are wholly irrelevant at that stage.

Mayar HK Ltd & Ors vs Owners & Parties vessel MV Fortune Express & Ors 2006 3 SCC 100
PK Palanisamy Vs N Arumugham & Anr 2009 4 LW 75
Prem Lala Nahata & Anr vs Chandi Prasad Sikaria AIR 2007 SC 1247
Saleem Bhai & Ors v St of Maharashtra & Ors 2003 1 SCC 557
Sopan Sukhdeo Sable and Ors Vs Asst Charity Com and Ors AIR 2004 SC 1801
Sudhir G Angur & Ors v M Sanjeev & Ors AIR 2006 SC 351
T Arivandandam vs TV Satyapal & Anr  AIR 1977 SC 2421

O.7 R.11 – 2012 (2) All MR 225 – Para 12

O.7 R.11 – 2012 (2) All MR 806 – Para 10

O.7 R.11 – AIR 2012 Raj 39(B) – Paras 12, 13


  1. Can a suit reject without making party to company when purchaser of goods is company

  2. Pls check O.1 R.9
    9. Misjoinder and nonjoinder

    No suit shall be defeated by reason of the misjoinder or nonjoinder of parties, and the Court may in every suit deal with the matter in controversy so far as regards the rights and interests of the parties actually before it:

    1[Provided that nothing in this rule shall apply to nonjoinder of a necessary party.]

    The Suit can be rejected under this Rule.

  3. When the plaint apperrantly on face barred by law no cause of action ,court fee not paid or less fee paid or court observed taht no decree can be passed after admitting the plain moreover if the plaint does not disclose any cause of action then court is duty to bound to reject the plaint with out further loss of time on the Petition of defendants at any stageit will be tantamount to a decree but not on technical default in plaint