Supreme Court of India Clarifies Civil Court’s Duty to Determine Cause of Action Under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC

Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: May 28, 2024 21:44 IST

Court: Honourable Supreme Court of India

Case: Liverpool & London v. M.V. Sea Success 2004

Honourable Supreme Court of India has held that a Civil Court is duty bound under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 to  determine whether the plaint discloses a cause of action by scrutinising the averments in the plaint, read in conjunction with the documents relied upon, or whether the suit is barred by any law. A cause of action is a bundle of facts which are required to be pleaded and proved for the purpose of obtaining relief claimed in the suit.

128. As by reason of an order passed under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the rights conferred upon the parties are determined one way or the other, stricto sensu it would not be an interlocutory order but having regard to its traits and trappings would be a preliminary judgment.

133. The idea underlying Order 7 Rule 11(a) is that when no cause of action is disclosed, the courts will not unnecessarily protract the hearing of a suit. Having regard to the changes in the legislative policy as adumbrated by the amendments carried out in the Code of Civil Procedure, the courts would interpret the provisions in such a manner so as to save expenses, achieve expedition and avoid the court’s resources being used up on cases which will serve no useful purpose. A litigation which in the opinion of the court is doomed to fail would not further be allowed to be used as a device to harass a litigant.

146. It may be true that Order 7 Rule 11(a) although authorises the court to reject a plaint on failure on the part of the plaintiff to disclose a cause of action but the same would not mean that the averments made therein or a document upon which reliance has been placed although discloses a cause of action, the plaint would be rejected on the ground that such averments are not sufficient to prove the facts stated therein for the purpose of obtaining reliefs claimed in the suit. The approach adopted by the High Court, in this behalf, in our opinion, is not correct.

Drafted By Abhijit Mishra

Related Post