Published on August 19, 2022 at 17:32 IST
The Supreme Court contended that a court has the power to reject a plaint suo motu under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
The Bench of Justices KM Joseph and Hrishikesh Roy stated that the court has to hear the plaintiff before it invokes this power. Order VII rule 11 does not give the court the power to reject a plaint only on the basis of an application.
The observations were made by the court under its judgement stating that Section 12A of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015 is compulsory and a suit which is violating this provision has to be rejected under Order VII Rule 11.
The question arose as to whether the power under Order VII Rule 11 can only be exercised in order and at which stage it is to be exercised.
The bench referred to the judgement of Patasibai and Others vs. Ratanlal, where the court opined that “Order VII rule 11 does not provide that the court is to discharge its duty of rejecting the plaint only on an application.
“Order VII Rule 11 is in fact silent about any such requirement. Since summon is to be issued in a duly instituted suit in a case where the plaint is barred under Order VII Rule 11(d), the stage begins at that time when the court can reject the plaint under Order VII Rule 11.”
The Court put the reasoning that it would take a clear case where the court is satisfied. The court has to hear the plaintiff before it invokes its power, besides giving reasons under Order VII Rule 12.
“In a clear case where on the allegations in the suit, it is found that the suit is barred by any law, as would be the case, but the plaintiff, In a suit under the Act does not plead circumstances to take his case out of the requirement of Section 12A, the plaint should be rejected without issuing summons.”
“Undoubtedly, on issuing summons, it will always be open to the defendant to make an application as well under Order VII Rule 11.”
In other words, the power under Order VII Rule 11 is available to the court to be exercised suo motu.