It is the settled proposition of law that the plaint cannot be rejected partially: Supreme Court 

It is the settled proposition of law that the plaint cannot be rejected partially: Supreme Court 

The Supreme Court stated that it is the settled proposition of law that the plaint cannot be partially rejected.

Background 

Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court of Calcutta by which the High Court has allowed the said petition and has quashed and set aside the order passed by the trial court refusing to reject the plaint in exercise of powers under Order VII Rule 11 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) and consequently has rejected the plaint under Order VII Rule 11 CPC mainly on the ground that the suit is barred by limitation and that a suit for a declaration simpliciter under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act would not be maintainable as against the actual owner, the original plaintiffs have preferred the present appeal.

Arguments 

Advocate Ankur Sood, appearing on behalf of the appellants, submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court has erred in allowing the application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC and rejecting the plaint on the ground that the suit is barred by limitation. 

He submitted that while holding that the suit would be barred by limitation, the High Court has not at all considered the entire suit averments and has not considered the averments in the plaint as a whole.

Advocate Suman Kumar Dutt, appearing on behalf of the original defendants, supported the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court. He submitted that in the facts and circumstances of the case, the High Court has not committed any error in rejecting the plaint on the ground that the suit is barred by limitation. 

He contended that even according to the plaintiffs the cause of action had arisen in the year 2004 as averred in paragraph 4 of the plaint. 

Decision 

The division bench of Justice M.R. Shah and Justice B.V. Nagarathna stated that while considering an application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC, the Court has to go through the entire plaint averments and cannot reject the plaint by reading only a few lines/passages and ignoring the other relevant parts of the plaint.

The court noted that while holding that the suit is barred by limitation, the High Court has considered only the averments made in paragraph 4 and has not considered the entire plaint averments.

The court further noted that while rejecting the plaint, the High Court has also observed and held that the suit for a declaration simpliciter under Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act against the original owner would not be maintainable and for that reliance is placed upon the decision of the Court in the case of Delhi Motor Company.

The court added that even the plaintiffs have also prayed for the decree for a permanent injunction claiming to be in possession and the declaration and permanent injunction as such invoking Section 53A of the Transfer of Property Act.

The court said that when the suit is for a decree of permanent injunction and it is averred that the plaintiffs are in possession of the suit property pursuant to the agreement and thereafter, they have developed the land and that they are in continuous possession since more than twelve years and they are also paying taxes to the Corporation, the cause of action can be said to have arisen on the date on which the possession is sought to be disturbed.

The court added that if that be so, the suit for decree for permanent injunction cannot be said to be barred by limitation. It is the settled proposition of law that the plaint cannot be partially rejected. Even otherwise, the reliefs sought are interconnected.

The court held that the High Court has committed a grave error in allowing the application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC and rejecting the plaint. The High Court has exceeded in its jurisdiction in rejecting the plaint while exercising the powers under Order VII Rule 11 CPC. The impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court is unsustainable both, on law as well as on facts.

The court observed that whatever observations are made by the Court in the present order shall be confined to deciding the application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC only and the trial court to finally decide and dispose of the suit in accordance with law and on its own merits and on the basis of the evidence led.

Case title: Sri Biswanath Banik & Anr. v/s Smt. Sulanga Bose & Ors.

Citation: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 1848 OF 2022

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