Raj HC | Objection with regard to pecuniary jurisdiction shall be taken at the first instance at the earliest possible opportunity in accordance with S. 21 CPC

Rajasthan High Court: Anoop Kumar Dhand J. allowed the appeal and quashed the impugned order dated 17-08-2021 passed by the Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge No. 9, Jaipur Metropolitan-II, Jaipur.

The facts of the case are such that the disputed property was purchased by the plaintiff from one Balram vide agreement and the possession of the same was handed over to the plaintiff by said Balram. On 15-06-1996, allotment letter was also transferred in favour of the plaintiff by the defendant. Thereafter, boundary wall was constructed around the disputed property. When the father of the plaintiff visited the site on 03-02-2006, then he found that certain Land Mafias had broken the locks of the plot by trespassing upon it. When he asked them about the right, title of the property in question, then they started quarrelling with the father of the plaintiff. An FIR was also lodged in this regard and finally the instant suit has been filed for declaration, possession, damages, mandatory and permanent injunction with regard to the disputed property. Counsel for the petitioners submitted that after recording the evidence of both the sides on all the issues, the case was posted for final arguments and at that stage the learned court has no pecuniary jurisdiction to hear and decide the suit, hence, the suit is liable to be dismissed. It was further submitted that that 13 years have passed after filing of the suit and in case the impugned order is allowed to stand as it is then the plaintiff would be seriously prejudiced. Hence, the impugned order be quashed and set aside.

Counsel for the respondents submitted that the court has ample jurisdiction under Order 14 Rule 5 to frame any additional issue at any stage before disposal of the suit. So, rejection of the appeal was prayed. It was further submitted that from bare perusal of the contents of the plaint it was clear that the court has no pecuniary jurisdiction to hear and decide the suit. Hence, the court has rightly passed the impugned order. It was also submitted that the objection regarding the pecuniary jurisdiction can be taken at any stage even before the pronouncement of the judgment.

The Court stated “no such objection was taken by the defendants at the earliest stage or not during the course of trial when it reached to its final stage. Now at the stage of final disposal, the application has been submitted which has been accepted by the learned court below by overlooking the mandatory provisions contained under Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure.”

The Court observed that the suit was filed in the year 2008 and on bare perusal of the plaint, it is clear that the valuation of the suit was mentioned and the plea was also taken therein that the court below is competent to hear and decide the controversy in question on the basis of the valuation determined in the plaint by the plaintiff. and it is settled position of law as per Section 21 of the Code of Civil Procedure that the objection with regard to pecuniary jurisdiction shall be taken at the first instance at the earliest possible opportunity.

The Court held “the impugned order is not sustainable in the eye of law and the same is liable to be quashed and set aside.”

[Meeta Agarwal v. Hathroigiri, S.B. Civil Miscellaneous Appeal No. 1566/2021, decided on 04-01-2022 ]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.


Appearances

For Appellant(s) : Mr. Behari Lal Agarwal and Mr. Akash Gupta

For Respondent(s) : Mr. Bajrang Lal Choudhary

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