Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: Lok Pal Singh, J. dismissed a writ petition filed by a village pradhan challenging the order of District Court (revisional court) whereby matter pertaining to the validity of his election as pradhan was directed to be considered afresh by the Prescribed Authority.

Petitioner was elected as the village pradhan of village Bahadurpur. Respondent filed an election petition under Section 12-C of the UP Panchayat Raj Act, 1947 against the petitioner on the ground of unfair practice, etc. Prescribed Authority formulated two issues, whether the petition was barred by provisions of Rule 11, Order 7 Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and whether the petition had not been filed in accordance with the law. Prescribed Authority recorded the finding that the plaintiff was required to issue a notice to the opposite party under Section 80 of CPC but the same has not been done, hence the election petition was barred. The petitioner preferred civil revision against this order which was allowed and the matter was remanded back to Prescribed Authority for deciding the matter afresh on merits. Aggrieved thereby, the Petitioner approached this Court under Article 227 of Constitution of India seeking a writ of certiorari for quashing the order passed by the revisional court.

Counsel for the petitioner Aditya Pratap Singh, submitted that the election petition had rightly been dismissed by the prescribed authority as the election petition was barred by the provisions of Rule 11, Order 7 CPC, and the revisional court had exceeded its jurisdiction in passing the impugned order. Counsel for the respondent, Ajay Veer Pundir and Narain Dutt submitted that there was no requirement to serve notice under Section 80 CPC in an election petition and the prescribed authority had committed patent error in law by dismissing the election petition.

The Court relied on the judgment of Kushuma Devi v. Sheopati Devi, 2019 SCC Online SC 482, in which it was held that every judicial or quasi-judicial order shall be supported with the reasons which support its conclusion, as the revisionary court while examining the correctness of the order is entitled to know the basis on which a particular conclusion was arrived at in the order. It was opind that the prescribed authority had not recorded any reasons for its order.

It was opined that reasons recorded in judgment are the life of law and in their absence, the judgment could not be said to be legal. The Prescribed Authority had travelled beyond the issues which were under the consideration and the revisional court was justified in remanding the matter back to the prescribed authority and hence writ petition was dismissed.

Further, the Court opined that without framing an issue in regard to notice under Section 80 CPC, the Prescribed Authority had held the election petition to be barred by Order 7 Rule 11 CPC. Thus, the findings recorded by Prescribed Authority in this regard were illegal, and therefore the revisional court’s order remanding the matter back to Prescribed Authority for fresh consideration was valid.

In view of the above, the petition was dismissed.[Narendra Singh v. Anil Kumar, WP No. 177 of 2018 (M/S), decided on 14-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Rajasthan High Court: The Bench of Dr Pushpendra Singh Bhati, J., dismissed the petition filed for mainly amendment of the issues framed in the pleadings at a later stage.

The facts of the case were that the respondent-landlord had filed an application under Section 18(2) of the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 before the Rent Tribunal, for recovery of arrears of rent. The petitioner filed a reply to the said application under Section 18(2) of the Rajasthan Rent Control Act, 2001 and denied the existence of the landlord-tenant relationship between him and the respondent. This started the series of litigation that followed thereafter between the parties. During this, the petitioner filed an application under Section 21 of the Rent Control Act, 2001 for amendment of the issues. The petitioner also made a request to delete issues framed earlier and prayed for framing of a new issue. Also, he filed an application under Section 21 read with Section 11 of the Court Fee Act and under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC with the averment that the respondent in the rent application had although prayed for arrears of rent along with 18% interest per annum, but did not pay the appropriate court fee. The argument advanced by the respondent was that the eviction suit was filed in the year 2010 and had been going on for almost nine years, and thus, at that stage when no material change in the original pleadings were made, then permitting the petitioner to file new applications just for the purpose of delaying the proceedings was inappropriate.

The Court held that the parties were satisfied with the issues so framed at that juncture, and therefore, since no material change was reflected in the pleadings, at a belated stage, the petitioner was barred to contend that the issues need to be re-framed. The petition was thus rejected. [Umesh Jhamb v. Parkash Rani, 2019 SCC OnLine Raj 326, Order dated 12-04-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: Vinod Goel, J. dismissed a petition impugning the order passed by Civil Judge whereby defendant’s application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC.

The plaintiff filed a recovery suit against the defendant (petitioner) on account of selling them wooden furniture. The suit was instituted in Delhi as the plaintiff was carrying on his business of manufacturing and selling wooden items in Delhi. The defendant filed an application under Order 7 Rule 11 for rejection of plaint, on the ground that the contract between the parties was entered into at Udaipur. They pleaded that the cause of action accrued at Udaipur and therefore courts in Delhi had no jurisdiction to try the suit. However, their application was rejected by the Civil Judge. Aggrieved thereby, the defendants filed the present petition.

While holding that the petition was liable to be rejected, the High Court observed, “It is a well-settled principle of law that while deciding an application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC, the averments made in the plaint are germane and plea taken by the defendant in the written statement would be wholly irrelevant at that stage”. Reliance was placed on Chhotaben v. Kirtibhai Jalkrushnabhai Thakkar, (2018) 6 SCC 422; Ramesh B. Desai v. Bipin Vadilal Mehta(2006) 5 SCC 638 and Salem Bhai v. State of Maharashtra, (2003) 1 SCC 557. It was noted that the plaintiff had averred in the plaint that the defendant approached him for supply wooden furniture at his office in Delhi. In reference to this, the Court stated, “pleadings of the respondent unambiguously indicate that a part of cause of action has accrued within the local limits of Delhi which certainly provides privilege to the respondent to file the suit in the Courts of Delhi.” It was further observed that determination of jurisdiction is a mixed question of law and facts, which can be adjudicated only after the parties adduce their evidence. In such view of the matter, the Court dismissed the petition. [Hansa Place Art Furnitures (P) Ltd. v. Dilip Kumar Sharma, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 7422, dated 25-02-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: The Bench of Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. dismissed a revision petition filed by the husband against the judgment of the trial court whereby his application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC impugning the proceedings filed by the wife on the ground of territorial jurisdiction was rejected.

Sanjay S. Chhabra with Satish Chaudhary, Advocates for the petitioner argued that the present application by the wife under Section 125 CrPC was not maintainable at Delhi because in all proceedings except the present one she had mentioned her residential address at Aligarh, U.P. Per contra, it was submitted on behalf of the wife by Saurabh Soni with Mannat Singh, Advocates that she was residing in Delhi with her brother since 2008.

The High Court perused Section 126(1) CrPC which deals with the place of the institution of proceedings under Section 125. It was observed, “Section 126(1) does not contemplate permanent place of residence. Even a place where the wife is for the time being residing would confer jurisdiction on such a court, where she is residing. However, residence temporarily acquired solely for conferring jurisdiction would not satisfy the requirements of Section 126(1).”In view of the law that wife can maintain a petition under Section 125 at any place where she is residing and the fact that she placed on record proof that reflected her address at Delhi, it was held that the trial court did not commit any error in rejecting husband’s application. The petition was dismissed for being without merit.[Sachin Gupta v. Rachna Gupta, 2019 SCC OnLine Del 6632, dated 21-01-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Vinod Goel, J. dismissed a petition against the order of District and Sessions Judge, Rohin Courts whereby he has dismissed petitioner’s application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC.

The petitioner was the defendant in a suit for recovery filed by the respondent. The respondent had transferred Rs 5,00,000 in the account of petitioner on 16-3-2015. The petitioner filed an application under Order 7 Rule 11 for rejection of plaint on the ground that the suit being filed on 16-03-2018 was beyond the period limitation of 3 years prescribed under Article 19 of the Schedule to Limitation Act, 1963 and thus barred in law.

The High Court held the petition to be without merit. It referred to Section 12(1) of the Act which makes amply clear that in computing period of limitation for any suit/appeal/application, the date from which such period is to reckoned shall be excluded. In the present case, the amount was transferred on 16-03-2015 which day was to be excluded while computing the period of limitation. After so excluding, the suit was within 3 years and hence was well within time. Therefore, the petition was dismissed. [Brijesh Yadav v. Bijender Kumar Kaushik, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 13225, Order dated 19-12-2018]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of CJ Dipak Misra and Dr D.Y. Chandrachud, J. held that the election petition filed after the period of 30 days as mandated under Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994 is barred by limitation.

The appellant was declared a winner in the elections for the post of Ward Councilor. The respondent filed an election petition under Section 176 of the Act challenging the said election. Thereafter, the appellant filed an application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC for rejection of the petition on the ground that the said petition was not presented in person as required by Section 176. The respondent withdrew the petition. Subsequently, the respondent filed second election petition. Again, the appellant filed an application for rejection, this time on the ground that the petition was filed after the period of 30 days from the date of the election as provided under the said section, thus it was barred by limitation. The respondent filed an application under Section 5 read with Section 14 of the Limitation Act, submitting that the time spent between filing of the first petition and its withdrawal may be excluded while calculating the period of limitation. The trial court admitted the appellant’s application under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC. The appeal preferred by the respondent thereagainst was allowed by a District Judge. The appellant challenged the order of the  District Judge before the High Court which was dismissed vide order impugned. Aggrieved thus, the appellant filed the present appeal.

The Supreme Court perused Section 176 and also referred to Hukum Dev Narain Yadav v. Lalit Narain Mishra, (1974) 2 SCC 133; Charan Lal Sahu v. Nandkishore Bhatt, (1973) 2 SCC 530 and Lachhman Das Arora v. Ganeshi Lal, (1999) 8 SCC 532. It was observed that the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act is a complete code for the presentation of election petitions. The statute mandates that election petition must be filed within a period of 30 days from the date of declaration of election results. The period cannot be extended. The provision of Section 14 of the Limitation Act stands excluded. The legislature having made a specific provision, any election petition which fails to comply with the same is liable to be rejected. Observing that the High Court failed to notice the binding judgments of the Supreme Court, the Court set aside the order impugned. It was held that the election petition filed by the respondent shall be dismissed. Accordingly, the appeal was allowed. [Suman Devi v. Manisha Devi,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1047, dated 21-08-2018]