Tag Archives: adjudication

Jurisdiction – Meaning of

Jurisdiction is the authority or power of the Court to deal with a matter and make an order carrying binding force in the facts. In support of judicial opinion for this view reference may be made to the Permanent Edition of “Words and Phrases” Vol. 23-A at P. 164. It would be appropriate to refer to two small passages occurring at pp. 174 and 175 of the volume. At p. 174, referring to the decision in Carlile v. National Oil & Dev. Co., 83 Okla 217 : 201 P 377 (1921), it has been stated:
“Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and determine, and in order that it may exist, the following are essential: (1) A court created by law, organized and sitting; (2) authority given to it by law to hear and determine causes of the kind in question; (3) power given to it by law to render a judgment such as it assumes to render; (4) authority over the parties to the case if the judgment is to bind them personally as a judgment in personam, which is acquired over the plaintiff by his appearance and submission of the matter to the court, and is acquired over the defendant by his voluntary appearance, or by service of process on him; (5) authority over the thing adjudicated upon its being located within the court’s territory, and by actually seizing it if liable to be carried away; (6) authority to decide the question involved, which is acquired by the question being submitted to it by the parties for decision.” State of Jharkhand v. Hindustan Construction Company Ltd., (2018) 2 SCC 602.


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Filed under Civil Law, Jurisdiction

Pure Question of Law – Can be Raised at Any Stage

The importance of pleading in a legal proceeding, particularly in a writ petition, cannot be overstated. It is true that if facts on which a party wants to rely are not properly articulated, it has the effect of taking the other side by surprise. But law also recognizes an exception to this rule in respect of an issue relating to a point of law. The reason for making a departure for such issues based on pure questions of law is not very far to seek. When a party to a proceeding makes a factual statement that has either to be controverted or admitted or otherwise dealt with by the opposite side. In either case facts involved in a case do not emerge on their own nor can they be taken cognizance of unless specially pleaded.

But a point of law emerges from the facts pleaded. A court can also take into cognizance legal issues arising out of the factual conspectus of the case without necessarily requiring the parties to plead the same separately. The consistent judicial pronouncements on the issue make it clear that even without a formal pleading, a point of law can be taken into cognizance and adjudicated upon by a court if no denial on fact is necessary. A party is not entitled to rely on a point of law, he can also take it even before the highest court for the first time. A pure question of law can be urged at any point of time before any forum provided it does not require any further adjudication of any disputed fact.

Hon’ble Apex Court in State of Madras v. K.M. Rajagopalan, AIR 1955 SC 817, had recognized this principle decades ago. Since then there has not been any deviation from this axiomatic principle. In Ariane Orgachem Private Ltd. v. Wyeth Employees Union, 2015 (145) FLR 985, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that a pure question of law for which no enquiry or proof is required can be raised at any stage. In fact, in that case the Hon’ble Supreme Court allowed a plea based on a point of law to be taken for the first time before the Supreme Court itself. Kolkata Municipal Corporation v. Union of India, 2018 (158) FLR 535.


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Filed under Pure Question of Law, Uncategorized

Impleadment of necessary party – Principles of

Order I Rule 10 of the CPC reads as under:

10. Suit in name of wrong plaintiff.— (1) Where a suit has been instituted in the name of the wrong person as plaintiff or where it is doubtful whether it has been instituted in the name of the right plaintiff, the Court may at any stage of the suit, if satisfied that the suit has been instituted through a bona fide mistake, and that it is necessary for the determination of the real matter in dispute so to do, order any other person to be substituted or added as plaintiff upon such terms as the Court thinks just.

(2) Court may strike out or add parties.—The Court may at any stage of the proceedings, either upon or without the application of either party, and on such terms as may appear to the Court to be just, order that the name of any party improperly joined, whether as plaintiff or defendant, be struck out, and that the name of any person who ought to have been joined, whether as plaintiff or defendant, or whose presence before the Court may be necessary in order to enable the Court effectually and completely to adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the suit, be added.

(3) No person shall be added as a plaintiff suing without a next friend or as the next friend of a plaintiff under any disability without his consent.

(4) Where defendant added, plaint to be amended.—Where a defendant is added, the plaint shall, unless the Court otherwise directs, be amended in such manner as may be necessary, and amended copies of the summons and of the plaint shall be served on the new defendant and, if the Court thinks fit, on the original defendant.

(5) Subject to the provisions of the Indian Limitation Act, 1877 (15 of 1877), Section 22, the proceedings as against any person added as defendant shall be deemed to have begun only on the service of the summons.

Necessary Party and Proper Party

A necessary party is one without whom no order can be made effectively. A proper party is one in whose absence an effective order can be made but whose presence is necessary for a complete and final decision on the question involved in the proceeding. The addition of parties is generally not a question of initial jurisdiction of the court but of a judicial discretion which has to be exercised in view of all the facts and circumstances of a particular case.

A necessary party is a person who ought to have joined as a party and in whose absence no effective decree could be passed at all by the court. If a necessary party is not impleaded, the suit itself is liable to be dismissed. A proper party is a party who, though not a necessary party, is a person whose presence would enable the court to completely, effectively and adequately adjudicate upon all matters in dispute in the suit, though he need not be a person in favour of or against whom the decree is to be made. If a person is not found to be a proper or necessary party, the court has no jurisdiction to implead him, against the wishes of the plaintiff.

Principles governing disposal of an application for impleadment:

The broad principles are:

  1. The court can, at any stage of the proceedings, either on an application made by the parties or otherwise, direct impleadment of any person as party, who ought to have joined as plaintiff or defendant or whose presence before the court is necessary for effective and complete adjudication of the issues involved in the suit.
  2. A necessary party is the person who ought to be joined as party to the suit and in whose absence an effective decree cannot be passed by the court.
  3. A proper party is a person whose presence would enable the court to completely, effectively and properly adjudicate upon all matters and issues, though he may not be a person in favour of or against whom a decree is to be made.
  4. If a person is not found to be a proper or necessary party, the does not have the jurisdiction to order his impleadment against the wishes of the plaintiff.
  5. In a suit for specific performance, the court can order impleadment of a purchaser whose conduct is above board and who files application for being joined as party within time of his acquiring knowledge about the pending litigation. Vidur Impex and Traders Pvt. Ltd. V. Tosh Apartments Pvt. Ltd., (2012) 8 SCC 384.


Filed under Civil Law, Impleadment of parties

Amendment of Pleadings – Factors to be considered (Order VI Rule 17 – CPC)

In Revajeetu Builders & Developers v. Narayanaswamy & Sons, (2009) 10 SCC 84, the scope of amendment of pleadings was considered and it was held thus:

“On critically analyzing both the English and Indian Cases, some basic principles emerge which ought to be taken into consideration while allowing or rejecting the application for amendment:

(1)    Whether the amendment sought is imperative for proper and effective adjudication of the case;

(2)    Whether the application for amendment is bona fide or mala fide;

(3)    The amendment should not cause such prejudice to the other side which cannot be compensated adequately in terms of money;

(4)    Refusing amendment would in fact lead to injustice or lead to multiple litigation;

(5)    Whether the proposed amendment Constitutionally or fundamentally changes the nature and character of the case; and

(6)    As a general rule, the court should decline amendments if a fresh suit on the amended claims would be barred by limitation on the date of application.

These are some of the important factors which may be kept in mind while dealing with the application filed under Order 6 Rule 17. These are only illustrative and not exhaustive.”

In a recent Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court – Rameshkumar Agarwal v. Rjamala Exports Private Limited and Others, (2012) 5 SCC 337, it was held thus:

“It is clear that while deciding the application for amendment ordinarily the Court must not refuse bona fide, legitimate, honest and necessary amendments and should never permit mala fide and dishonest amendments. The purpose and object or Order 6 Rule 17 of the Code is to allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings in such manner and on such terms as may be just. Amendment cannot be claimed as a matter of right and under all circumstances, but the courts while deciding such prayers should not adopt a hypertechnical approach. Liberal approach should be the general rule, particularly in cases where the other side can be compensated with costs. Normally amendments are allowed in the pleadings to avoid multiplicity of litigations.

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