Tag Archives: Merits of the Case

Jurisdiction – Meaning of

Jurisdiction is the power to decide and not merely the power to decide correctly. Jurisdiction is the authority of law to act officially. It is an authority of law to act officially in a particular matter in hand. It is the power to take cognizance and decide the cases. It is the power to decide rightly or wrongly. It is the power to hear and determine. Same is the foundation of judicial proceedings. It does not depend upon the correctness of the decision made. It is the power to decide justiciable controversy and includes questions of law as well as facts on merits. Jurisdiction is the right to hear and determine. It does not depend upon whether a decision is right or wrong. Jurisdiction means power to entertain a suit, consider merits and render binding decisions and “merits” mean the various elements which enter into or qualify plaintiff’s right to the relief sought. If the law confers a power to render a judgment or decree, then the court has jurisdiction. The court must have control over the subject-matter, which comes within classification limits of law under which the court is established and functions.         The word “jurisdiction” is derived from Latin words “juris” and “dico”, meaning “I speak by the law” and does not relate to rights of parties as between each other but to the power of the court. Jurisdiction relates to a class of cases to which a particular case belongs. Jurisdiction is the authority by which a judicial officer takes cognizance and decides the cases. It only presupposes the existence of a duly constituted court having control over subject-matter which comes within classification limits of the law under which court has been established. It should have control over the parties’ litigant, control over the parties’ territory, it may also relate to pecuniary as well as the nature of the class of cases. Jurisdiction is generally understood as the authority to decide, render a judgment, inquire into the facts, to apply the law, and to pronounce a judgment. When there is want of general power to act, the act has no jurisdiction. When the court has the power to inquire into the facts, apply the law, render binding judgment, and enforce it, the court has jurisdiction. Judgment within a jurisdiction has to be immune from collateral attack on the ground of nullity. It has co-relation with the Constitutional and Statutory power of tribunal or court to hear and determine. It means the power or capacity fundamentally to entertain, hear and determine. Nuslie Neville Wadia v. Ivory Properties, (2020) 6 SCC 557.

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