JOINDER OF CAUSE OF ACTION
Explain the joinder of cause of action.
Every law in India is based upon principle of equity, justice and good conscience and the basic aim of every law is to administer proper justice to an aggrieved person. Code of Civil Procedure,1908, is also based upon these principles and states the procedure for filing a suit before a competent court if rights of any person have been violated by any wrongdoer.
According to Order 2 Rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if right of any person has been violated by another person then he can file a suit before a competent court and he should include all the reliefs for which he is entitled and also join all the cause of actions in one suit so that court may decide all the issues in one suit and pronounce a final judgment.
According to Order 2 Rule 3 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, whenever a suit is filed by plaintiff against another person then plaintiff should join all the cause of actions in one suit which are against the defendant or defendants. The main reason behind this provision is to protect the parties from unnecessary harassment and to protect public money and time. Moreover, another main aim of this provision is to adhere the plaintiff to one suit. If the plaintiff files separate suits against same defendant upon different cause of actions then it will increase the multiplicity of proceedings. So, to reduce the chances of multiplicity of proceedings this provision has been enacted in Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. Moreover, according to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if the plaintiff unites various causes of actions in one suit then the jurisdiction of the court will depend upon the aggregate value of the subject matter.
According to Order 2 Rule 6 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if the plaintiff unites various causes of action in one suit and it appears to the court before which the suit has been filed that joinder of causes of action may cause delay in the trial or other inconvenient then in such case the court may order separate trials or make such other expeditious order. On the other hand, if the plaintiff joins various causes of action in one suit but the opposite party thinks that the causes of action should not be joined in one suit and it is not in the interest of justice then in such case he can raise an objection against the mis- joinder of causes of action. But, he can raise an objection at the earliest possible opportunity i.e. at or before the settlement of issues. If the opposite party wants to raise an objection but he fails to raise that objection according to the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, then in such case it will be deemed that he has waived his right to raise an objection.
According to Order 2 Rule 2 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, along with the Causes of action, it is duty of plaintiff to include all the reliefs for which he is entitled in one suit. Order 2 Rule 2 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, states that plaintiff should claim all the reliefs in one suit. According to this rule, if plaintiff is entitled for various remedies against same cause of action, then it is duty of plaintiff to claim all the remedies in one suit. If, he does not claim all the remedies in one suit and relinquishes any remedy without the leave of the court then he cannot file subsequent suit upon same cause of action and claim the remedy which he had left in the previous suit.
In the leading case of Naba Kumar v. Radhashyam, AIR 1931 PC 229, the Privy Council stated, ‘the rule in question is intended to deal with the vice of splitting a cause of action. It provides that a suit must include the whole of any claim which the plaintiff is entitled to make in respect of the cause of action on which he sues, and that if he omits (except with the leave of court) to sue for any relief to which his cause of action would entitle him, he cannot claim it in a subsequent suit. The object of this salutary rule is doubtless to prevent multiplicity of suits.
Moreover, in the leading case of State of Maharashtra v. National Construction Co., AIR 1996 SC 2367, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the provisions of Order 2 Rule 2 is based on the cardinal principle of law that a defendant should not be vexed twice for the same cause. The principle contained in this provision is designed to counteract two evils, namely, (i) splitting up of claims and (ii) splitting up of remedies,
According to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, plaintiff may intentionally relinquish any portion of his claim in order to bring the suit within the jurisdiction of any court. If the plaintiff relinquishes any portion of claim intentionally then afterwards he cannot file another suit to claim the above said portion of claim. But if he omits to claim any relief with the leave of court then in such case he can claim that relief in another suit.
In the leading case of Gurbux Singh v. Bhooralal, AIR 1964 SC 1810, the Hon’ble court held that Order 2 rule 2 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, will be applicable only if following conditions are satisfied and these are:-
- The second suit must be in respect of the same cause of action as that on which the previous suit was based
- In respect of that cause of action, the plaintiff was entitled to more than one relief
- Being thus entitled to more than one relief, the plaintiff without leave of court omitted to sue for the relief for which the second suit has been filed
If all the above said conditions are satisfied then only the second suit would be barred otherwise the plaintiff is free to file another suit.