PLACE OF SUING

Describe the place of suing.

Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, is a procedural law and it lays down the procedure for filing any suit before the court of law. If any person wants to file a suit before court of law then he has to follow the procedure which has been laid down in this Code and if he follows the procedure properly then only he can get an adequate remedy.

This code states the jurisdiction of each and every court and provides that in which court a particular suit can be filed. There are different kinds of suits like some relates to immovable property whereas some relates to movable property. Some suits are matrimonial in nature whereas some are based on contracts or torts. Section 15 to 20 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, deals with the provisions of place of suing and these sections provide that in which court a particular suit will be filed.

Section 15 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, refers to the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court and according to this section every suit shall be filed in the court of lowest grade which is competent to try the suit. According to this section, if any person does not file suit in the court of lowest grade but files a suit in a higher court then it does not mean that he will not get the remedy. Still he will get the remedy but after filing the suit in higher court he will lose his right to appeal. If a person directly files a suit in higher court and if that higher court grants the decree then in such a case he will not left with the option of filing appeal against that decree. But, if he files a suit in the lower court then in such a case he can file an appeal against that decree in the higher court.

In the leading case of Union of India v. Ladulal Jain, AIR 1963 SC 1681, the honโ€™ble court said that there are two main objectives of this section and these are:
โ€ข To see that the courts of higher grade shall not be overburdened with suits and
โ€ข To afford convenience to the parties and witnesses who may be examined in such suits.

On the other hand, section 16 to 18 refers to the territorial jurisdiction regarding the immovable property. According to section 16 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a suit regarding immovable property can be filed in that court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situated. According to this section, if the remedy can be availed from immovable property only then in such a case suit can be filed in that court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situated but if the remedy can be availed from the wrongdoer then in such a case suit can be filed in that court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situated with respect to which the wrong has been done or where the wrongdoer voluntarily resides or carries on business or works for gain.

However, according to section 17 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if any property with respect to which the wrong has been done is situated within the local limits of two or more courts then in such a situation, a plaintiff can file a suit in any of the abovesaid courts. In this situation, he has no need to get permission from anyone. He can file the suit in any court but it is essential that the court in which suit has been filed must have pecuniary jurisdiction to try the suit. But if it is doubtful that in which courtโ€™s local limit the property is situated or if it is uncertain that with in the local limits of the jurisdiction of which two or more courts the immovable property is situated then in such a situation if suit regarding that immovable property is filed in any of the abovesaid courts then if the court is satisfied regarding the doubt then the court can dispose off of the suit only after recording the statement regarding the uncertainty. If the court records the statement and passes the decree, that decree will have same effect as if it has been passed by that court in whose local limits of jurisdiction the property is situated.

Section 19 of the Code of Civil Procedure refers to the territorial jurisdiction regarding the movable property or tort. According to this section if any wrong has been done to a person or to his movable property then in such a case if an aggrieved person wants to file a suit against wrongdoer then he can file a suit in that court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the wrong has been done or he can file a suit in that court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.

Whereas section 20 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, is a residuary clause and all that suits which are not covered under section 16 to 19 are filed under this section. According to this section a plaintiff can file a suit in that court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the cause of action has arised. It does not matter that whether the cause of action has arised partly or wholly. The plaintiff can file a suit in that court without getting permission from anyone. Moreover, according to this section a plaintiff can file a suit in that courts within the local limits of whose jurisdiction defendant resides or personally works for gain or carries on business. But if there are more then one defendant and they reside at different places or carry on their business at different places or personally work for gain at different places then in such a situation a plaintiff can file a suit at any place where any of them resides or carries on business or personally works for gain after taking permission from the court or with the consent of rest of defendants who do not reside their or carry on business or personally work for gain.

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