PLACE OF SUING

15. Court in which suits to be instituted.— Every suit shall be instituted in the Court of the lowest grade competent to try it.

16. Suits to be instituted where subject-matter situate.— Subject to the pecuniary or other limitations prescribed by any law, suits.—

(a) For the recovery of immovable property with or without rent or profits,

(b) For the partition of immovable property,

(c) For foreclosure, sale or redemption in the case of a mortgage of or charge upon immovable property,

(d) For the determination of any other right to or interest in immovable property,

(e) For compensation for wrong to immovable property,

(f) For the recovery of movable property actually under distraint or attachment,

Shall be instituted in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate:

Provided that a suit to obtain relief respecting, or compensation for wrong to, immovable property held by or on behalf of the defendant may, where the relief sought can be entirely obtained through his personal obedience be instituted either in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate, or in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain.

Explanation.—In this Section “property” means property situate in 1[India].

1. Substituted by Act No. 2 of 1951, for the words “the States”.

17. Suits for immovable property situate within jurisdiction of different Courts.— Where a suit is to obtain relief respecting, or compensation for wrong to immovable property situate within the jurisdiction of different Courts, the suit may be instituted in any Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any portion of the property is situate:

Provided that, in respect of the value of the subject-matter of the suit, the entire claim is cognizable by such Court.

18. Place of institution of suit where local limits of jurisdiction of Courts are uncertain.—(1) Where it is alleged to be uncertain within the local limits of the jurisdiction of which of two or more Courts any immovable property is situate, any one of those Courts may, it satisfied that there is ground for the alleged uncertainty, record a statement to that effect and thereupon proceed to entertain and dispose of any suit relating to that property, and its decree in the suit shall have the same effect as if the property were situate within the local limits of its jurisdiction:

Provided that the suit is one with respect to which the Court is competent as regards the nature and value of the suit to exercise jurisdiction.

(2) Where a statement has not been recorded under sub-section (1), and an objection is taken before an Appellate or Revisional Court that a decree or order in a suit relating to such property was made by a Court not having jurisdiction where the property is situate, the Appellate or Revisional Court shall not allow the objection unless in its opinion there was, at the time of the institution of the suit, no reasonable ground for uncertainty as to the Court having jurisdiction with respect thereto and there has been a consequent failure of justice.

19. Suits for compensation for wrongs to person or movables.— Where a suit is for compensation for wrong done to the person or to movable property, if the wrong was done within the local limits of the jurisdiction of one Court and the defendant resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another Court, the suit may be instituted at the option of the plaintiff in either of the said Courts.

ILLUSTRATIONS

(a) A, residing in Delhi, beats B in Calcutta. B may sue A either in Calcutta or in Delhi.

(b) A, residing in Delhi, publishes in Calcutta statements defamatory of B. B may sue A either in Calcutta or in Delhi.

20. Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises.— Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction.—

(a) The defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or

(b) Any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or

(c) The cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.

1[***]

2[Explanation].— A corporation shall be deemed to carry on business at its sole or principal office in 3[India] or, in respect of any cause of action arising at any place where it has also a subordinate office, at such place.

ILLUSTRATIONS

(a) A is a tradesman in Calcutta, B carries on business in Delhi, B, by his agent in Calcutta, buys goods of A and requests A to deliver them to the East Indian Railway Company, A delivers the goods accordingly in Calcutta, A may sue B for the price of the goods either in Calcutta, where the cause of action has arisen or in Delhi, where B carries on business.

(b) A resides at Simla, B at Calcutta and C at Delhi. A, B and C being together at Benaras, B and C make a joint promissory note payable on demand, and deliver it to A. A may sue B and C at Benaras, where the cause of action arose. He may also sue them at Calcutta, where B resides, or at Delhi, where C resides; but in each of these cases, if the non-resident defendant objects, the suit cannot proceed without the leave of the Court.

1. Explanation I omitted by Act No. 104 of 1976, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

2. Substituted by Act No. 104 of 1976, for earlier Explanation II, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

3. Substituted by Act No. 2 of 1951, for the words “the States”.

21. Objections to jurisdiction.—1[(1)] No objection as to the place of suing shall be allowed by any Appellate or Revisional Court unless such objection was taken in the Court of first instance at the earliest possible opportunity and in all cases where issues are settled at or before such settlement, and unless there has been a consequent failure of justice.

2[(2) No objection as to the competence of a Court with reference to the pecuniary limits of its jurisdiction shall be allowed by any Appellate or Revisional Court unless such objection was taken in the Court of first instance at the earliest possible opportunity, and in all cases where issues are settled, at or before such settlement, and unless there has been a consequent failure of justice.

(3) No objection as to the competence of the executing Court with reference to the local limits of its jurisdiction shall be allowed by any Appellate or Revisional Court unless such objection was taken in the executing Court at the earliest possible opportunity, and unless there has been a consequent failure of justice.]

1. Section 21 renumbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act No. 104 of 1976, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

2. Inserted by Act No. 104 of 1976, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

1[21A. Bar on suit to set aside decree on objection as to place of suing.— No suit shall lie challenging the validity of a decree passed in a former suit between the same parties, or between the parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, on any ground based on an objection as to the place of suing.

Explanation.— The expression “former suit” means a suit, which has been decided prior to the decision in the suit in which the validity of the decree is questioned, whether or not the previously decided suit was instituted prior to the suit in which the validity of such decree is questioned.]

1. Inserted by Act No. 104 of 1976, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

22. Power to transfer suits which may be instituted in more than one Court.— Where a suit may be instituted in any one of two or more Courts and is instituted in one of such Courts, any defendant, after notice to the other parties, may, at the earliest possible opportunity and in all cases where issues are settled at or before such settlement, apply to have the suit transferred to another Court, and the Court to which such application is made, after considering the objections of the other parties (if any), shall determine in which of the several Courts having jurisdiction the suit shall proceed.

23. To what Court application lies.—(1) Where the several Courts having jurisdiction are subordinate to the same Appellate Court, an application under Section 22 shall he made to the Appellate Court.

(2) Where such Courts are subordinate to different Appellate Courts but to the same High Court, the application shall be made to the said High Court.

(3) Where such Courts are subordinate to different High Courts, the application shall be made to the High Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the Court in which the suit is brought is situate.

24. General power of transfer and withdrawal.—(1) On the application of any of the parties and after notice to the parties and after hearing such of them as desired to be heard, or of its own motion without such notice, the High Court or the District Court may at any stage.—

(a) Transfer any suit, appeal or other proceeding pending before it for trial or disposal to any Court subordinate to it and competent to try or dispose of the same, or

(b) Withdraw any suit, appeal or other proceeding pending in any Court subordinate to it, and.—

(i) Try or dispose of the same; or

(ii) Transfer the same for trial or disposal to any Court subordinate to it and competent to try or dispose of the same; or

(iii) Retransfer the same for trial or disposal to the Court from which it was withdrawn.

(2) Where any suit or proceeding has been transferred or withdrawn under sub-section (1), the Court which 1[is thereafter to try or dispose of such suit or proceeding] may, subject to any special directions in the case of an order of transfer, either retry it or proceed from the point at which it was transferred or withdrawn.

2[(3) For the purposes of this Section.—

(a) Courts of Additional and Assistant Judges shall be deemed to be subordinate to the District Court;

(b) “Proceeding” includes a proceeding for the execution of a decree or order.]

(4) The Court trying any suit transferred or withdrawn under this Section from a Court of Small Causes shall, for the purposes of such suit, be deemed to be a Court of Small Causes.

3[(5) A suit or proceeding may be transferred under this Section from a Court which has no jurisdiction to try it.]

1. Substituted by Act No. 104 of 1976, for the words “thereafter tries such suit”, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

2. Substituted by Act No. 104 of 1976, for former sub-section (3), w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

3. Inserted by Act No. 104 of 1976, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

1[25. Power of Supreme Court to transfer suits, etc.—(1) On the application of a party, and after notice to the parties, and after hearing such of them as desire to be heard, the Supreme Court may, at any stage, if satisfied that an order under this Section is expedient for the ends of justice, direct that any suit, appeal or other proceeding be transferred from a High Court or other Civil Court in one State to a High Court or other Civil Court in any other State.

(2) Every application under this Section shall be made by a motion which shall be supported by an affidavit.

(3) The Court to which such suit, appeal or other proceeding is transferred shall, subject to any special directions in the order of transfer, either retry it or proceed from the stage at which it was transferred to it.

(4) In dismissing any application under this Section, the Supreme Court may, if it is of opinion that the application was frivolous or vexatious, order the applicant to pay by way of compensation to any person who has opposed the application such sum, not exceeding two thousand rupees, as it considers appropriate in the circumstances of the case.

(5) The law applicable to any suit, appeal or other proceeding transferred under this Section shall be the law which the Court in which the suit, appeal or other proceeding was originally instituted ought to have applied to such suit, appeal or proceeding.]

1. Substituted by Act No. 104 of 1976, w.e.f. 1st February, 1977.

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