DISCUSS THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH A PLAINT CAN BE REJECTED?
Rejection of plaint:
Under 0.7, R.11 C.P.C, a plaint can be rejected in the following cases.
- Clause (a): no cause of action:
Where the plaint does not disclose any cause of action, it has to be rejected and for this purpose only the plaint is to be looked into and nothing else. The written statement cannot be looked into.
The substance of the plaint should be looked into and not its form. Where the pleading is vague. The party should be asked to furnish a better statement rather than the plaint be rejected. The defendant has to show that even if the allegations in the plaint are taken at their face value, they reveal no cause of action. For this purpose defence may also be taken into consideration but in such a case a preliminary issue regarding maintainability should be struck and decided.
The cause of action should exists at the time of the institution of suit where the plaint does not disclose a cause of action, the plaint should be rejected, rather than the suit dismissed (1981 CLC 1009).
- Clause (b) improperly valued:
The valuation of suits and appeals is Government by suits valuation Act. The initial duty of determining and fixing valuation of the relief is on the plaintiff. Clause (b) is attracted when it appears to the court that the relief claimed is undervalued, in which event the court is required to order the plaintiff to correct the same and for this purpose, it shall determine the correct valuation and must allow time for correction. Rejection of plaint can only take place on the failure of the plaintiff to correct valuation within the time allowed, and such matters must be decided at the initial stage as preliminary issue. These provisions can be used for the purpose of compelling a plaintiff to correct the valuation of the suit for purposes of court fee. The court can only order the plaintiff to correct the valuations, it cannot itself fix a valuation in place of the plaintiffs valuation. Prior to making an order under clause (b) or (c), the court should determine the valuation and direct the plaintiff to correct the valuation in the plaint in accordance with determination and allow the plaintiff to make good the deficiency. (PLD 1984 S.C 289).
- Clause (C): improperly stamped:
The initial duty of determining correct valuation and affixing proper court fee is that of the plaint where the court is of the view that the court fee stamps are insufficient, if should determine the correct fee payable and must allow time for making up the shot fall and in the event of the plaintiff failing to do so, ean reject the plaint. Reasonable time must be allowed for making up the deficiency. Where the plaint is properly valued but improperly stamped the court can out under clause (e). Rejection of plaint under clause (c), can only take place if after the court allows time for supplying the requisite court fee the plaintiff facts to do so.
- Clause (d): Barred by law.
The court is bound to reject a plaint where the suit appears to be prima facie barred by any law from a perusal of the statement in the plaint and no inquiry is needed. As for instance, where the suit is time barred, or is bad for multifariousness or where a requirement as to prior notice has not been fulfilled or where the consent of the Advocate General has not been obtained or the suit is filed by unregistered firm etc.
Rejection under clause (d) can be ordered at any stage of the suit. For purposes of clause (d) the court should examine the entire plaint and the prayer clause should not be read in isolation. Where after framing issues the suit is found to be time barred the plaint should not be rejected but the suit should be dismissed. For purpose of limitation. The law prevailing on the date of institution is applicable and not that prevailing when the cause of action arose. (PLJ 1983 S.C 143).