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SUBJECT-MATTER,

TERRITORIAL AND
PECUNIARY JURISDICTION
Jurisdiction as to

Subject-
matter

Pecuniary Objections to
(Section 6 & Jurisdiction
15) (Section 21)

Territorial
(Section 16-20)
Subject-Matter Jurisdiction
 Subject-Matter is not specifically provided under
CPC.
 It is dealt by Section 9 of CPC.
 Civil Court shall have jurisdiction to try all suits of
civil nature unless barred.
 Subject-matter lies at the roots of the suit.
 If Court does not have Subject-matter jurisdiction
and the Court passes a decree. It is inherent lack of
jurisdiction and the decree would be per se void.
Pecuniary Jurisdiction (Section 6 & 15)
 Section 6 – The Court shall have jurisdiction to try suit
which is with in the pecuniary limits of such Court.
 Section 15 – Every suit shall be instituted in the court of
lowest grade competent to try it.
 Object is that Higher Courts shall not be over-crowded with
suits.(Bhuwaneshwari Kuer v. Raghuwansh, AIR 1954)
 S.15 is rule of procedure and not of jurisdiction hence it
does not oust the jurisdiction of Higher Court.
 Pecuniary limits means valuation of suit described by the
plaintiff.
 Party can not value a suit arbitrary with the object of filing a
suit in court of his own choice. (Nandita Bose v. Ratanlal
Nahata, AIR 1987 SC 1947)
Pecuniary Jurisdiction (Section 6 & 15)
 Lack of pecuniary jurisdiction, and Decree passed by such
Court. It is case of lack of pecuniary jurisdiction and the
decree passed would be irregular and not void.
 Here in such cases, failure of justice will be examined in
order to set aside decree passed.
DELHI UTTARAKHAND HARYANA
High Court High Court High Court
(2 Crores – unlimited)
District Court District Court District Court
(20 Lakh – 2 Crores)
Civil Judge Civil Judge (Senior Civil Judge
(Less than 20 Lakhs) Division) (Unlimited)
(Unlimited)
Civil Judge (Junior
Division)
(Up to 1 lakh)
Territorial Jurisdiction (Section 16-20)
 Section 20: other suits to be instituted where
defendant reside or cause of action arises.
Suit shall be instituted in a court within local
limits of whose jurisdiction
(i) Cause of action wholly or partly arises or
(ii). Where the defendant resides, or carries on
business or personally works for gain;
(iii) Where there are two or more defendants, any
of them resides, or carries on business or
personally works for gain – (a) with the leave of
Court or (b) other defendants agree to the suit
instituted.
Explanation of Section 20:
 A corporation shall be deemed to carry on
business at its sole or principle office in India or,
in respect of any cause of action arising at any
place where it has also a subordinate office, at
such place.
 As per explanation suit can be instituted at two
places : Place of business and where cause of
action arises.
 If Corporation has principle office and branch
office. What would be place of business for
institution of suit?
Issue: If Corporation has principle office and branch
office. What would be place of business for
institution of suit?
 Patel Roadways Ltd., Bombay v. M/s. Prasad
Trading Co., AIR 1992 SC 1514.
 New Moga Transport Ltd. v. United India
Insurance Co. Ltd. & Ors., 2004 SC
 Section 16: suit to be instituted where subject-
matter situated.
a) For recovery of immovable property with or
without rent or profits.
b) For partition of immovable property;
c) For foreclosure, sale or redemption in case of
martgage or charge upon immovable property;
d) For determination of any other right or interest in
immovable property;
e) For compensation for wrong to immovable
property;
f) For recovery of movable property under distraint
or attachment.
 Section 17: Suit for immovable property situated
within jurisdiction of different Courts.
 Suit can be filed in any Court with in whose
jurisdiction any portion of property is situated.
 For valuation of subject matter, entire value of
property must be cognizable by the Court.
 Pecuniary jurisdiction must be fulfilled.
 Section 18 : place of institution of suit where
local limits of jurisdiction of Courts are uncertain.
 Example : Suit for partition.
Section 18 (1) Section 18 (2)

No Grounds for
Grounds for Uncertainty + Not
Uncertainty Recorded

Recorded No Failure of
Reason/ Not Failure of Justice Justice
recorded

Decree/Order is Court may set


No setting aside
valid and final aside Decree
 Section 19: Suit for immovable property situated
within jurisdiction of different Courts.
Harshad Chiman Lal Modi v. DLF Universal &
Anr.,
Appeal filed against order passed by ADJ Delhi and
confirmed by High Court of Delhi.
Issues:
 Whether ADJ, Delhi has jurisdiction to try the matter?
 Can jurisdiction be conferred by mutual agreement upon a
court which does not have jurisdiction?
Facts:
 The appellant entered into a 'plot buyer agreement' with
DLF Universal Limited, respondent No.1 on August 14,
1985 for purchase of a residential plot admeasuring 264
sq. mtrs. in Residential Colony, DLF Qutub Enclave
Complex, Gurgaon, Haryana.
Harshad Chiman Lal Modi v. DLF Universal & Anr.,

Facts:
 the agreement was made in Delhi. The Head Office of
respondent No.1 was situated in Delhi. Payment was to
be made in Delhi.
 the respondent no.1 unilaterally and illegally cancelled
the agreement on April 04, 1988 under the excuse that
the appellant had not paid dues towards construction of
Modular House to respondent No. 2 (DLF Builders &
Developers Pvt. Ltd).
 The appellant was constrained to Suit in the High
Court of Delhi for specific performance of the
agreement and for permanent injunction.
 In 1989, while filing W.S., jurisdiction of Delhi Court was
admitted by the Defendants.
 Later on due to increased pecuniary jurisdiction, the suit
came to be transferred from High Court of Delhi to District
Court, Delhi and issues were framed in February, 1997.
 In August 1997, i.e. after more than eight years of the filing
of the written statement, the defendants filed an application
under Order 6, Rule 17 of CPC seeking amendment in the
written statement by raising an objection as to jurisdiction
of Delhi Court to entertain the suit.
 the trial court by an order dated May 25, 1998 upheld the
contention of the defendants and ruled that Delhi Court had
no jurisdiction to try the suit. High Court also dismissed
the petition.
Harshad Chiman Lal Modi v. DLF Universal & Anr.,

Contention by Appellant
 the defendants were having their head Office at Delhi, the
agreement had been entered into at Delhi, payment was to be
made and in fact made at Delhi, breach of agreement took
place at Delhi and hence Delhi Court had jurisdiction to
entertain the suit.
 It was also submitted that the parties had agreed that the Delhi
Court alone had jurisdiction in all matters arising out of the
transaction.
 It further contended that as Clause 28 of the agreement
specifically provided that the transaction would be subject to
the jurisdiction of Delhi Court, institution of suit in Delhi
Court by the plaintiff could not have been objected to and no
order could have been passed by the trial court holding that it
had no jurisdiction.
Harshad Chiman Lal Modi v. DLF Universal & Anr.,

Contention by Respondent
 It was argued that the suit relates to specific performance of
agreement relating to immovable property and in accordance with
the provisions of Section 16 of the Civil Procedure Code, such
suit can be instituted where the immovable property is situate.
 if the court had no jurisdiction, parties by consent cannot confer
jurisdiction on it.
 Such a case is different from a case in which two or more courts
have jurisdiction and parties have agreed to jurisdiction of one
court. According to him, Section 20 of the Code would apply
where two courts have jurisdiction and the parties agree as to
jurisdiction of one such courts by restricting their right to that
forum instead of the other. When Delhi Court had no jurisdiction
whatsoever, no reliance could be placed either on Section 20 of
the Code or on Clause 28 of the agreement.
Harshad Chiman Lal Modi v. DLF Universal & Anr.,

Supreme Court Judgement


 In the instant case, the proviso has no application.
Suit was covered by Clause (d) of Section 16 of the
Code and the proviso had no application.
 In our opinion, the submission of the learned counsel for
the appellant that the parties had agreed that Delhi Court
alone had jurisdiction in the matters arising out of the
transaction has also no force.
 Plain reading of Section 20 of the Code leaves no room of
doubt that it is a residuary provision and covers those
cases not falling within the limitations of Sections 15 to
19.

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