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CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF SECTION 9 OF CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE, 1908.

INTRODUCTION

The Fundamental English Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium, Maxim plays a significant role in the legal system. It means that when a person’s rights are violated, they have the legal right to approach a specific complaint process that has been set up by the law. Right and Remedy go hand in hand. According to the statute, authorities are subject to their own jurisdiction. Civil courts have the authority to hear any disputes of a civil nature that may arise. The Competent Authority, which has the authority to hear civil disputes, is described in Section 9[1] of the CPC. According to Section 9[2], “the Courts shall (subject to the conditions herein contained) have jurisdiction to try all civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred.” The civil court has  inherent jurisdiction to hear disputes of a civil nature. Additionally, everyone has the fundamental right to petition the civil court if they believe their rights are being violated.

IMPORTANCE

The Code of Civil Process, 1908 was created with the intention of ensuring that all parties to an issue have a fair hearing and trial in line with the legal processes, within a reasonable schedule, and with adequate notice to all parties involved. To adapt to the evolving demands of the legal system, the CPC may be changed. This section is essential because the initial phase of every lawsuit is establishing authority. Any person may go to a civil court and seek redress if they believe their private rights have been violated. Therefore, it can be claimed that Section 9[3], Civil Courts serve to preserve a person’s private rights. Civil courts have three different sorts of jurisdiction to help people seek redress in this manner:

  • Jurisdiction over a subject matter: Different courts have the authority to rule on various types of lawsuits. The maintenance of certain suits is prohibited under several codes. A lawsuit for the particular performance of a contract, the division of a real estate, a foreclosure, or the redemption of a mortgage cannot be brought before the presidency small causes court.
  • Territorial jurisdiction: Each court has its own territorial boundaries that are set by the government and outside of which it cannot exercise its jurisdiction. Within his domain, the District Judge must use his authority. The High Court only has jurisdiction over the area of the state in which it is located.
  • Pecuniary jurisdiction: The code stipulates that a court will only have jurisdiction over matters for which the quantity or worth does not exceed the jurisdiction’s financial boundaries.

LEGISLATIVE ANALYSIS

If the civil desires to have jurisdiction, two requirements must be met:

  • The conflict must be of a civil nature, and
  1. Although the term “civil” is not defined anywhere in the Civil Procedure Code, it generally refers to the remedies that relate to an individual’s rights as opposed to criminal or political rights.
  2. The term “civil nature” refers to a citizen’s personal freedoms and responsibilities. A lawsuit that has caste or religion as its main issue is not protected. Whether or not there are expenses involved or the case is associated with a specific party, a lawsuit involving a religious office is maintainable.
  3. The word “shall” makes it necessary for the courts to consider a case if it fits the section’s definition.

According to one definition, a thing nature refers to its intrinsic characteristics, such as its sort, kind, and character. Examples of civil lawsuits include those involving property, the right of worship, the disruption of religious processions, and damages for civil wrongs.

  • The court’s ability to hear such matters is not barred.
  1. Suits expressly barred: When a lawsuit is expressly prohibited by any law that is currently in effect, it is said to be so. If the competent legislature believes that by doing so, it preserves itself within the area of legislation granted to it and does not change the provision of the constitution, then it is up to the legislature to forbid the civil courts’ jurisdiction. However, any clause created to allow for expulsion must not be rigidly written. Therefore, under the appropriate sections, special courts deal with cases that fall under the purview of revenue courts or the CRPC. Examples include the Income Tax Tribunal, the Medical Council, and auto accidents. However, if a statute’s remedy is inadequate and no issues can be resolved by a special panel, the jurisdiction is not barred
  2. Suits impliedly barred: When a lawsuit is prohibited by broad legal principles, it is said to be impliedly banned. When a statute specifies a certain remedy, it denies the individual who demands a remedy any other form than that specified by the statute. An obligation that is created by an act and whose execution is enforced in a certain way is not subject to enforcement in any other way.

JUDICIAL ANALYSIS

In Dhulabhai v State of MP[4], it is forbidden for civil courts with authority to take on a case when a state requires that orders be final. In situations where the fundamental rules of judicial procedure have been broken, such prohibitions are inapplicable. When the court’s jurisdiction is expressly barred, an examination of the jurisdictional framework of a particular act is necessary to identify a suitable remedy, but this is not necessary to maintain civil court jurisdiction. It views the conditions of certain acts as ultra-virus, and the High Court cannot review or overturn the tribunal’s decision. when any of the terms are deemed unconstitutional or when they are found to be unlawful. A writ of certiorari on the basis of reimbursement was then issued. Then, although no payment for the lawsuit must be made, a writ of certiorari on the basis of reimbursement may be submitted Before the court infers these clauses, there can be no violations of the jurisdiction.

According to the Privy Council’s historic decision in The Secretary of State for India vs. Mask and Co[5]., jurisdiction cannot be established solely by inferences. The case should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the court. It went on to say that the court has the right to hear arguments on the case’s merits even if the jurisdiction has been expressly or impliedly surrendered.

The Supreme Court in State of A.P. v. Majeti Laxmi Kanth Rao[6] set two standards in this decision for assessing whether to exclude the jurisdiction of a civil court. Legislative intent is required if the civil court’s authority is to be restricted. It could be either directly or indirectly, but there need to be good reasons to exclude the lawsuit. If the civil court’s jurisdiction cannot be avoided, the claimant shall have access to an alternative remedy.

The Supreme Court’s decisions led to the following general conclusions:

  • a civil court has the authority to hear any civil lawsuits unless its recognition is openly or implausibly denied.
  • Consent cannot grant or revoke a court’s jurisdiction.
  • The court’s judgement may be contested at any point during the procedures.
  • Each court has the inherent authority to determine the issue of its own jurisdiction.
  • A court’s jurisdiction is determined by the allegations presented in a plaint, not by the defense in a written statement.
  • The substance of a matter, not its form, will determine the court’s jurisdiction.
  • Every presumption should be in favour of a civil court’s jurisdiction.
  • A statute removing a court’s jurisdiction must be carefully drafted.
  • The burden of proof for denying a court’s jurisdiction rests with the party making the claim.
  • Even in cases when a civil court’s jurisdiction is denied, it can nonetheless determine whether an Act’s requirements have been followed or whether an order was made beyond the bounds of the law.

CONCLUSION

One could conclude that the main issue covered by section 9[7] of the Civil Procedure Code is whether a civil court has the right to hear a particular matter. It indicates that a claim of a civil nature may be heard by a civil court unless doing so is expressly forbidden or precluded by necessary inference. When civil court cognizance is specifically prohibited, this rule does not apply. Even though it’s possible that the inquiry will show that the court lacks jurisdiction over the matter at hand, the civil court has the right to decide whether or not it has the authority to handle the question of its jurisdiction. Whether or not a tribunal, quasi-judicial organization, or statutory authority acted within the confines of its respective jurisdictions can be looked into by the civil court. Additionally, unless the relevant statute specifically states otherwise, there must be a presumption in favour of a civil court’s jurisdiction to hear the case when it comes to questions regarding its ability to entertain it. Even though the statute doesn’t directly mention it, this is still the case. The person who contests the civil court’s authority to hear their case is the one who needs to back up their assertion with proof. If such a dispute arises, it must be resolved in light of the legislation’s language, its provisional structure, as well as the intended outcome and justification for its adoption.

Author(s) Name: Rajri Patel (Symbiosis Law School, Pune)

References:

[1]Code of Civil Procedure 1908, s 9

[2] Ibid

[3]Ibid

[4] Dhulabhai v State of MP (19690 AIR SC 78

[5] Secretary of State v Mask and Co (1940) 42 BOMLR 767

[6] State of A.P v Majeta Laxmi Kanth Rao (2000) AIR SC 2220

[7] Code of Civil Procedure 1908, s 9