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Synopsis

I. Introduction

II. Meaning of Jurisdiction

Raja Soap Factory v. S.P. Shantharaj (1965)

Section 9

Suit of civil nature

Suits expressly barred

Bata Shoe Co. Ltd v. City of Jabalpur Corporation (1977)

III. Who may decide jurisdiction?

A.R Antulay v. R.S. Nayak (1988)

IV. Presumption as to jurisdiction

V. Determination of preliminary issue of jurisdiction

VI. Subordination of Courts: Section 3

VII. Kinds of Jurisdiction

1. Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction

2. Territorial or Local Jurisdiction

3. Pecuniary Jurisdiction: Section 6

4. Jurisdiction as to subject matter.

5. Original and Appellate Jurisdiction:

6. Exclusive and Concurrent Jurisdiction

7. General and Special Jurisdiction.

8. Legal and Equitable Jurisdiction.

9. Municipal and Foreign Jurisdiction

10. Expounding and expanding jurisdiction

I. Introduction

'Wherever there is a right, there is a remedy', (ubi jus ibi remedium) the fundamental principle of the English Law has been adopted by the Indian Legal system too.

II. Meaning of Jurisdiction

The word jurisdiction is derived from two latin terms "juris" and "dicto" which mean "I speak by the law".

According to P.R Aiyar, Advanced Law Lexicon, "It is the power to entertain, deal with and decide a suit, an action, petition or other proceeding.

Raja Soap Factory v. S.P. Shantharaj (1965)

Jurisdiction of a court means the extent of the authority of a court to administer justice prescribed with reference to the subject matter, pecuniary value and local limits.

Section 9

9. Courts to try all civil suits unless barred—
The Courts shall (subject to the provisions herein contained) have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred.

Explanation I.—A suit in which the right to property or to an office is contested is a suit of a civil nature, notwithstanding that such right may depend entirely on the decision of questions as to religious rites or ceremonies.

Explanation II. For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether or not any fees are attached to the office referred to in Explanation I or whether or not such office is attached to a particular place.

Tow conditions of jurisdiction :

1. suit must be of a Civil nature.

2. cognizance of such a suit should not have been expressly or impliedly barred.

Suit of civil nature

The Code does not define the term 'civil'. If the principal question in a suit relates to the determination of a civil right and enforcement thereof, the suit is of civil nature.SUbject matter of the suit determines the nature of the suit and not the status of the parties.

Political and religious questions are not covered under suits of civil nature.

According to Explanation I, if the right to a property or office depends entirely on the decision of questions as to religious rites or ceremonies, the suit is of civil nature.

According to Explanation II, it is immaterial whether or not any fees are attached to the office referred to in Explanation I or whether or not such office is attached to a particular place.

Suits expressly barred

Bata Shoe Co. Ltd v. City of Jabalpur Corporation (1977)

A Suit is said to be expressly barred when it is barred by any enactment for the time being in force.

III. Who may decide jurisdiction?

A.R Antulay v. R.S. Nayak (1988)

It is well settled that a Civil Court has inherent power to decide its own jurisdiction.

IV. Presumption as to jurisdiction

It is presumed that every civil court has jurisdiction to try and entertain any suit of civil nature and burden of proof lies upon the person alleging that the civil Court has no Jurisdiction.

V. Determination of preliminary issue of jurisdiction

Section 9A is inserted in the Code by Maharashtra Amendment Act of 1977. 9A. Where at the hearing of application relating to interim relief in a suit, objection to jurisdiction is taken such issue to be decided by the court as a preliminary issue:—
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this code or any other law for the time being in force, if at the hearing of any application for granting or setting aside an order granting any interim relief, whether by way of stay, injunction, appointment of a receiver or otherwise, made in any suit, on objection to jurisdiction of the court to entertain such suit is taken by any of the parties to the suit the court shall proceed to determine at the hearing of such application the issue as to the jurisdiction as a preliminary issue before granting for setting aside the order granting the interim relief.
Any such application shall be heard and disposed of by the court as expeditiously as possible and shall not in any case be adjourned to the hearing of the suit.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), at the hearing of any such application the court may grant such interim relief as it may consider necessary, pending determination by it of the preliminary issue as to the jurisdiction".

VI. Subordination of Courts: Section 3

3. Subordination of Courts-
For the purposes of this Code, the District Court is subordinate to the High Court, and every Civil Court of a grade inferior to that of a District Court and every Court of Small Causes is subordinate to the High Court and District Court

VII. Kinds of Jurisdiction

1. Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction

Civil jurisdiction concerns and deals with disputes of civil nature, while criminal jurisdiction deals with offences related to crimes and punishes offenders.

2. Territorial or Local Jurisdiction

Courts can exercise their jurisdiction only within its own local or territorial limits. These limits are fixed by the Government. The High Courts can exercise jurisdiction only within their states.

3. Pecuniary Jurisdiction: Section 6

Courts can entertain suits, the value or amount of which does not exceed its pecuniary jurisdiction.

4. Jurisdiction as to subject matter.

Different courts are empowered to try different types of suits. Ex. A Presidency Small Causes Court is not empowered to try suits of partition, specific performance of contract, partition of immovable property, foreclosure or redemption of mortgage, etc.

5. Original and Appellate Jurisdiction:

Original Jurisdiction is the jurisdiction conferred upon a court of first instance. Appellate Jurisdiction is the power conferred upon a court to rehear by way of appeal, revision, etc.

6. Exclusive and Concurrent Jurisdiction

When a court is granted exclusive power to try and decide a case, it is called exclusive jurisdiction. No other can decide the same case or class of cases.

Concurrent or co-ordinate Jurisdiction can be exercised by different courts at the same time.

7. General and Special Jurisdiction.

General jurisdiction is where a COurt can try cases comprised within a class or classess of causes. Special jurisdiction is where the jurisdiction is confined.

8. Legal and Equitable Jurisdiction.

In England, equitable jurisdiction was exercised by Equity Courts only while legal jurisdiction was exercised by Common Law Courts.

9. Municipal and Foreign Jurisdiction

10. Expounding and expanding jurisdiction

Defining, clarifying and explaining jurisdiction means expounding jurisdiction.
Expanding, enlarging or extending jurisdiction means to expand jurisdiction. Expounding jurisdiction is the duty of the code while it is not wise for the court to expand its own jurisdiction.

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