Rajendra Bajoria vs Hemant Kumar Jalan on 21 September, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Rajendra Bajoria vs Hemant Kumar Jalan on 21 September, 2021

Author: B.R. Gavai

Bench: L. Nageswara Rao, Sanjiv Khanna, B.R. Gavai

                                                REPORTABLE

            IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
             CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


          CIVIL APPEAL NOS. 5819­5822 OF 2021
       [Arising out of SLP(C) Nos. 2779­2782 of 2019]

RAJENDRA BAJORIA AND OTHERS                   ...APPELLANT(S)

                           VERSUS


HEMANT KUMAR JALAN
AND OTHERS                                 ...RESPONDENT(S)


                        JUDGMENT

B.R. GAVAI, J.

1. Leave granted.

2. These appeals challenge the judgment and order passed

by the Division Bench of the High Court of Calcutta dated 14 th

September 2018, thereby allowing the appeals being APO Nos.

491 and 520 of 2017 filed by the respondents­defendants,

challenging the order passed by the Single Judge of the High

Court of Calcutta dated 22nd September 2017. Vide the said

order dated 22nd September 2017, the Single Judge had
1
dismissed G.A. Nos.1688 and 1571 of 2017 filed by the original

defendants, seeking dismissal of the suit, alternatively for

rejection of the plaint as well as for revocation of the leave

granted under Clause 12 of the Letters Patent in the instant

suit being C.S. No.79 of 2017.

3. A partnership firm namely ‘Soorajmull Nagarmull’

(hereinafter referred to as, ‘the partnership firm’) was

constituted under a Deed of Partnership dated 6th December

1943. Baijnath Jalan, Mohanlal Jalan, Babulal Jalan,

Sewbhagwan Jalan, Keshabdeo Jalan, Nandkishore Jalan,

Deokinandan Jalan, Chiranjilal Bajoria and Kishorilal Jalan

were the partners in the partnership firm. It is not in dispute

that none of the partners are alive. Plaintiff Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are

the sons of Late Chiranjilal Bajoria, who died on 31 st December

1981. Plaintiff Nos. 4 and 5 are the sons of Late Deokinandan

Jalan, who died on 12th July 1997. Plaintiff No. 6 is the son of

Late Mohanlal Jalan, who died on 1st May 1982. The

defendants are the legal heirs of the other original partners in

the partnership firm.

2

4. A civil suit being C.S. No. 79 of 2017 came to be filed by

the plaintiffs before the Calcutta High Court seeking, inter alia,

the following reliefs:­

“(a) Decree for declaration that the plaintiffs
along with the defendants are entitled
to the assets and properties of the firm
“Soorajmull Nagarmull” as the heirs of
the original partners of the
reconstituted firm under the
partnership deed dated 6 December,
th

1943, in the share of the said original
partners as mentioned in paragraph 3
above;

(b) Decree for declaration that the plaintiffs
along with the defendants are
consequently entitled to represent the
firm in all proceedings before the
concerned authorities of the State of
Bihar for the acquisition of its
Bhagalpur land;

(c) Decree for perpetual injunction
restraining the defendant No.1 or any of
the other defendants from in any
manner representing or holding
themselves out to be the authorised
representative of the firm or the
repository of all its authority, moneys
assets and properties or from seeking to
represent the firm in its dealings and
transactions in respect of any of its
assets and properties including the
acquisition proceeding of the firm’s
Bhagalpur land or from receiving any
monies on behalf of the firm, whether

3
on account of compensation for its
Bhagalpur land or otherwise;

(d) Decree for mandatory injunction
directing the defendant No. 1 to
disclose full particulars of all assets
and properties of the firm, full
particulars of all its dealings and
transactions including any dealing or
transaction concerning any asset or
property of the firm, and full accounts
of the firm for the purpose of its
dissolution;

(e) Decree for the dissolution of the firm
Soorajmull Nagarmull and for the
winding up of its affairs upon realising
the assets and properties of the firm,
collecting all moneys due to the firm,
applying the same in paying the debts
of the firm, if any, in paying the capital
contributed by any partner and
thereafter by dividing the residue
amongst the heirs of the original
partners in the shares to which they
were entitled to the profits of the firm in
terms of the Partnership Deed dated 6th
December, 1943.”

5. In the said suit, the defendants filed two applications

being G.A. Nos. 1688 and 1571 of 2017, inter alia, seeking

dismissal of the suit, or in the alternative, rejection of the plaint

on the ground that the plaint does not disclose any cause of

action, and the relief as claimed in the plaint could not be

granted. It was also urged on behalf of the defendants that the
4
suit was filed beyond the period of limitation, and as such, was

also liable to be rejected on the said ground. The Single Judge

vide judgment and order dated 22 nd September 2017, dismissed

the said applications. Insofar as the ground with regard to

limitation is concerned, the Single Judge found that the issue of

limitation was a mixed question of fact and law and did not

consider the prayer of the defendants on that ground. Being

aggrieved thereby, the original defendants filed appeals being

APO Nos. 491 and 520 of 2017 before the Division Bench of the

High Court. The Division Bench of the High Court by the

impugned judgment and order dated 14 th September 2018 held

that the reliefs, as claimed in the plaint, could not be granted,

and therefore, while allowing the appeals, rejected the plaint

being C.S. No. 79 of 2017. It, however, observed that, as

provided under Order VII Rule 13 of the Civil Procedure Code

(hereinafter referred to as the “CPC”), the order of rejection of

the plaint shall not of its own force preclude the plaintiffs from

presenting a fresh plaint in respect of the same cause of action.

Being aggrieved thereby, the present appeals.

5

6. We have heard Shri Gopal Jain, learned Senior Counsel

appearing on behalf of the appellants, Dr. A.M. Singhvi, learned

Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent No.1, and

Shri K.V. Viswanathan and Shri Gopal Sankaranarayanan,

learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent

Nos. 2, 3, 7 to 9, 11, 12 and 16 to 21.

7. Shri Gopal Jain, learned Senior Counsel appearing on

behalf of the appellants, submitted that the Division Bench of

the High Court of Calcutta has grossly erred in allowing the

appeals and reversing the well­reasoned judgment and order

passed by the Single Judge of the High Court of Calcutta. Shri

Jain submitted that the Single Judge, after reading the

averments in the plaint, had rightly come to the conclusion that

the plaint discloses cause of action, and as such, could not be

rejected under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC. He submitted that the

Division Bench, in the impugned judgment and order, has

almost conducted a mini­trial to find out as to whether the relief

as claimed in the plaint could be granted or not. He submitted

that such an exercise is impermissible while considering an

6
application under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC. The learned Senior

Counsel, relying on the judgment of this Court in the case of

Dahiben v. Arvindbhai Kalyanji Bhanusali (Gajra) Dead

Through Legal Representatives and Others1, submitted that

the power conferred on the court to terminate a civil action is a

drastic one. He submitted that such a power cannot be

routinely exercised. The learned Senior Counsel submitted that

for finding out as to whether the cause of action exists or not, it

is necessary to read the averments made in the plaint in their

entirety and not in piecemeal. Shri Jain, therefore, submitted

that the impugned judgment and order is not sustainable and is

liable to be set aside.

8. Dr. Singhvi, learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of

the respondent No.1, submitted that if the averments made in

the plaint were read in juxtaposition with the provisions of

Sections 40, 42, 43, 44 and 48 of the Indian Partnership Act,

1932 (hereinafter referred to as “the said Act”) read with clauses

in the Partnership Deed dated 6th December 1943, it would

1(2020) 7 SCC 366

7
reveal that none of the reliefs, as claimed in the plaint, could be

granted. He submitted that as per Section 40 of the said Act, a

firm can be dissolved only with the consent of all the partners

or in accordance with the contract between the partners. He

submitted that, though under Section 42 of the said Act, a firm

could be dissolved on the death of a partner, however, this is

subjected to a contract between the partners. He submitted

that, a perusal of clause 4 of the Partnership Deed dated 6 th

December 1943 would show that it specifically provides that

upon the death of any partner, the partnership shall not be

automatically dissolved. As such, the submission in that regard

is without merit. He submitted that Section 44 of the said Act

provides that the dissolution of the firm could be maintained on

the ground specified therein, only if the suit is at the instance of

the partners. He submitted that admittedly the plaintiffs were

not the partners, and as such, the suit at their instance was not

tenable. The learned Senior Counsel relies on the judgments of

this Court in the cases of T. Arivandandam v. T.V. Satyapal

8
and Another2 and Pearlite Liners (P) Ltd. v. Manorama

Sirsi3, in support of his submission, that if the reliefs, as

sought in the plaint, cannot be granted, then the only option

available to the Court is to reject the plaint.

9. Shri Viswanathan and Shri Gopal Sankaranarayanan,

learned Senior Counsel appearing on behalf of respondent Nos.

2, 3, 7 to 9, 11, 12 and 16 to 21, also made similar

submissions.

10. It will be relevant to refer to Sections 40, 42, 43 and 44 of

the said Act:­

“40. Dissolution by agreement.—A firm may
be dissolved with the consent of all the
partners or in accordance with a contract
between the partners.

41. …….

42. Dissolution on the happening of certain
contingencies.—Subject to contract between
the partners a firm is dissolved—

(a) if constituted for a fixed term, by the
expiry of the term;

(b) if constituted to carry out one or
more adventures or undertakings, by
the completion thereof;

2(1977) 4 SCC 467
3(2004) 3 SCC 172

9

(c) by the death of a partner; and

(d) by the adjudication of a partner as an
insolvent.

43. Dissolution by notice of partnership at
will.—Where the partnership is at will, the
firm may be dissolved by any partner giving
notice in writing to all the other partners of his
intention to dissolve the firm.

(2) The firm is dissolved as from the date
mentioned in the notice as the date of
dissolution or, if no date is so mentioned, as
from the date of the communication of the
notice.

44. Dissolution by the Court.—At the suit of
a partner, the Court may dissolve a firm on
any of following grounds, namely:—

(a) that a partner has become of
unsound mind, in which case the suit
may be brought as well by the next
friend of the partner who has become
of unsound mind as by any other
partner;

(b) that a partner, other than the partner
suing, has become in any way
permanently incapable of performing
his duties as partner;

(c) that a partner, other than the partner
suing, is guilty of conduct which is
likely to affect prejudicially the
carrying on of the business, regard
being had to the nature of the
business;

(d) that a partner, other than the partner
suing, willfully or persistently

10
commits breach of agreements
relating to the management of the
affairs of the firm or the conduct of
its business, or otherwise so
conducts himself in matters relating
to the business that it is not
reasonably practicable for the other
partners to carry on the business in
partnership with him;

(e) that a partner, other than the
partner, suing, has in any way
transferred the whole of his interest
in the firm to a third party, or has
allowed his share to be charged
under the provisions of Rule 49 of
Order XXI of the First Schedule to the
Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of
1908), or has allowed it to be sold in
the recovery of arrears of land
revenue or of any dues recoverable as
arrears of land revenue due by the
partner;

(f) that the business of the firm cannot
be carried on save at a loss; or

(g) on any other ground which renders it
just and equitable that the firm
should be dissolved.”

11. It will also be relevant to refer to Clauses 4, 6 and 7 of the

Partnership Deed dated 6th December 1943:

“4. That upon the death of any partner the
partnership shall not be automatically
dissolved but the surviving partners may
admit the legal representative of the

11
deceased unto the partnership by mutual
consent.

5. ……

6. In case of death of any partner or
retirement during the continuance of the
partnership shall be deemed to exist only
upto to the end of the accounting period of
the year during which the death or
retirement occurs and the estate of the
deceased partner or the retiring partner shall
be entitled to receive and be responsible for
all profits and losses of the partnership up to
the end of the accounting period as the case
may be.

7. This Indenture further witnesseth that the
said parties hereto hereby mutually covenant
and agree that they will carry on the said
business in partnership until dissolution
under and in accordance with the provisions
and stipulation hereinabefore stated or
contained in the said Indenture dated the 1st
day of September, 1938 so far as the same
respectively are now subsisting and capable
of taking and are applicable to the altered
circumstances hereinbefore appearing And
any dispute in relation to the said
partnership shall be decided by Arbitration
according to the provisions of the Indian
Arbitration and for that purpose each of the
disputing parties may nominate one
Arbitrator Provided. However that none of
the parties hereto shall at any time be
entitled to apply to any Court of law for the
dissolution of the partnership or for
appointment of a Receiver over the
partnership or! any portion of its assets.”

12

12. From the perusal of the plaint, it could be gathered that

the case of the plaintiffs is that in spite of demise of the three

original partners of the partnership firm, through whom the

plaintiffs were claiming, the defendants have been carrying on

the business of the partnership firm. It is their case that the

accounts of the partnership firm have not been finalized and

that the share of the profits of the partnership firm has not

been paid to them. It is also the case of the plaintiffs that the

defendants are seeking to represent the partnership firm to the

exclusion of the plaintiffs and that the defendants are siphoning

off funds of the partnership firm. It is their case that they along

with the defendants are entitled to the assets and properties of

the partnership firm as legal heirs of the original partners of the

partnership firm, reconstituted under the Partnership Deed

dated 6th December 1943.

13. No doubt that, it is rightly contended on behalf of the

plaintiffs that, only on the basis of the averments made in the

plaint, it could be ascertained as to whether a cause of action is

13
made out or not. It is equally true that for finding out the same,

the entire pleadings in the plaint will have to be read and that

too, at their face value. At this stage, the defence taken by the

defendants cannot be looked into.

14. We may gainfully refer to the observations of this Court in

the case of T. Arivandandam v. T.V. Satyapal and Another

(supra):

“5. We have not the slightest hesitation in
condemning the petitioner for the gross
abuse of the process of the court repeatedly
and unrepentently resorted to. From the
statement of the facts found in the judgment
of the High Court, it is perfectly plain that
the suit now pending before the First
Munsif’s Court, Bangalore, is a flagrant
misuse of the mercies of the law in receiving
plaints. The learned Munsif must
remember that if on a meaningful — not
formal — reading of the plaint it is
manifestly vexatious, and meritless, in
the sense of not disclosing a clear right to
sue, he should exercise his power under
Order 7, Rule 11 CPC taking care to see
that the ground mentioned therein is
fulfilled. And, if clever drafting has
created the illusion of a cause of action,
nip it in the bud at the first hearing by
examining the party searchingly under
Order 10, CPC. An activist Judge is the

14
answer to irresponsible law suits. The trial
courts would insist imperatively on
examining the party at the first hearing so
that bogus litigation can be shot down at the
earliest stage. The Penal Code is also
resourceful enough to meet such men, (Cr.
XI) and must be triggered against them. In
this case, the learned Judge to his cost
realised what George Bernard Shaw
remarked on the assassination of Mahatma
Gandhi:

“It is dangerous to be too good.”
[emphasis supplied]

15. It could thus be seen that this Court has held that reading

of the averments made in the plaint should not only be formal

but also meaningful. It has been held that if clever drafting has

created the illusion of a cause of action, and a meaningful

reading thereof would show that the pleadings are manifestly

vexatious and meritless, in the sense of not disclosing a clear

right to sue, then the court should exercise its power under

Order VII Rule 11 of CPC. It has been held that such a suit has

to be nipped in the bud at the first hearing itself.

15

16. It will also be apposite to refer to the following

observations of this Court in the case of Pearlite Liners (P)

Ltd. (supra):

“10. The question arises as to whether in the
background of the facts already stated, such
reliefs can be granted to the plaintiff. Unless
there is a term to the contrary in the
contract of service, a transfer order is a
normal incidence of service. Further, it is to
be considered that if the plaintiff does not
comply with the transfer order, it may
ultimately lead to termination of service.
Therefore, a declaration that the transfer
order is illegal and void, in fact amounts to
imposing the plaintiff on the defendant in
spite of the fact that the plaintiff allegedly
does not obey order of her superiors in the
management of the defendant Company.

Such a relief cannot be granted. Next relief
sought in the plaint is for a declaration that
she continues to be in service of the
defendant Company. Such a declaration
again amounts to enforcing a contract of
personal service which is barred under the
law. The third relief sought by the plaintiff is
a permanent injunction to restrain the
defendant from holding an enquiry against
her. If the management feels that the
plaintiff is not complying with its directions
it has a right to decide to hold an enquiry
against her. The management cannot be
restrained from exercising its discretion in
this behalf. Ultimately, this relief, if granted,
would indirectly mean that the court is

16
assisting the plaintiff in continuing with her
employment with the defendant Company,
which is nothing but enforcing a contract of
personal service. Thus, none of the reliefs
sought in the plaint can be granted to the
plaintiff under the law. The question then
arises as to whether such a suit should be
allowed to continue and go for trial. The
answer in our view is clear, that is, such a
suit should be thrown out at the
threshold. Why should a suit which is
bound to be dismissed for want of
jurisdiction of a court to grant the reliefs
prayed for, be tried at all? Accordingly, we
hold that the trial court was absolutely right
in rejecting the plaint and the lower
appellate court rightly affirmed the decision
of the trial court in this behalf. The High
Court was clearly in error in passing the
impugned judgment whereby the suit was
restored and remanded to the trial court for
being decided on merits. The judgment of the
High Court is hereby set aside and the
judgments of the courts below, that is, the
trial court and the lower appellate court are
restored. The plaint in the suit stands
rejected.”
[emphasis supplied]

17. It could thus be seen that the court has to find out as to

whether in the background of the facts, the relief, as claimed in

the plaint, can be granted to the plaintiff. It has been held that

if the court finds that none of the reliefs sought in the plaint

17
can be granted to the plaintiff under the law, the question then

arises is as to whether such a suit is to be allowed to continue

and go for trial. This Court answered the said question by

holding that such a suit should be thrown out at the threshold.

This Court, therefore, upheld the order passed by the trial court

of rejecting the suit and that of the appellate court, thereby

affirming the decision of the trial court. This Court set aside

the order passed by the High Court, wherein the High Court

had set aside the concurrent orders of the trial court and the

appellate court and had restored and remanded the suit for

trial to the trial court.

18. Therefore, the question that will have to be considered is

as to whether the reliefs as claimed in the plaint by the

plaintiffs could be granted or not. We do not propose to do that

exercise, inasmuch as the Division Bench of the High Court has

elaborately considered the issue as to whether, applying the

provisions of the said Act read with the aforesaid clauses in the

Partnership Deed, the reliefs, as claimed in the plaint, could be

18
granted or not. The relevant discussion by the High Court

reads thus:

“(31) Let us take the prayers one by one. The
first prayer is for a declaration that the
plaintiffs and the defendants are entitled to
the assets and properties of the said firm as
the legal heirs of the original partners. It is
trite law that the partners of a firm are
entitled only to the profits of the firm and
upon dissolution of the firm they are entitled
to the surplus of the sale proceeds of the
assets and properties of the firm, if any, after
meeting the liabilities of the firm, in the
share agreed upon in the partnership deed.
The partners do not have any right, title or
interest in respect of the assets and
properties of a firm so long as the firm is
carrying on business. Hence, the plaintiffs as
legal heirs of some of the original partners
cannot maintain any claim in respect of the
assets and properties of the said firm. Their
prayer for declaration of co­ownership of the
assets and properties of the said firm is not
maintainable in law.

The second prayer in the plaint is for a
declaration that the plaintiffs along with the
defendants are entitled to represent the firm
in all proceedings before the concerned
authorities of the State of Bihar for the
acquisition of its Bhagalpur land. The
framing of this prayer shows that this is a
consequential relief claimed by the plaintiffs
which can only be granted if the first prayer
is allowed. Since, in our opinion, prayer (a) of
the plaint cannot be granted in law, prayer
19

(b) also cannot be granted. Prayer (c) is also
a consequential relief. Only if the plaintiffs
were entitled to claim prayer (a), they could
claim prayer (c). We are not on whether or
not the plaintiffs will succeed in obtaining
prayer (a). According to us, the plaintiffs are
not even entitled to pray for the first relief
indicated above as the same cannot be
granted under the law of the land.

Consequently, prayer (c) also cannot be
granted.

Prayers (d) and (e) both pertain to dissolution
of the firm. Prayer (e) is for a decree of
dissolution and for winding up of the affairs
of the firm. Prayer (d) is for full accounts of
the firm for the purpose of its dissolution
(emphasis is ours). However, it is settled law
that only the partners of a firm can seek
dissolution of the firm. Admittedly, the
plaintiffs are not partners of the said firm.
Sec. 39 of the Partnership Act provides that
the dissolution of partnership between all
the partners of a firm is called ‘the
dissolution of the firm’. Sec. 40 provides that
a firm may be dissolved with the consent of
all the partners or in accordance with a
contract between the partners. Sec. 41
provides for compulsory dissolution of a
firm. Sec. 42 stipulates that happening of
certain contingencies will cause dissolution
of a firm but this is subject to contract
between the partners. A partnership­at­will
may be dissolved by any partner giving
notice in writing to the other partners of his
intention to dissolve the firm, as provided in
Sec. 43 of the Act. Sec. 44 empowers the
Court to dissolve a firm on the grounds
mentioned therein on a suit of a partner.

20

Thus, it is clear that it is only a partner of a
firm who can seek dissolution of the firm.
The dissolution of a firm cannot be ordered
by the court at the instance of a non­
partner. Hence, the plaintiffs are not entitled
to claim dissolution of the said firm.
Consequently, they are also not entitled to
pray for accounts for the purpose of
dissolution of the firm.

(32) What should the Court do if it finds that
even taking the averments in the plaint at
face value, not one of the reliefs claimed in
the plaint can be granted? Should the Court
send the parties to trial? We think not. It will
be an exercise in futility. It will be a waste of
time, money and energy for both the
plaintiffs and the defendants as well as
unnecessary consumption of Court’s time. It
will not be fair to compel the defendants to
go through the ordinarily long drawn process
of trial of a suit at huge expense, not to
speak of the anxiety and un­peace of mind
caused by a litigation hanging over one’s
head like the Damocles’s sword. No purpose
will be served by allowing the suit to proceed
to trial since the prayers as framed cannot
be allowed on the basis of the pleadings in
the plaint. The plaintiffs have not prayed for
leave to amend the plaint. When the court is
of the view just by reading the plaint alone
and assuming the averments made in the
plaint to be correct that none of the reliefs
claimed can be granted in law since the
plaintiffs are not entitled to claim such
reliefs, the Court should reject the plaint as
disclosing no cause of action. The reliefs
claimed in a plaint flow from and are the
culmination of the cause of action pleaded in
21
the plaint. The cause of action pleaded and
the prayers made in a plaint are inextricably
intertwined. In the present case, the cause of
action pleaded and the reliefs claimed are
not recognized by the law of the land. Such a
suit should not be kept alive to go to
trial…..”

19. We are in complete agreement with the findings of the

High Court. Insofar as the reliance placed by Shri Jain on the

judgment of this Court in the case of Dahiben (supra), to which

one of us (L. Nageswara Rao, J.) was a member, is concerned,

in our view, the said judgment rather than supporting the case

of the plaintiffs, would support the case of the defendants.

Paragraphs 23.3, 23.4, 23.5 and 23.6 in the case of Dahiben

(supra) read thus:

“23.3. The underlying object of Order 7 Rule
11(a) is that if in a suit, no cause of action is
disclosed, or the suit is barred by limitation
under Rule 11(d), the court would not permit
the plaintiff to unnecessarily protract the
proceedings in the suit. In such a case, it
would be necessary to put an end to the
sham litigation, so that further judicial time
is not wasted.

22

23.4. In Azhar                 Hussain v. Rajiv
Gandhi [Azhar       Hussain v. Rajiv   Gandhi,
1986      Supp       SCC      315.    Followed
in Manvendrasinhji                  Ranjitsinhji
Jadeja v. Vijaykunverba,        1998       SCC

OnLineGuj281 : (1998) 2 GLH 823] this
Court held that the whole purpose of
conferment of powers under this provision is
to ensure that a litigation which is
meaningless, and bound to prove abortive,
should not be permitted to waste judicial
time of the court, in the following words :

(SCC p. 324, para 12)
“12. … The whole purpose of
conferment of such powers is to ensure
that a litigation which is meaningless, and
bound to prove abortive should not be
permitted to occupy the time of the court,
and exercise the mind of the respondent.
The sword of Damocles need not be kept
hanging over his head unnecessarily
without point or purpose. Even in an
ordinary civil litigation, the court readily
exercises the power to reject a plaint, if it
does not disclose any cause of action.”

23.5. The power conferred on the court to
terminate a civil action is, however, a drastic
one, and the conditions enumerated in Order
7 Rule 11 are required to be strictly adhered
to.

23

23.6. Under Order 7 Rule 11, a duty is cast
on the court to determine whether the plaint
discloses a cause of action by scrutinising
the averments in the plaint [Liverpool &
London S.P. & I Assn. Ltd. v. M.V. Sea
Success I
, (2004) 9 SCC 512] , read in
conjunction with the documents relied upon,
or whether the suit is barred by any law.”

20. It could thus be seen that this Court has held that the

power conferred on the court to terminate a civil action is a

drastic one, and the conditions enumerated under Order VII

Rule 11 of CPC are required to be strictly adhered to. However,

under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC, the duty is cast upon the court

to determine whether the plaint discloses a cause of action, by

scrutinizing the averments in the plaint, read in conjunction

with the documents relied upon, or whether the suit is barred

by any law. This Court has held that the underlying object of

Order VII Rule 11 of CPC is that when a plaint does not disclose

a cause of action, the court would not permit the plaintiff to

unnecessarily protract the proceedings. It has been held that

in such a case, it will be necessary to put an end to the sham

litigation so that further judicial time is not wasted.

24

21. We are in agreement with the Division Bench of the

Calcutta High Court which, upon an elaborate scrutiny of the

averments made in the plaint, the reliefs claimed therein, the

provisions of the said Act and the clauses of the Partnership

Deed, came to the conclusion that the reliefs as sought in the

plaint, cannot be granted.

22. The appeals are found to be without merit, and as such,

are dismissed. Pending application(s), if any, shall stand

disposed of. No costs.

…..…..……………………..J.
[L. NAGESWARA RAO]

………………………….J.

[B.R. GAVAI]

NEW DELHI;

SEPTEMBER 21, 2021.

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