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Begum Sabiha Sultan Versus Nawab Mohd. Mansur Ali Khan & Ors

2007 (4) TMI 741 - SUPREME COURT OF INDIA

Civil Appeal No. 1921 OF 2007 (Arising out of SLP(C) No.4586 of 2006) - Dated:- 12-4-2007 - Tarun Chatterjee And P.K. Balasubramanyan, JJ. JUDGMENT: P.K. Balasubramanyan, 1. Leave granted. 2. The appellant, hereinafter referred to as the plaintiff, is the daughter of Nawab Iftikar Ali Khan and Mehar Taj Sajeda Sultan. Defendants 1 and 2, who are respondents 1 and 2 herein, are her siblings. Defendant No.3 is her niece, being the daughter of her brother, Defendant No.1. Defendant Nos.4 and 5 are .....

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tion in favour of the plaintiff in respect of her entitled share in view of the Islamic Personal Law i.e. < of total properties/estates, out of 180 Kanals and 12 Morlas situated at Village Pataudi, Gurgaon left behind by above mentioned Her Highness Mehar Taj Sajida Sultan; (c) Pass a decree of rendition of account in respect of the earnings of the above mentioned properties w.e.f. June, 2000 uptill filing of the present suit; (d) Pass a decree of permanent injunction restraining the Defendan .....

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situate in Village Pataudi, Gurgaon in the State of Haryana, outside the jurisdiction of the Court in which the suit was instituted. The suit was filed in the Court at Delhi on the basis of the following averments in the plaint: "The cause of action for filing the present suit arose on 1.1.1995 when the alleged oral Will was made by Her Highness Mehar Taj Begum Sajida Sultan at New Delhi, the cause of action arose on 25.9.1995 when Defendant No.1 organised a meeting. It again arose somewhe .....

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ry the present suit." 5. The defendants raised an objection to the jurisdiction of the trial court. They pleaded that the main relief sought in the plaint was for partition of the properties situate in Gurgaon, not falling within the jurisdiction of Delhi court and the declarations sought for are also related to the said properties and in the light of Section 16(b)and (d) of the Code of Civil Procedure (for short 'the Code'), the jurisdiction to entertain the suit was with the conce .....

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due course, if need be." The description of the suit properties set out in paragraph 3(h) was also relied on. 6. On behalf of the plaintiff, this plea was resisted by contending that the first declaration regarding the alleged oral Will of the mother wholly arose within the jurisdiction of the court at Delhi and since that part of the prayer fell within the jurisdiction of the court at Delhi, the court at Delhi had jurisdiction to entertain the suit. It was contended that the cause of acti .....

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at the reliefs claimed in the plaint fell within the purview of Section 16(b) and (d) of the Code and that the proviso to Section 16 had no application. Section 20 could not be resorted to, since Section 16 had application and Section 20 applied only if Section 16 had no application. Overruling the contention that the first part of the declaratory relief was rightly claimed in the court at Delhi, he held that the said declaration was also related to the properties situated in village Pataudi, ou .....

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against the order before the Division Bench of the High Court. The Division Bench, on adverting to Section 16 of Code and the approach of the trial judge to the question, agreed with the trial judge and dismissed the appeal. The Division Bench reiterated that the suit was essentially and in substance for partition and since the property lay beyond the jurisdiction of the trial court, the suit could not be brought within the jurisdiction of the trial court by exhibiting some ingenuity in introduc .....

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ated 1.1.1995 allegedly made by the mother Sajida Sultan was never made and the cause of action for that relief wholly arose in Delhi within the jurisdiction of the trial court. He submitted that the other reliefs of partition, accounting and declaration of invalidity of the sale executed by Defendant No.2 were all reliefs that would flow only if the relief regarding the declaration of Will was granted to the plaintiff and consequently, those reliefs could be perceived to be only consequential r .....

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artition of the properties situate in village Pataudi in Gurgaon that lay outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court at Delhi and when that is so, the suit had to be instituted only in the court having jurisdiction over the property in question and the High Court was right in holding that Section 16(b) and (d) of the Code squarely applied to the case on hand in the light of the releifs claimed. Counsel further submitted that the proviso to Section 16 of the Code had no application, since .....

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urt having jurisdiction over the properties in question, it was not a fit case where this Court ought to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution of India, since having the suit tried at Delhi would only create complications and prolong the proceedings, even assuming that this Court saw some merit in the contention that the first part of prayer (a) might come within the purview of the court at Delhi. He therefore submitted that no interference be made with the order now pa .....

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e suit and its purpose have to be determined by reading the plaint as a whole." It was further observed: "The inclusion or absence of a prayer is not decisive of the true nature of the suit, nor is the order in which the prayers are arrayed in the plaint. The substance or object of the suit has to be gathered from the averments made in the plaint and on which the reliefs asked in the prayers are based." It was further observed: "It must be borne in mind that the function of a .....

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& Ors. Vs. Sachindra Nath Chatterjee & Anr. [(1969) 3 S.C.R. 92], this Court approving the statement of the law by Mukherjee Acting Chief Justice in Hirday Nath Roy Vs. Ramchandra Barna Sarma, [I.L.R. 48 Calcutta 138 F.B.] held: "Before a court can be held to have jurisdiction to decide a particular matter it must not only have jurisdiction to try the suit brought but must also have the authority to pass the orders sought for. It is not sufficient that it has some jurisdiction in re .....

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is no doubt true that there is an averment that an alleged oral will said to have been made at Delhi by the deceased mother and presumably relied on by defendants 1 and 2 was never made. But on our part, we fail to understand the need for claiming such a negative declaration. After all, the plaintiff can sue for partition, rendition of accounts and for setting aside the alienation effected by defendant No. 2 without the junction of the plaintiff on a claim that the plaintiff is also one of the .....

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that no oral will was made at Delhi. It is debatable whether in such a situation it can be said that any cause of action arose at all within the jurisdiction of the court at Delhi. On a reading of the plaint, the trial judge and the Division Bench have come to the conclusion that in substance the suit was one relating to immovable property situate outside the jurisdiction of the trial court in Delhi and hence the plaint had been presented in a court having no jurisdiction to entertain the suit. .....

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