Civil Suits

The jurisdiction of Civil Court is defined under Section 9 C.P.C. as follows:

Section 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,

The Courts obviously mean Civil Courts as C.P.C. applies on Civil Courts only. The preamble of the C.P.C. is to the following effect:-

An Act to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the procedure of the Courts of civil judicature.

The other pre requisite for instituting a suit is that the plaintiff must have right to sue. As far as right to sue is concerned it is a common law or inherent right. Unlike appeal right to sue need not be provided and has generally not been provided by any statute. Certain statutory provisions only recognize the right of aggrieved party to institute suit. In Ganga Bai v. Vijai Kumar, AIR 1974 SC 1126 para 15 it has been held as follows:

"There is an inherent right in every person to bring a suit of a civil nature and unless the suit is barred by statute one may, at one‘s peril, bring a suit of one‘s choice. It is no answer to a suit, howsoever frivolous the claim, that the law confers no such right to sue. A suit for its maintainability requires no authority of law and
it is enough that no statute bars the suit."

The above portion has been quoted with approval in Abdul Gafur v. State of Uttrakhand AIR 2009 SC 413 (para 14). Same thing has been held in Shiv Shakti Co-operative Housing Society v. S. Developers AIR 2003 SC 2434 (para 17).

In Shiv Kumar Chadha v. Municipal Corpn. Of Delhi, 1993 (3) SCC 161 it was held that under classical law the position is that where there is a right there is a remedy. The position regarding special Acts creating rights and liabilities was also clarified in same para 11 which is quoted below:-

"11. In the olden days the source of most of the rights and liabilities could be traced to the common law. Then statutory enactments were few. Even such enactments only created rights or liabilities but seldom provided forums for remedies. The result was that any person having a grievance that he had been wronged or his right was being affected, could approach the ordinary Civil Court on the principle of law that where there is a right there is a remedy-ubi jus ibi remedium. As no internal remedy had been provided in the different statutes creating rights or liabilities, the ordinary Civil Courts had to examine the grievances in the light of different statutes. With the concept of the Welfare State, it was realised that enactments creating liabilities in respect of payment of taxes obligations after vesting of estates and conferring rights on a class of citizens, should be complete codes by themselves."

With that object in view, forums were created under the Acts themselves where grievances could be entertained on behalf of the persons aggrieved. Provisions were also made for appeals and revision to higher authorities.

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