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jurisdiction of the court

Anant Construction (P) Ltd. vs Ram Niwas on 3 October, 1994

Chapter Ix of Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules 1967 deals with interlocutory applications. A perusal of that Chapter reveals emphasis on the counter ( to I.A.), if any, being filed not less than four days before the date of hearing and rejoinder, if any, confined strictly to matters of reply, being filed not less than two days before the date of hearing. The word 'shall' used in the relevant rules qualifies the number of days before which the reply/rejoinder is to be filed. The rules do not contemplate any reply or any rejoinder being filed necessarily to such applications as are capable of being disposed of without reply/rejoinder.

Replication' and 'rejoinder' have well defined meanings. Replication is a pleading by plaintiff in answer to defendant's plea. 'Rejoinder' is a second pleading by defendant in answer to plaintiff's reply i.e. replication. (2) To reach the avowed goal of expeditious disposal, all interlocutory applications are supposed to be disposed of soon on their filing. A delivery of copy or the I.A. to the counsel for opposite party is a notice of application. Reply, if any, may be filed in between, if the time gap was reasonable enough enabling reply being filed . (3) I.As. which do not involve adjudication of substantive rights of parties and/or which do not require investigation or inquiry into facts are not supposed to be contested by filing written reply and certainly not by filing replication. (4) A replication to written statement is not to be filed nor permitted to be filed ordinarily, much less in routine. A replication is permissible in three situations. (i) when required by law; (ii) when a counter claim is raised or set off is pleaded by defendant (iii) when the court directs or permits a replication being filed. (5) Court would direct or permit replication being filed when having scrutinised plaint and written statement the need of plaintiff joining specific pleading to a case specifically and newly raised in written statement is felt. Such a need arises for the plaintiff introducing a plea by way of 'confession and avoidance.' (6) A plaintiff seeking leave of the court has to present before it the proposed replication. On applying its mind the court may grant or refuse the leave. (7) A mere denial of defendant's case by plaintiff needs no replication. The plaintiff can rely on rule of implied or assumed traverse and joinder of issue. (8) Subsequent pleadings are not substitute for amendment in original pleadings. (9) A plea inconsistent with the pleas taken in original pleadings cannot be permitted to be taken in subsequent pleadings. (10) A plea which is foundation of plaintiff's case or essentially a part of causes of action of plaintiff, in absence whereof the suit will be liable to be dismissed or the plaint liable to be rejected cannot be introduced for the first time by way of replication.

Supreme Court of India

Official Trustee, West Bengal & ... vs Sachindra Nath Chatterjee & Anr on 13 December, 1968

jurisdiction may be defined to be the power of a Court to hear and determine a cause, to adjudicate and exercise any judicial power in relation to it : in other words, by jurisdiction is meant the authority which a Court has to decide matters that are litigated before it or to take cognizance of matters presented in a formal way for its decision. An examination of the cases in the books discloses numerous attempts to define the term 'jurisdiction', which has been stated to be 'the power to hear and determine issues of law and fact', 'the authority by which the judicial officer take cognizance of and 'decide causes'; 'the authority to hear and decide a legal controversy', 'the power to hear and determine the subject matter in controversy between parties to a suit and to adjudicate or exercise any judicial power over them;' 'the power to hear, determine and pronounce judgment on the issues before the Court'; 'the power or authority which is conferred upon a Court by the Legislature to hear and determine causes between parties and to carry the judgments into effect'; 'the power to enquire into the facts, to apply the law, to pronounce the judgment and to carry it into execution. "This jurisdiction of the Court may be qualified or restricted by -a variety of circumstances. Thus, the jurisdiction may have to be considered with reference to place, value and nature of the subject matter. The power of a tribunal may be exercised within defined territorial limits. Its cognizance may be restricted to subject-matters of prescribed value. It may be competent to deal with controversies of a specified character, for instance, testamentary or matrimonial causes, acquisition of lands for public purposes, record of rights as between landlords and tenants. This jurisdiction and jurisdiction of the subject matter is obviously of a fundamental character. Given such jurisdiction, we must be careful to distinguish exercise of jurisdiction from existence of jurisdiction : for fundamentally different are the consequences of failure to comply with statutory requirements in the assumption and in the exercise of jurisdiction. The authority to decide a cause at all and not the decision rendered therein is what makes up jurisdiction; and when there is jurisdiction of the person and subject matter, the decision of all other questions arising in the case is but an exercise of that,jurisdiction. The extent to which the conditions essential for creating and raising the jurisdiction of a Court or the restraints attaching to the mode of exercise of that jurisdiction, should be included in the conception of jurisdiction itself, is sometimes a question of great nicety. We must not thus overlook the cardinal position that in order that jurisdiction may be exercised, there must be a case legally before the Court and a hearing as well as a determination. A judgment pronounced by a court without jurisdiction is void, subject to the well-known reservation that, when the jurisdiction of a Court is challenged, the Court is competent to deter- mine the question of jurisdiction, though the result of the enquiry may be that it has no jurisdiction to deal with the matter brought before it .

Supreme Court of India

A.R. Antulay vs R.S. Nayak & Anr on 29 April, 1988

The power to create or enlarge jurisdiction is legislative in character, so also the power to confer a right of appeal or to take away a right of appeal. Parliament alone can do it by law and no Court. whether superior or inferior or both combined can enlarge the jurisdiction of a Court or divest a person of his rights of revision and appeal. See in this connection the observations in M.L. Sethi v. R.P. Kapur (supra) in which Justice Mathew considered Anisminic, [1969] 2 AC 147 and also see Halsbury's Laws of England, 4th Edn. Vol. 10 page 327 at para 720 onwards and also Amnon Rubinstein 'Jurisdiction and Illegality' (1965 Edn. pages 16-50). Reference may also be made to Raja Soap Factory v. S. P. Shantaraj, [1965] 2 SCR 800.

Supreme Court of India

Dhirendra Nath Gorai And Subal ... vs Sudhir Chandra Ghosh And Others on 4 March, 1964

no hard and fast line can be drawn between a nullity and an irregularity; but this much is clear, that an irregularity is a deviation from a rule of law which does not take away the foundation or authority for the proceeding, or apply to its whole operation, whereas a nullity is a proceeding that is taken without any foundation for it, or is so essentially defective