order 2 rule 2
Delhi High Court
Kanwal Kishore Manchanda And Anr. vs S.D. Technical Services Pvt. Ltd. on 8 April, 2005
What then is a cause of action? Till there is no cause, there cannot be any action. For a cause, there has to be a right to sue. Infringement of a right or a clear and unequivocal threat to infringe that right would constitute a cause to bring an action. Whether a particular threat gave rise to a compulsory cause of action depends upon the question whether that threat effectively invades or jeopardises the right.
To constitute a cause of action, first is the coming into existence of a right, and secondly, its infringement or threat to be infringed.
Usually, cause of action in substance denotes and determines the starting point of limitation.
It is also understood as the bundles of facts which have to be averred and proved to sustain an action.
The Hon‟ble Supreme Court in ABC Laminart -vs- A.P. Agencies, AIR 1989 SC 1239 succinctly defined cause of action thus:-"A cause of action is a bundle of facts which taken with the law applicable to them gives the plaintiff a right to relief against the defendant. It must include some act done by the defendant since in the absence, no cause of action can possibly accrue. It is not limited to the actual infringement of the right sued on but includes all the material facts on which it is founded. It does not evidence necessary to prove such facts, but every fact necessary for the plaintiff to prove to enable him to obtain a judgment/decree. Everything which if not proved would give the defendant a right to immediate judgment must be part of the cause of action. But it has no relation whatever to the defence which may be set up by the defendant nor does it depend upon the character of the relief prayed for by the plaintiff".
In Swamy Atmananda - vs- Sri Ramakrishna Tapovanam, AIR 2005 SC 2392, after recounting various precedents, the Supreme Court defined cause of action in these words:-"Cause of action means every fact, which, if traversed, would be necessary for the plaintiff to prove in order to support his right to a judgment of the Court. It is a bundle of facts which taken with the law applicable to them gives the plaintiff a right to relief against the defendant. It must include some act done by the defendant since in the absence of such an act, no cause of action can possibly accrue. It is not limited to the actual infringement of the right sued on but includes all material facts on which it is founded".
In Om Prakash Srivastava -vs- Union of India, (2006) 6 SCC 207, the Hon‟ble Supreme Court gave a simple formula to determine the identity of cause of action. The Court observed that:-"The rule is directed to securing the exhaustion of the relief in respect of a cause of action and not to the inclusion in one and the same action or different causes of action, even though they arise from the same transaction. One great criterion, when question arises as to whether the cause of a