Order VII rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code reads as follows: 

11. The plaint shall be rejected in the following cases:- a) where it does not disclose a cause of action: b) where the relief claimed is under-valued, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to correct the valuation within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so: c) where the relief claimed is properly valued, but the plaint is written upon paper insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff, on being required by the Court to supply the requisite stamp-paper within a time to be fixed by the Court, fails to do so: d) where the suit appears from the statement in the plaint to be barred by any law.

In analyzing the court’s attitude towards Order VII Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code, it is evident that the judiciary takes a stringent stance on the application of this rule to ensure legal procedures are adhered to and frivolous litigation is minimized. The cases cited reveal varied scenarios where the courts have applied Order VII Rule 11, reflecting a commitment to the principles of justice and efficient legal process.

In the case of Kamila Aamir v. Additional District and Sessions Judge (2023 PLD 601 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore), the court’s decision reflects a strict interpretation of Order VII Rule 11 in conjunction with Order II Rule 2. The judgment underscores that splitting claims across multiple suits, where they arise from the same set of facts, is not permissible. This interpretation ensures that litigation is concise and issues are resolved in a singular, comprehensive proceeding, thereby preventing abuse of the judicial process.

Similarly, in the case of Pakistan Developers Pvt. Ltd. v. Karachi Development Authority (2023 PLD 202 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh), the differentiation between a lack of cause of action and a suit being barred by law is highlighted. This distinction is crucial as it impacts the applicability of Order VII Rule 11. The court’s approach in this case indicates an inclination towards a thorough examination of the plaint’s merits before determining its rejection under Order VII Rule 11.

In Col. (R) Muhammad Shabir Awan v. Raja Saghir Ahmed (2023 PLD 458 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore), the application of Order VII Rule 11 in election petitions is discussed. The judgment illustrates the court’s stance on immediate rejection of a petition if procedural requirements under the relevant statutes are not met. This approach is indicative of the judiciary’s commitment to ensuring legal compliance and efficiency in election-related disputes.

The case of Rehman Shah v. Muzaffar Shah (2023 MLD 1460 High-Court-Azad-Kashmir) emphasizes the court’s discretion in considering relevant facts outside the plaint for rejecting it under Order VII Rule 11. This decision showcases the judiciary’s proactive role in curbing frivolous litigation and ensuring that the court’s time is utilized for genuine legal disputes.

In Sultan Ahmed Hashmani v. Thatta Cement Company Limited (2023 PLC(CS) 527 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh) and Dairy Crest Food (Private) Limited v. Muzammal Khan Lodhi (2023 MLD 191 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore), the courts’ decisions to reject the plaints for lack of cause of action demonstrate the judiciary’s vigilance in ensuring that only legally sustainable claims proceed to trial.

In the cases of Mohammed Iqbal Khamisani v. Hotel Metropole (Pvt.) Ltd. (2023 YLR 2530 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh) and Mst. Shahnaz Abid v. Visionary Baluchistan Media Corporation (Pvt.) Ltd. (2023 MLD 1142 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh), the courts emphasized the importance of adhering to legal statutes and timelines, reinforcing that non-compliance can lead to the rejection of a plaint.

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Mohammed Iqbal Khamisani v. Hotel Metropole (Pvt.) Ltd. (2023 YLR 2530 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh): This case illustrates the court’s duty to ensure that a suit is legally maintainable before proceeding. The rejection of the plaint here was grounded in the principle that if a suit is time-barred or otherwise not maintainable in law, it should be dismissed at an early stage to prevent abuse of legal processes.

Ghayoor Hussain Shah v. District Judge Bagh, District Bagh, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (2023 CLC 1290 High-Court-Azad-Kashmir): In these related judgments, the court highlights the importance of examining the plaint’s averments, especially in cases involving allegations of fraud or forgery. The decision to remand the case to the trial court for a detailed examination underscores the judiciary’s commitment to ensuring that substantial justice is not overshadowed by technicalities.

MCB Bank Limited v. Tariq Ahmed Khan Lodhi (2023 CLD 627 Islamabad): This judgment reflects the court’s careful consideration of the facts and applicable law, particularly in the context of contractual obligations and surety. The reversal of the Banking Court’s decision and remand for a fresh decision demonstrate the judiciary’s thoroughness in dealing with complex commercial disputes.

Rashim Khan v. Fida Hussain (2023 MLD 759 Peshawar-High-Court): Here, the court’s decision to uphold the rejection of the plaint was based on the specific provisions of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tenancy Act. The judgment shows a preference for directing litigants to the appropriate forum where specific statutory provisions govern the dispute.

Qasim Zaheer v. Federation of Pakistan through Secretary, Ministry of Energy (2023 PLC(CS)N 45 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh): This case demonstrates the court’s discretion in employment-related disputes, particularly where the relationship between the parties is governed by the principle of “master and servant”. The rejection of the plaint was based on the specific relief sought and the applicable statutory provisions.

Col. (R) Muhammad Shabir Awan v. Raja Saghir Ahmed (2023 PLD 458 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore): The decision in this election petition case illustrates the court’s rigorous application of procedural requirements. The tribunal’s power to reject a petition at any stage if it fails to meet the statutory criteria reinforces the importance of compliance with procedural norms.

Syed Muhammad Qasim v. Shamoon (2023 YLR 1940 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore): This judgment indicates the court’s recognition of co-sharers’ rights and the maintainability of a suit for recovery of possession. The court’s decision to allow the suit to proceed for adjudication on its merits reflects a commitment to ensuring that rightful claims are not dismissed on procedural grounds alone.

Ghayoor Hussain Shah v. District Judge Bagh (2023 CLC 1290 High-Court-Azad-Kashmir): This case demonstrates the court’s reluctance to dismiss a plaint based on allegations of fraud without a thorough examination of evidence. The court’s decision to adjudicate such matters on the basis of evidence rather than technical knockout highlights the importance placed on substantive justice over procedural technicalities.

Anser Mahmood Chughtai v. Shahzadi Fatima Ali (2023 CLC 267 Islamabad): In this case involving a suit for malicious prosecution, the Islamabad High Court set aside the trial court’s rejection of the plaint under Order VII Rule 11. The High Court’s decision underscores the significance of examining the specific circumstances and stages of the criminal proceedings to determine the validity of a claim for damages due to malicious prosecution.

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Malik Zarin Khan v. Adnan Ali Malik (2023 CLC 1368 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore): This judgment clarifies the scope of Order XXIII Rule 1(3) and its relation to Order VII Rule 11. The court held that the filing of multiple suits on the same subject matter is permissible as long as the plaintiff has not withdrawn the earlier suit without permission to re-agitate the same.

Salman Ashraf v. Additional District Judge, Lahore (2023 SCMR 1292 Supreme-Court): The Supreme Court in this case emphasized that the jurisdictional bar for civil courts must be explicitly or implicitly established by statutory law. The court cautioned against importing implied bars from jurisprudence of other countries, highlighting the necessity to adhere to domestic legal principles and statutes.

Syed Zahid Hussain Shah v. Mumtaz Ali (2023 PLD 470 Supreme-Court): The Supreme Court’s decision in this case stresses the importance of attending to the matter of court-fees promptly. The judgment illustrates the court’s approach to handling procedural issues like court-fees in a manner that secures the interests of the state without affecting the rights of the opposite party.

Dairy Crest Food (Private) Limited v. Muzammal Khan Lodhi (2023 MLD 191 Lahore-High-Court-Lahore): This case highlights that a plaint can only be rejected for specific reasons, such as lack of jurisdiction, lack of cause of action, being barred by law, or due to non-affixation of court-fee. The court’s directive to decide the main lis between the parties expeditiously underscores the judiciary’s focus on substantive justice.

Mohammed Iqbal Khamisani v. Hotel Metropole (Pvt.) Ltd. (2023 YLR 2530 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh): This case reaffirms the court’s duty to assess the maintainability of a suit at its inception. The High Court’s decision not to interfere in a matter where the appellant failed to establish a prima facie case or a lawful cause of action, which was time-barred, reflects the judiciary’s commitment to preventing the abuse of the legal process.

Ghayoor Hussain Shah v. District Judge Bagh (2023 CLC 1290 High-Court-Azad-Kashmir): In this case, the court held that a plaint cannot be rejected piecemeal and must be treated as true on its face value. The decision emphasizes the importance of considering the entire plaint and not rejecting it if even one of the prayers is maintainable, especially in cases involving inheritance rights.

Ameer Ahmed v. Province of Sindh (2023 MLD 561 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh): The Karachi High Court’s decision to remand a case challenging a revenue record entry back to the trial court underscores the need for a detailed examination of cases involving prima facie triable issues, particularly when significant rights and entitlements are at stake.

Conclusions 

(1) In summary, these cases collectively demonstrate the judiciary’s strict adherence to legal procedures and its proactive stance in preventing the misuse of the court system through frivolous or non-compliant litigation. This approach not only upholds the integrity of the legal process but also ensures that justice is served efficiently and effectively.

(2)These cases collectively depict a judicial attitude that prioritizes substance over form, ensuring that legal proceedings are not dismissed solely on technical grounds. The courts exhibit a careful balancing act, maintaining procedural integrity while ensuring that genuine claims and substantial issues receive due consideration. This approach reflects a commitment to justice, fairness, and the efficient administration of the law.

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Specimen Draft of Order VII Rule Application

BEFORE THE HONOURABLE DISTRICT COURT OF [Court’s Location]

Civil Suit No. __ of 2023

[Applicant’s Name],

Versus

[Opponent’s Name],

APPLICATION UNDER ORDER VII RULE 11 OF THE CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE FOR REJECTION OF PLAINT

Respectfully Sheweth:

  • That the above-mentioned suit has been filed by the Opponent against the Applicant, pertaining to [briefly describe the nature of the suit and relevant details].
  • The Applicant humbly submits that the plaint filed by the Opponent is liable to be rejected under the provisions of Order VII Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code for the following reasons:
    a) Lack of Cause of Action: It is respectfully submitted that the plaint fails to disclose any legitimate cause of action against the Applicant. As per the allegations and facts presented, no legal right of the Opponent has been infringed upon by the Applicant, thus rendering the plaint inherently defective and meritless.
    b) Under-Valuation of Relief Claimed: The relief sought by the Opponent in the plaint is grossly under-valued, not commensurate with the actual stakes involved. Despite the court’s directive to correct the valuation within the stipulated time, the Opponent has failed to comply, thereby warranting the rejection of the plaint.
    c) Insufficient Stamp Paper: The plaint is drafted on paper that is insufficiently stamped, contrary to the mandatory legal requirements. Despite being directed by this Honorable Court to supply the requisite stamp paper within the given time frame, the Opponent has failed to do so.
    d) Barred by Law: The suit, as represented in the plaint, appears to be barred by the law. [Specify the law or legal provision that bars the suit, if applicable].
  • In light of the aforementioned grounds, it is clear that the plaint does not conform to the legal requirements as stipulated under Order VII Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code.
  • That the continuation of proceedings in the absence of a valid cause of action and compliance with legal formalities would lead to an unnecessary waste of the court’s valuable time and resources and cause undue hardship to the Applicant.

PRAYER

In view of the above, it is most respectfully prayed that this Honorable Court may kindly be pleased to:

a) Reject the plaint filed by the Opponent under the provisions of Order VII Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code.

b) Grant such other relief(s) as this Honorable Court deems fit in the interest of justice, equity, and good conscience.

Applicant

Through

[Applicant’s Advocate’s Name]

Advocate, [Address of the Advocate]

Place:

Date:

VERIFICATION

I, [Applicant’s Name], the Applicant herein, do hereby verify that the contents of paragraphs 1 to 4 are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, belief, and information received and nothing material has been concealed therefrom.

Verified at [Place] on this the [Date].

Applicant

Note: This is a specimen application and should be modified to suit the specific facts and circumstances of the case in question. Proper legal advice should be sought for actual filing.

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