ORDER VII RULE 11 CPC - PLAINT TO BE REJECTED IF IT IS VEXATIOUS, CONSISTS OF ILLUSORY CAUSE OF ACTION AND IS BARRED BY LIMITATION.
In the case of Ramisetty Venkatanna v. Nasyam Jamal Saheb [Civil Appeal No. 2717 of 2023], the Appellant had filed an application under Order VII Rule XI(d) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (“CPC”) for the rejection of the plaint on the grounds that the lawsuit was time-barred. The Trial Court denied the application, and aggrieved by this decision of the Trial Court the Appellant filed an appeal before the High Court of Andhra Pradesh wherein the earlier decision was upheld.
The Appellant, aggrieved by this decision of the Andhra Pradesh High Court, filed an appeal before the Supreme Court. Thereafter, the Supreme Court observed that a plaint should be dismissed in accordance with Order VII Rule XI(a) and (d) of the CPC if it is frivolous, has an illusory cause of action, and is time-barred.
The Supreme Court carefully analysed the factual matrix and observed that the plaintiff had filed the lawsuit along with the petitions, which were shrewdly drafted in order to avoid the statute of limitations. The Court pointed out that since the lawsuit was brought 61 years after the partition deed, it would be hopelessly blocked by limitation if the partition deed of 11.03.1953 were to be contested, which is essentially what the plaintiffs had been trying to accomplish.
Furthermore, the Court stated that "There cannot be any dispute with respect to the proposition of law laid down by this Court that while deciding the application under Order VII Rule XI, mainly the averments in the plaint only are required to be considered and not the averments in the written statement. However, on considering the averments in the plaint as they are, we are of the opinion that the plaint is ought to have been rejected being vexatious, illusory cause of action and barred by limitation and it is a clear case of clever drafting."
Thus, the Appeal was allowed with no costs.