Sunday, 22 March 2020

Whether plaint can be rejected against only one defendant?

 In a similar situation, the Hon’ble Supreme Court
in the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra)
held as follows :
“29) Finally, learned Senior Counsel for the
respondent submitted that in view of a decision of this
Court in Roop Lal Sathi v. Nachhatar Singh Gill ,
rejection of the plaint in respect of one of the
defendants is not sustainable. We have gone through
the facts in that decision and the materials placed for
rejection of plaint in the case on hand. We are
satisfied that the principles of the said decision does
not apply to the facts of the present case where the
appellant-first defendant is not seeking rejection of
the plaint in part. On the other hand, the first
defendant has prayed for rejection of the plaint as a
whole for the reason that it does not disclose a cause
of action and not fulfilling the statutory provisions. In
addition to the same, it is brought to our notice that
this contention was not raised before the High Court
and particularly in view of the factual details, the said
decision is not applicable to the case on hand.
30) In the light of the above discussion, in view of the
shortfall in the plaint averments and statutory
provisions, namely, Order 7 Rule 11, Rule 14(1) and
Rule 14(2), Form Nos.47 and 48 in Appendix A of the
Code which are statutory in nature, we hold that the
learned single Judge of the High Court has correctly
concluded that in the absence of any cause of action
shown as against the first defendant, the suit cannot
be proceeded either for specific performance or for
the recovery of money advanced which according to
the plaintiff was given to the second defendant in the

suit and rightly rejected the plaint as against the first
defendant. Unfortunately, the Division Bench failed to
consider all those relevant aspects and erroneously
reversed the decision of the learned single Judge. We
are unable to agree with the reasoning of the Division
Bench of the High Court.”
21. The aforesaid position laid down by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court applies to the facts of the present case and the
relief sought by the revision applicants for rejection of plaint
as against them deserves to be granted. It is significant that
the revision applicants are not seeking rejection of plaint qua
a particular portion of the plaint or qua any relief sought in
the plaint, but they are seeking rejection of the plaint as a
whole, as against them. It is significant that in the plaint, the
sole respondent has sought relief of direction to the
defendants to accept the balance consideration in terms of
the aforesaid agreement and to execute sale deed, further
seeking a direction that if the defendants fail to do so, the
same be directed to be executed through the Court and a
permanent injunction is sought against the defendants to the
effect that they should not sell the land to any other person.
Such reliefs can be granted, even if the entire case of the
respondent/plaintiff is to be accepted, only against the
signatories to the agreement i.e. defendant Nos.3, 10, 11 and
19, while such reliefs can certainly not be granted against the
other defendants i.e. the revision applicants at all. Therefore,
the Court below could not have rejected the applications filed
by the revision applicants at Exhibits-83 and 101, after having
accepted the contentions of the revision applicants, only on
the ground that acceptance of their prayers would amount to
splitting of the plaint and rejecting the same partially, which
could not be permitted.

22. As noted above, applying the law laid down by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Church of Christ
Charitable Trust & Educational Charitable Society v.
Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra) to the facts of the
present case, accepting the contentions raised on behalf of
the revision applicants amounts to rejection of the plaint as a
whole against the revision applicants and it cannot be said
that the plaint was being split or that only a part of the plaint
was being rejected, which could not be permitted.

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
NAGPUR BENCH AT NAGPUR
Civil Revision Application No. 116 of 2019

 Chetana Shankar Manapure, Vs.  Bandu S/o Tanaji Barapatre,

CORAM : MANISH PITALE, J.

PRONOUNCED ON : 19.03.2020


These two Civil Revision Applications are filed by
some of the original defendants against common order dated
01/07/2019, passed by the Court of Civil Judge (Senior
Division), Bhandara, whereby two applications filed by them
under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure
(Exhs.83 and 101), were rejected.
2. The respondent No.1 in both the Revision
Applications (original plaintiff) filed a suit for specific
performance of contract and permanent injunction bearing
Special Civil Suit No.3/2019, before the Court below against
the revision applicants in these two Revision Applications and
other defendants totaling 29 defendants. The suit properties
are agricultural lands in respect of which the respondent No.1
claims to have entered into an agreement for sale and
purchase. It is the case of respondent No.1 that an agreement
dated 30/06/2016, was executed by original defendant Nos.
3,10, 11 and 19 in favour of respondent No.1, agreeing to sell
the property for valuable consideration. It was claimed by
respondent No.1 that earnest money of Rs.11,00,000/- by
way of four cheques was paid by him to the said original
defendant Nos. 3, 10, 11 and 19 and that the agreement was
specifically signed only by the said four defendants only. It
was the case of respondent No.1 that in stead of complying
with the requirements of the said agreement, original
defendant Nos. 3, 10, 11 and 19 sold the property to a third
person, thereby cheating the respondent No.1, despite the
fact that the respondent No.1 was ready and willing to

perform his part of the contract. On this basis, the
respondent No.1 has filed the aforesaid suit for specific
performance and permanent injunction.
3. In the aforesaid suit, the revision applicants filed
Applications at Exhs.83 and 101, seeking rejection of the
plaint as against them, primarily on the ground that even as
per the pleadings of the respondent No.1 and agreement
dated 30/06/2016, revision applicants were not even parties
to the agreement and, therefore, there was no question of the
suit for specific performance proceeding against them. These
Applications were opposed on behalf of respondent No.1.
4. On 01/07/2019, the Court below passed the
impugned order, wherein it found that when the suit property
was ancestral property and defendant Nos. 3, 10, 11 and 19
had executed the said agreement dated 30/06/2019, without
consent of the revision applicants and when they were not
even signatories to the agreement, it was clearly not
enforceable against the revision applicants. The Court below
found that it was a practice of fraud by defendant Nos. 3, 10,
11 and 19, as there was no consent given by the revision
applicants for entering into the said agreement and it was
also found that respondent No.1 could not be said to have
any cause of action against the revision applicants herein.
5. Yet, in the impugned order, the Court below found
that the applications for rejection of plaint filed by the
revision applicants could not be allowed because rejection of
the plaint in piecemeal could not be permitted and since the
plaint could be rejected only as a whole, the applications filed

by the revision applicants could not be granted.
6. Mr. N.B. Kalwaghe, learned counsel appearing for
the petitioners has referred to various judgments of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court and High Courts to contend that the
approach adopted by the Court below while passing the
impugned order is not sustainable. The learned counsel
appearing for the revision applicants has fairly placed before
this Court judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court that
appear to approve the approach of the Court below in holding
that the plaint could not be rejected in piecemeal, but, it is
contended that such judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
have been passed without referring to or explaining an earlier
judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Church
of Christ Charitable Trust and Educational Charitable Society
represented by its Chairman Vs. Ponniamman Educational
Trust represented by its Chairperson / Managing Trustee
(2012) 8 SCC 706, wherein the contentions sought to be
raised on behalf of the revision applicants have been
accepted. It is contended that the aforesaid judgment of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court is closer on facts and directly
applicable to the question that arises in the present case and
that, therefore, the Revision Applications deserve to be
allowed. Reliance was placed a a full bench judgment of five
judges of the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the case of
Jabalpur Bus Operators Association and others Vs. State of
M.P. and another AIR 2003 MP 81, on the question of
precedents and their applicability, to contend that an earlier
judgment is binding unless it is explained by subsequent
judgments rendered by Benches of equal strength. It is
contended that although in the case of Sejal Glass Limited Vs.

Navilan Merchants Private Limited (2018) 11 SCC 780 and
Madhav Prasad Aggarawal and another Vs. Axis Bank Limited
and another (2019) 7 SCC 158, it has been held that the
plaint can be rejected as a whole or not at all, the said
judgments do not refer to or explain the aforesaid earlier
judgment in the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust
(supra), wherein it was held that plaint could be rejected as
against some of the defendants. It was contended on behalf
of the revision applicants that when they were seeking
rejection of plaint as against them, it amounted to rejection of
the plaint as a whole as against them and it could not be said
that the plaint was being rejected in a piecemeal manner. On
this basis, it was contended that the impugned order deserved
to be set aside and the Applications at Exhs.83 and 101
deserved to be allowed.
7. Mr. S. D. Deoras, learned counsel appearing for
the contesting respondent No.1 submitted that the impugned
order was justified as it was in accordance with the
judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Sejal
Glass Ltd. (supra) and Madhav Prasad Aggarwal (supra).
Apart from this, it was submitted that if prayer for rejection of
plaint made in Applications at Exhs.83 and 101, was to be
accepted, it would obviously lead to piecemeal rejection of
the plaint, which could not be permitted under Order 7 Rule
11 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
8. Heard learned counsel for the rival parties and
perused the material on record. The main crux of the
controversy in the present revision applications is, as to
whether acceptance of contentions raised on behalf of the

revision applicants would lead to rejection of plaint in part or
rejection of the plaint as a whole only against the revision
applicants before this Court. This assumes significance in the
backdrop of the rival contentions raised on behalf of the
parties wherein reliance is placed on judgments of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court, wherein there appears to be an
apparent conflict with regard to the question as to whether a
plaint can be rejected only against some of the defendants
while it can continue against the remaining defendants.
Before considering the facts of the present case, it would be
appropriate to consider the position of law that would be
applicable to the facts of the present case.
9. The learned counsel appearing for the revision
applicants has placed reliance on judgment of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court in the case of Church of Christ Charitable
Trust & Educational Charitable Society v. Ponniamman
Educational Trust (supra), wherein while considering a
similar situation pertaining to a suit for specific performance
filed by the plaintiff, the Hon’ble Supreme Court came to a
conclusion that when a plain reading of the plaint
demonstrated that there was no agreement between the
plaintiff and the first defendant, there was no cause of action
as against the said defendant for seeking a decree of specific
performance and that therefore, the plaint deserved to be
rejected as against the first defendant, while it could continue
to proceed against the second defendant. It was held in such
a situation that it could not be said that defendant No.1 was
seeking rejection of the plaint in part, but the said defendant
was seeking rejection of the plaint as a whole against itself,
because it did not disclose cause of action and it did not

satisfy the requirement of statutory provisions.
10. On the other hand, the judgments of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court in the case of Sejal Glass Limited v. Navilan
Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra) and Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v.
Axis Bank Ltd. (supra), lay down that a plaint could be
rejected as a whole and it was not permissible to reject the
plaint qua any particular portion of a plaint, including against
some of the defendants and continue against others. The said
judgments are subsequent, having been rendered in the years
2017 and 2019, but admittedly there is no reference in these
subsequent judgments to the aforesaid earlier judgment in
the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra),
which was rendered in the year 2012. The said subsequent
judgments do not explain the said earlier judgment of the
year 2012. There is no dispute about the fact that the earlier
judgment in the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust &
Educational Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational
Trust (supra) and the subsequent judgments in the cases of
Sejal Glass Limited v. Navilan Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra) and
Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v. Axis Bank Ltd. (supra), are all
judgments rendered by Benches of two Hon’ble Judges of the
Supreme Court of India. Thus, co-equal benches have taken
different views on a particular issue. In such a situation, it
needs to be examined as to which of the views is to be
followed by this Court.
11. In the Full Bench judgment of the Madhya Pradesh
High Court, a bench of Five Judges of the High Court in the
case of Jabalpur Bus Operators Association v. State of M. P.

(FB) (supra), has held as follows:
“In case of conflict between two decisions of the
Apex Court, Benches comprising of equal number of
Judges, decision of earlier Bench is binding unless
explained by the latter Bench of equal strength, in
which case the later decision is binding. Decision of
a Larger Bench is binding on smaller Benches.
Therefore, the decision of earlier Division Bench,
unless distinguished by latter Division Bench, is
binding on the High Courts and the Subordinate
Courts. Similarly, in presence of Division Bench
decisions and Larger Bench decisions, the decisions
of Larger Bench are binding on the High Courts and
the Subordinate Courts. No decision of Apex Court
has been brought to our notice which holds that in
case of conflict between the two decisions by equal
number of Judges, the later decision in binding in
all circumstances, or the High Courts and
Subordinate Courts can follow any decision which is
found correct and accurate to the case under
consideration. High Courts and Subordinate Courts
should lack competence to interpret decisions of
Apex Court since that would not only defeat what is
envisaged under Article 141 of the Constitution of
India but also militate hierarchical supremacy of
Courts. The common thread which runs through
various decisions of Apex Court seems to be that
great value has to be attached to precedent which
has taken the shape of rule being followed by it for
the purpose of consistency and exactness in
decisions of Court, unless the Court can clearly
distinguish the decision put up as a precedent or is
per incuriam, having been rendered without
noticing some earlier precedents with which the
Court agrees. Full Bench decision in Balbir Singh's
case (supra) which holds that if there is conflict of
views between the two co-equal Benches of the
Apex Court, the High Court has to follow the
judgment which appears to it to state the law more
elaborately and more accurately and in conformity
with the scheme of the Act, in our considered
opinion, for reasons recorded in the preceding
paragraph of this judgment, does not lay down the
correct law as to application of precedent and is,
therefore, over-ruled on this point.”

12. On the basis of the said view taken by the Full
Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, it was submitted
on behalf of the revision applicants that since the subsequent
two judgments of the Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in the
years 2017 and 2019, on which the learned counsel for the
contesting respondent placed reliance, neither referred to nor
explained the earlier judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
in the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra)
rendered in 2012, this Court could follow the view taken by
the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Church of Christ
Charitable Trust & Educational Charitable Society v.
Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra). In the case of
Rattiram v. State of M.P., reported in (2012) 4 SCC 516, the
Hon’ble Supreme Court considered the aspect of a binding
precedent and held as follows:
“24. It is apposite to note that in Kuttappan case,
the assail was different and the Bench was not
considering the effect of non-committal under
Section 193 of the Code after conviction was
recorded. Though it referred to the authority in
Vidyadharan, yet that was to a limited extent.
Hence, the said pronouncement cannot be
regarded or treated to be one in line with
Vidyadharan and is, therefore, kept out of the
purview of conflict of opinion that has emerged in
the two streams of authorities.
25. Before we advert whether Bhooraji was
correctly decided or Moly and Vidyadharan laid
down the law appositely, it is appropriate to dwell
upon whether Bhooraji was a binding precedent
and, what would be the consequent effect of the
later decisions which have been rendered without
noticing it.
26. In Union of India and Another v. Raghubir
Singh the Constitution Bench, speaking through R.

S. Pathak, C.J., has held thus: (SCC p. 778, para
28)
"28. We are of opinion that a pronouncement of
law by a Division Bench of this Court is binding on
a Division Bench of the same or a smaller number
of Judges, and in order that such decision be
binding, it is not necessary that it should be a
decision rendered by the Full Court or a
Constitution Bench of the Court"
27. In Indian Oil Corpn. Ltd. v. Municipal Corpn.
the Division Bench of the High Court had come to
the conclusion that Municipal Corpn., Indore v.
Ratnaprabha was not a binding precedent in view
of the later decisions of the co-equal Bench of this
Court in Dewan Daulat Rai Kapoor v. New Delhi
Municipal Committee and Balbir Singh v. MCD. It
is worth noting that the Division Bench of the High
Court proceeded that the decision in Ratnaprabha
was no longer good law and binding on it. The
matter was referred to the Full Bench which
overruled the decision passed by the Division
Bench. When the matter travelled to this Court, it
observed thus: (Indian Oil Corpn. Ltd. case, SCC p.
100, para 8)
"8. …..The Division Bench of the High
Court in Municipal Corpn., Indore v. Ratnaprabha
Dhanda was clearly in error in taking the view that
the decision of this Court in Ratnaprabha was not
binding on it. In doing so, the Division Bench of the
High Court did something which even a later coequal
Bench of this Court did not and could not
do."
23. In Chandra Prakash v. State of U. P. a
subsequent Constitution Bench reiterated the view
that had already been stated in Raghubir Singh.
24. Thus viewed, Bhooraji was a binding
precedent, and when in ignorance of it subsequent
decisions have been rendered, the concept of per
incuriam would come into play.”
13. As noted above a reading of the judgments of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court of Benches of co-equal strength in the
cases of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational

Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra),
Sejal Glass Limited v. Navilan Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra) and
Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v. Axis Bank Ltd. (supra) would
show that there is neither any reference to nor any
explanation in the subsequent two judgments regarding the
judgment rendered earlier in point of time. Thus, there is
substance in the contention raised on behalf of the revision
applicants that this Court could follow the view of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court rendered in the case of Church of
Christ Charitable Trust & Educational Charitable Society v.
Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra). A close look at the
said judgment would show that even on facts, it is applicable
to the present case. In the said case also the question before
the Hon’ble Supreme Court was, as to whether a suit could be
permitted to continue against a defendant with which the
plaintiff had never entered into an agreement and there was
total lack of pleading in the plaint as expected under the
relevant provisions of law. It was found that the prayer for
grant of a decree of specific performance could not be
entertained at all as against the defendant No.1 since there
was no agreement between the plaintiff and defendant No.1
in the first place. This was discernible from mere reading of
the plaint. On this basis, the Hon’ble Supreme Court found
that the plaint deserved to be rejected as against defendant
No.1 although the suit could continue as against the other
defendant. It was noted that the first defendant in the said
case had prayed for rejection of the plaint as a whole against
it as there was no disclosure of cause of action against the
said defendant. The Hon’ble Supreme Court in the said case
set aside the judgment of the Division Bench and restored
that of the learned Single Judge of the High Court, whereby it

had been held that the suit could continue only against the
other defendant while the plaint stood rejected as against the
first defendant.
14. The said judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court
in the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra),
wherein it was held that the plaint could be rejected as
against one of the defendants and the suit could continue
against other, was not brought to the notice of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court when judgments were rendered by Benches of
co-equal strength in the case of Sejal Glass Limited v. Navilan
Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra) and Madhav Prasad Aggrawal Vs.
Axis Bank Ltd. (supra). Consequently, the earlier judgment in
the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra)
was not explained or dealt with in the aforesaid subsequent
judgments rendered by Benches of co-equal strength of the
Hon’ble Supreme Court. On facts, the subsequent judgments
of the Hon’ble Supreme Court were not dealing with a case
for grant of decree of specific performance. In the case of
Sejal Glass Limited v. Navilan Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra), it
was claimed that the plaint was to be bifurcated as it did not
disclose cause of action against the Directors i.e. defendant
Nos.2 to 4 while the suit could continue against the company
i.e. defendant No.1. The suit was for recovery of specific
amount against the defendants and for a direction to the
defendants to furnish TDS Certificate. In the backdrop of
such facts, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the plaint
could not be rejected against defendant Nos.2 to 4 only.

15. In the case of Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v. Axis
Bank Ltd. (supra) a Bench of co-equal strength held that the
aforesaid judgment in the case of Sejal Glass Limited v.
Navilan Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra) was directly on the point.
By following the said judgment, it was held that if the plaint
survives against certain defendants, Order VII Rule 11(d) of
the CPC will have no application and that the suit as a whole
must proceed to trial. In the said case, defendant No.1-Bank
had claimed that the suit was barred as against it under
section 34 of the Act of 2002. It was also claimed that the
averments in the plaint did not spell out a case of fraud
against the Bank. In such circumstances, it was held by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court that the plaint could not have been
rejected only as against the defendant-Bank.
16. This Court finds that the judgment of the Hon’ble
Supreme Court in the case of Church of Christ Charitable
Trust & Educational Charitable Society v. Ponniamman
Educational Trust (supra) can be followed as per of the
position of law indicating that it is a binding precedent on
this Court, in view of absence of any reference to or
explanation of the said judgment in the subsequent
judgments of Benches of co-equal strength of Hon’ble
Supreme Court in the cases of Sejal Glass Limited v. Navilan
Merchants (P) Ltd. (supra) and Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v.
Axis Bank Ltd. (supra). Additionally, in the facts of the
present case, the judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in
the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra)
is directly applicable.

17. Therefore, the facts of the present case need to be
appreciated to examine whether the Court below was
justified in rejecting the applications for rejection of plaint
filed by the revision applicants at Exhibits-83 and 101. The
only reason given by the Court below for rejecting the said
applications is that the plaint could not be rejected in
piecemeal and the rejection of the plaint must be as a whole
and it could not be split for rejection.
18. A perusal of the plaint in the present case and the
agreement filed along with the plaint clearly shows that even
as per the pleadings in the plaint and the clauses of the
agreement in question, the parties to the agreement were
only the plaintiff and the defendants, other than the revision
applicants who had filed the applications for rejection of
plaint as against them. There is no dispute about the fact
that respondent No.1 i.e. the original plaintiff entered into
the said agreement only with the original defendant Nos.3,
10, 11 and 19. It is an admitted position that other than the
aforesaid defendants, none of the defendants were party to
the said agreement dated 30/06/2016. The agreement could
therefore be specifically enforceable only against those
defendants who were party to the said agreement. There can
be no doubt about the same. The rule of pleadings
incorporated in Forms 47 and 48 in Appendix A to the Code
of Civil Procedure, 1908, specifies the pleadings necessary in
a suit seeking specific performance of an agreement. This
rule requires specific pleadings with regard to the date on
which the plaintiff and the defendant entered into the
agreement in question with the original document being
annexed to the plaint, and with description of the immovable

property in question. Respondent No.1 i.e. the original
plaintiff in the present case, needed to specify in the
pleadings in the plaint as regards the details when he entered
into agreement for sale of immovable property with the
revision applicants herein and how he was seeking a decree
of specific performance against the revision applicants. In the
present case, the sole respondent has obviously not made any
such statements in respect of the revision applicants because
even as per the agreement on which he relies, it is evident
that the said agreement was executed between him and only
original defendant Nos.3, 10, 11 and 19. Thus, there is
absolute lack of pleadings and in fact no material to show
that any agreement in the present case could be specifically
enforced as against the revision applicants.
19. In the impugned order the Court below has
accepted this position and at one place it has found that the
revision applicants were not signatories to the agreement
and, therefore, the agreement could not be enforceable
against them and it would be inequitable to enforce specific
performance of such contract. The Court below went to the
extent of observing that it was almost a practice of fraud on
the revision applicants in the present case, that the agreement
was null and void as against the revision applicants and the
suit could therefore not be decreed against them. It was also
observed that it could be safely held that there was no cause
of action as against the revision applicants. This was found
on the basis that the property was ancestral and the revision
applicants were co-owners and since they were not party to
the agreement in question, there was no question of granting
a decree of specific performance as against the revision

applicants. Even after holding so in favour of the revision
applicants, the Court below held that the application for
rejection of plaint filed by the revision applicants could not be
granted, because the rejection of the plaint had to be as a
whole and the plaint could not be split, only to be rejected as
against the revision applicants.
20. In a similar situation, the Hon’ble Supreme Court
in the case of Church of Christ Charitable Trust & Educational
Charitable Society v. Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra)
held as follows :
“29) Finally, learned Senior Counsel for the
respondent submitted that in view of a decision of this
Court in Roop Lal Sathi v. Nachhatar Singh Gill ,
rejection of the plaint in respect of one of the
defendants is not sustainable. We have gone through
the facts in that decision and the materials placed for
rejection of plaint in the case on hand. We are
satisfied that the principles of the said decision does
not apply to the facts of the present case where the
appellant-first defendant is not seeking rejection of
the plaint in part. On the other hand, the first
defendant has prayed for rejection of the plaint as a
whole for the reason that it does not disclose a cause
of action and not fulfilling the statutory provisions. In
addition to the same, it is brought to our notice that
this contention was not raised before the High Court
and particularly in view of the factual details, the said
decision is not applicable to the case on hand.
30) In the light of the above discussion, in view of the
shortfall in the plaint averments and statutory
provisions, namely, Order 7 Rule 11, Rule 14(1) and
Rule 14(2), Form Nos.47 and 48 in Appendix A of the
Code which are statutory in nature, we hold that the
learned single Judge of the High Court has correctly
concluded that in the absence of any cause of action
shown as against the first defendant, the suit cannot
be proceeded either for specific performance or for
the recovery of money advanced which according to
the plaintiff was given to the second defendant in the

suit and rightly rejected the plaint as against the first
defendant. Unfortunately, the Division Bench failed to
consider all those relevant aspects and erroneously
reversed the decision of the learned single Judge. We
are unable to agree with the reasoning of the Division
Bench of the High Court.”
21. The aforesaid position laid down by the Hon’ble
Supreme Court applies to the facts of the present case and the
relief sought by the revision applicants for rejection of plaint
as against them deserves to be granted. It is significant that
the revision applicants are not seeking rejection of plaint qua
a particular portion of the plaint or qua any relief sought in
the plaint, but they are seeking rejection of the plaint as a
whole, as against them. It is significant that in the plaint, the
sole respondent has sought relief of direction to the
defendants to accept the balance consideration in terms of
the aforesaid agreement and to execute sale deed, further
seeking a direction that if the defendants fail to do so, the
same be directed to be executed through the Court and a
permanent injunction is sought against the defendants to the
effect that they should not sell the land to any other person.
Such reliefs can be granted, even if the entire case of the
respondent/plaintiff is to be accepted, only against the
signatories to the agreement i.e. defendant Nos.3, 10, 11 and
19, while such reliefs can certainly not be granted against the
other defendants i.e. the revision applicants at all. Therefore,
the Court below could not have rejected the applications filed
by the revision applicants at Exhibits-83 and 101, after having
accepted the contentions of the revision applicants, only on
the ground that acceptance of their prayers would amount to
splitting of the plaint and rejecting the same partially, which
could not be permitted.

22. As noted above, applying the law laid down by the
Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Church of Christ
Charitable Trust & Educational Charitable Society v.
Ponniamman Educational Trust (supra) to the facts of the
present case, accepting the contentions raised on behalf of
the revision applicants amounts to rejection of the plaint as a
whole against the revision applicants and it cannot be said
that the plaint was being split or that only a part of the plaint
was being rejected, which could not be permitted.
23. In view of the above, the revision applications are
allowed and the impugned order passed by the Court below is
quashed and set aside. Consequently, the plaint is rejected as
against the defendants, who filed the applications at Exhibits-
83 and 101 before the Court below. No order as to costs.
JUDGE

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