Property Law

Jurisdictions of Civil Court and Place of Suing

Meaning of jurisdiction:

In simple terms, Jurisdiction is the power of the court to take cognizance of an offence and determine the cause of action. Jurisdiction is decided mainly on the basis of: –

  • Pecuniary value
  • Local limits of Court
  • The subject matter of Court

Thus, the Court before taking the cognizance of an offence, it should look into following points – 

  • The pecuniary value of the suit
  • The nature of the case
  • The territorial limits of the court

Jurisdiction of Civil Court (Section 9):

Section 9 explains that “Courts to try all civil suits unless barred” – This Section further states that “The Courts shall have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred.”

Place of suing: -Section 15 to 20 deals with the place of suing –

There are three kinds of jurisdiction to determine the place of suing: –

  • Territorial jurisdictions
  • Pecuniary jurisdictions
  • Subject matter jurisdiction

Pecuniary jurisdiction (Section 15)

The court of lowest grade which is competent to try every suits then such suits will be instituted in such courts. Here, competent means that the court must have the power to hear the case with regards to pecuniary jurisdiction. It is a vital point that the court of lowest grade who has a jurisdiction with regards to pecuniary value must deal with the case.

The issue arises: – who will determine the value of the suit?

In general, the plaintiff makes the valuation of the suit for determining the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court. If the court finds that the valuation is overvalued or undervalued by the plaintiff for the purpose of the pecuniary jurisdiction, then the court gets the proper valuation for the same and directs the party to file the case in the proper court.

Territorial Jurisdiction (Section 16 to 20)

It is divided into: –

  • Suits related to immovable property (Section 16 to 18)
  • Suits related to Movable property (Section 19)
  • Other suits (Section 20)

Section 16 states that the suit related to immovable property shall be instituted where such immovable property is situated.

It explains about the institution of the suit with respect to: –

  • Recovery of immovable property with or without profit or rent
  • Partition of immovable property
  • Foreclosure, sale or redemption in case of charge or mortgage upon immovable property
  • Compensation for a wrong caused to immovable property
  • Determination of any interest or rights related to immovable property
  • Recovery of movable property under attachment or distraint, for all the above-mentioned purpose.

When the suit is filed for the relief or compensation for wrong caused to immovable property held by a defendant or any other person on the behalf of a defendant where the relief can be obtained through his personal attendance then suits may be instituted in a court within whose local jurisdiction: –

  • the property is situated, or
  • the defendant voluntarily and actually resides or carries on business or personally for gains.

Section 17: -Cases in which the immovable property is situated within the local limits of the jurisdiction of different courts.

When the suit is filed for obtaining the compensation or relief for the wrong caused to immovable property situated within the jurisdiction of two or more courts, the suit may be filed in any court within whose local jurisdiction a portion of the property is situated. But in respect for the value of subject matter of the suit, the entire claim is cognizable by such court.

Section 18– A place of an institution when the jurisdiction of courts is uncertain

When there is uncertainty with regards to the local limits of the jurisdiction of courts, and any of the courts has satisfied that there is a ground for uncertainty, record the statement and may proceed with the case to entertain and dispose of the case. The decree passed by such court will have the same effect as if the property was situated within the local limits of its jurisdiction.

In a case where the court taking the cognizance of case does not record the statement and objection is brought before Appellate or Revisional Court, the Appellate or Revisional court shall not allow the objections unless it is satisfied that at the time of institution of suit there was no reasonable ground for uncertainty as regards to jurisdiction of Court and there has been a failure of justice.

Section 19– Suits with regard to movable property

When Applicable

Where the suit is for the wrong caused to the person or property.


  • If the wrong was done within the local limits of the jurisdiction of one court


  • The defendant voluntarily resides or carries on his business or works for personal gain within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another court then the plaintiff has an option to file at either court.

Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises (Section 20)

When Applicable

When there is a breach of contract or commercial transactions


  • If the breach of contract was done or cause of action arises within the local limits of the jurisdiction of one court


  • Defendant voluntarily resides, carries on his business or works for personal gains within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another court the plaintiff has an option to file at either court


This article explains the basic things of the jurisdiction of civil courts and place of suing. It is necessary to know the points which are given under this article. Anyone who deals with civil matters must know these basic things of Civil Procedure Code.

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