Question: What is meant by cause of action? How cause of action is related to jurisdiction. In what conditions more than one cause of action can be joined in one suit. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is meant by cause of action? How cause of action is related to jurisdiction. In… Read More »

Question: What is meant by cause of action? How cause of action is related to jurisdiction. In what conditions more than one cause of action can be joined in one suit. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is meant by cause of action? How cause of action is related to jurisdiction. In what conditions more than one cause of action can be joined in one suit.] Answer Every suit presupposes the existence of a cause of action against the defendant because if there is...

Question: What is meant by cause of action? How cause of action is related to jurisdiction. In what conditions more than one cause of action can be joined in one suit.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What is meant by cause of action? How cause of action is related to jurisdiction. In what conditions more than one cause of action can be joined in one suit.]

Answer

Every suit presupposes the existence of a cause of action against the defendant because if there is no cause of action, the plaint will have to be rejected.

Even though the expression “cause of action” has not been defined in the Code, it may be described as “a bundle of essential facts, which it is necessary for the plaintiff to prove before he can succeed“, or “which gives the plaintiff right to relief against the defendant“. Thus, “cause of action” means “every fact, which it is necessary to establish to support a right or obtain a judgment.“¹ To put it differently, cause of action gives occasion for and forms the foundation of the suit.

The classic definition of the said expression is found in the case of Cooke v. Gill [(1873) 8 CP 107], wherein Lord Brett observed

“Cause of action means every fact which it would be necessary for the plaintiff to prove, if traversed, in order to support his right to the judgment of the court.”

Cause of action has nothing to do with the defense which may be set up by the defendant, nor does it depend upon the character of the relief prayed for by the plaintiff. It refers entirely to the grounds set forth in the plaint as the cause of action, or, in other words, to the media upon which the plaintiff asks the court to arrive at a conclusion in his favor.

It must be antecedent to the institution of the suit and on the basis of that cause of action, the suit must have been filed. Whether any particular facts constitute a cause of action has to be determined with reference to the facts of each case, taking into consideration the substance of the matter rather than the form of action.

It is also necessary for the plaintiff to state specifically when such cause of action arose. This will enable the defendant as well as the court to ascertain from the plaint whether in fact and in law the cause of action as alleged by the plaintiff in the plaint did arise or not.

Joinder of causes of action: Order 2 Rules 3, 6

Rule 3 deals with the joinder of causes of action. This rule enables the joinder of several causes of action in one suit in certain circumstances subject to the provisions of the Code. (Rules 4 and 5 of Order 2 and Rules 1 and 3 of Order 1)

It contemplates the following four types of situations

1. One plaintiff, one defendant, and several causes of action

Where there is only one plaintiff and one defendant, the plaintiff is at liberty to unite in the same suit several causes of action. But if it appears. to the court that the joinder of causes of action may embarrass or delay the trial or is otherwise inconvenient, the court may order separate trials.

2. Joinder of plaintiffs and causes of action

Where there are two or more plaintiffs and several causes of action, the plaintiffs may unite such causes of action in one suit against the same defendant if they all are jointly interested. But this provision must be read with Order 1 Rule 1. Thus, where there are two or more plaintiffs and two or more causes of action, they may be joined in one suit only the following two conditions are fulfilled:

  1. the causes of action must have arisen from the same act or transaction, and
  2. common questions of law or fact must have been involved.

Therefore, where the plaintiffs are not jointly interested in several causes of action which have been joined in one suit and the right to relief does not arise from the same act or transaction or where common questions of law or fact are not involved, the suit will be bad for misjoinder of plaintiffs and causes of action.

3. Joinder of defendants and causes of action

Where there is one plaintiff and two or more defendants and several causes of action, the plaintiff may unite in the same suit several causes of action against those defendants, if the defendants are jointly interested in the causes of action. But this provision also must be read subject to Order 1 Rule 3, and therefore two or more defendants can be joined in one suit, provided the following two conditions are fulfilled:

  1. the relief claimed must have been based on the same act or transaction; and
  2. common questions of law or fact must have been involved.

Where, in one suit, two or more defendants have been joined against whom the causes of action are separate and therefore they are not jointly liable to the plaintiff in respect of those causes of action, and the right to the relief claimed is not based on the same act or transaction or where common questions of fact or law are not involved, the suit will be bad for misjoinder of defendants and causes of action, technically called as multifariousness.

4. Joinder of plaintiffs, defendants, and causes of action

Where there are two or more plaintiffs, two or more defendants, and several causes of action, the plaintiffs may unite the causes of action against the defendants in the same suit only when all the plaintiffs are jointly interested in the causes of action and the defendants are also jointly interested in the causes of action. If the plaintiffs are not jointly interested in the causes of action, the suit will be bad for misjoinder of plaintiffs and causes of action.

On the other hand, if the defendants and not jointly interested in the causes of action, the suit will be bad for multifariousness. And if neither the plaintiffs nor the defendants are jointly interested in the causes of action, the suit will be bad for double misjoinder, i.e. misjoinder of plaintiffs and causes of action and misjoinder of defendants and causes of action.

Objections as to misjoinder of causes of action: Rule 7

All objections on the ground of misjoinder of causes of action must be taken at the earliest opportunity, otherwise, they will be deemed to have been waived. Similarly, no decree or order under Section 47 of the Code can be reversed or substantially varied in appeal, inter alia, on account of any misjoinder or non-joinder of causes of action not affecting the merits of the case or the jurisdiction of the court.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – I of X
  2. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – II of X
  3. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – III of X
  4. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – IV of X
  5. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – V of X
  6. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – VI of X
  7. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – VII of
  8. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – VIII of X
  9. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – IX of X
  10. CPC Mains Questions Series: Important Questions Part – X of X
Updated On 2022-02-24T08:18:19+05:30
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