All about im­move­able prop­erty

While fil­ing a case in­volv­ing im­move­able prop­erty, its lo­ca­tion and value have to be taken into ac­count to as­cer­tain ju­ris­dic­tion

HT Estates - - HTESTATES - Su­nil Tyagi

When fil­ing a case con­cern­ing im­mov­able prop­erty, it is im­por­tant to file the case in a court of com­pe­tent ju­ris­dic­tion for early res­o­lu­tion of dis­putes and avoid un­nec­es­sary de­lays. Mat­ters re­lat­ing to the ju­ris­dic­tion of courts are pro­vided for in the Code of Civil Pro­ce­dure, 1908 (‘CPC’).

The ju­ris­dic­tion lim­its of each court, ie, its power to de­cide a case or is­sue an or­der or a judg­ment, is clearly de­fined under CPC. For cases in­volv­ing im­mov­able prop­erty, to as­cer­tain the ap­pro­pri­ate court, both ter­ri­to­rial ju­ris­dic­tion and pe­cu­niary ju­ris­dic­tion have to be con­sid­ered.

Ter­ri­to­rial ju­ris­dic­tion refers to the lo­cal or ge­o­graph­i­cal lim­its within which a court can validly ex­er­cise its ju­ris­dic­tion. A court has no power to try or de­cide a case in­volv­ing rights and in­ter­ests in im­move­able prop­erty not sit­u­ated within its lo­cal lim­its. For in­stance, the courts of Delhi can­not de­cide a case in­sti­tuted for par­ti­tion of im­move­able prop­erty lo­cated out­side Delhi. In such a case, the cor­rect fo­rum would be the dis­trict court or high court (de­pend­ing on pe­cu­niary ju­ris­dic­tion) in whose lo­cal lim­its such im­mov­able prop­erty is lo­cated.

The value of the sub­ject mat­ter of the case, ie, im­move­able prop­erty, is also rel­e­vant for de­ter­min­ing the courts that would be com­pe­tent and where the case would lay for that sub­ject mat­ter. For in­stance, i n Delhi, as per t he Delhi High Court Act, 1966, cases for im­mov­able prop­erty val­ued at ₹ 20 lakh or more are to be in­sti­tuted in the High Court and such cases would be dealt with under its orig­i­nal ju­ris­dic­tion. Cases in­volv­ing im­move­able prop­erty of value less than ₹ 20 lakh have to be in­sti­tuted in lower courts and any ap­peals aris­ing from the lower court de­ci­sion will be de­cided by the High Court. The limit of pe­cu­niary ju­ris­dic­tion varies from state to state.

Thus, while fil­ing a case in­volv- ing im­move­able prop­erty, two fac­tors have to be kept in mind. First, the lo­ca­tion of the prop­erty to as­cer­tain the ter­ri­to­rial ju­ris­dic­tion. Sec­ond, the value of prop­erty to as­cer­tain the pe­cu­niary ju­ris­dic­tion. On the ba­sis of the ter­ri­to­rial and pe­cu­niary ju­ris­dic­tion, it is as­cer­tained which is the ap­pro­pri­ate court.

If any por­tion of an im­move­able prop­erty is lo­cated within the lo­cal lim­its of two or more states or re­gions within a state, then the case may be filed in ei­ther of th­ese courts. How­ever, in such a case, the limit of pe­cu­niary ju­ris­dic­tion has to be kept in mind. Thus, in the above given ex­am­ple, if the prop­erty is lo­cated partly in Ut­tar Pradesh and partly in Delhi, then courts in ei­ther state can try the case, de­pend­ing on the pe­cu­niary limit ac­cord­ing to the value of the prop­erty. In the case of Ritu Sharma and an­other vs San­deep Sharma and oth­ers ( 2011), the Delhi High Court clar­i­fied that if the sub­ject mat­ter of the case in­volves two or more im­mov­able prop­er­ties, the case may be in­sti­tuted in ei­ther of the courts that has com­pe­tent ter­ri­to­rial and pecu- niary ju­ris­dic­tion.

In a case con­cern­ing im­mov­able prop­erty filed in a court that does not have ju­ris­dic­tion, such court may re­turn the com­plaint and direct the lit­i­gant to file the case in the ap­pro­pri­ate court. Fil­ing prop­erty-re­lated cases in a court hav­ing com­pe­tent ju­ris­dic­tion is es­sen­tial to save time and ob­tain speedy re­dres­sal of griev­ances.

SHUT­TER­STOCK

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