G Nagaraj and V Rajanna (the appellants) filed an appeal(1) before the Supreme Court challenging an impugned order dated 24 April 2019. This order was passed by the Karnataka High Court(2) and confirmed an order passed by the City Civil Court, Bengaluru (the Trial Court) for rejection of a plaint under order VII rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) 1908.


The appellants, who were the original plaintiffs, had filed a suit(3) for a declaration that the first appellant was the absolute owner of a suit property and also sought a permanent injunction restraining the defendants (ie, B P Mruthunjayanna and others).

The appellants sought that, if the court came to conclusion that the first appellant was not in possession of the suit property, a decree be passed against the second respondent to deliver the vacant possession of the suit property to the plaintiffs.

During the pendency of the proceedings, the respondents two and three filed an application before the Trial Court for rejection of the plaint under order VII rule 11 (a) and (d) of the CPC for want of cause of action. Consequently, the Trial Court framed the issue asking "whether there exists any cause of action on 20 February 2016" for the Plaintiff to file a suit".

The main contention pleaded for rejection of the plaint was that there were inconsistencies in the statements in the plaint with respect to the cause of action. In paragraph 17 of the plaint, the cause of action for the suit was when second appellant acquired the suit property through a sale deed dated 20 February 2016. However, paragraph 3 of the plaint stated that the first appellant had acquired the property under the sale deed dated 20 February 2016, executed by the second appellant.

The appellants had further described the cause of action to be in second week of May 2016 when the second respondent attempted to interfere with the first appellant's possession over the suit property.

Therefore, due to the inconsistency in the plea for disclosing cause of action, the Trial Court and High Court rejected the plaint. Hence, the appellant filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.


While deciding on the application under order VII rule 11, the Court was only required to see the statements in the plaint and the documents produced along with the plaint. The court could not look at the defendants' defence for deciding said application.

In this case, absence of cause of action was the ground pleaded for rejection of the plaint. Therefore, the Court only had to examine whether any cause of action had been disclosed in the plaint. However, the Trial Court and the High Court went into the question of correctness of the statements made in the plaint, which they ought not to have done.

The Supreme Court observed that the cause of action for filing the suit was pleaded in detail in paragraphs 16 and 17 of the plaint. The question for consideration before the court was whether the plaint disclosed the cause of action and not whether the appellant will eventually succeed in the matter.

The Court held that the mere fact that there were inconsistent statements in the plaint cannot be sufficient ground to reject the plaint on the conclusion that the cause of action was not disclosed.

Thus, the Court set aside the orders passed by the High Court and Trial Court and restored the original suit for adjudication in accordance with the law. It was made clear by the Supreme Court that they have kept all issues open to be decided on merits and only dealt with ascertaining whether any cause of action had been disclosed in the plaint.

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(1) Civil Appeal No. 2,737 of 2023.

(2) Regular First Appeal No. 239 of 2019.

(3) Suit No. 4252 of 2016.