Cases dealing with Ouster of Jurisdiction of Civil Court and the principles culled out by Apex Court in this regard.
- Their lordships of the Hon’ ble Supreme Court in the case of State of Kerala vrs. M/S N. Ramaswami Iyer and sons., reported in AIR 1966 SC 1738, while interpreting the provisions of Travancore- Cochin General Sales Tax Act, 1950, have held that even if the jurisdiction of the Civil Court may be excluded by statute, where provisions of statute have not been complied with or statutory tribunal has not acted in conformity with the fundamental principles of judicial procedure, Civil Courts have jurisdiction to examine those cases. Their lordships have held as follows:
It is true that even if the jurisdiction of the civil court is excluded, where the provisions of the statute have not been complied with or the statutory tribunal has not acted in conformity with the fundamental principles of judicial procedure, the civil courts have jurisdiction to examine those cases : Secretary of State for Indiav.Mask&Company(2). Counsel for the respondents urged that the case of the respondents fall within that exception, since the Sales-tax Officer in imposing tax-liability act ed in defiance of the mandatory provisions of the Act and in support of the argument he placed reliance upon r. 7 of the Rules framed under the Act and the definition of &quot;turnover&quot; under the Act. UndertheActsales-tax is charged for the year at the prescribed rates on the total turnover of the dealer. The Government of Travancore-Cochin promulgated rules in exercise of powers under s. 24 of the Travancore- Cochin General Sales Tax Act, and r. 7 dealt with computation of & turnover . In r. 7(1) by cls. (a) to (k) certain exemptions admissible in the computation of the net turnover were set out. By notification No. SRI-1643-51- RD dated March 31, 1951 it was directed that with effect from April 1, 1951, the following clause shall be added : ”
(1) all amounts of sales-tax collected by the dealer.
“By this amendment in the computation of the taxable turnover, the amounts of sales tax collected by the dealer were not to be included. But this amendment was to have effect only from April 1, 1951, and in the proceeding in this appeal tax-liability for the assessment period ending March 31, 1951 fell to be determined. The exemption was therefore inoperative in the computation of taxable turnover for the assessment year in question.&201D;
- In the case of Magulu Jal Vrs. Bhagaban Rai, reported in AIR 1975 Ori. 219, the following principles have been culled out for exclusion of jurisdiction of Civil Courts:
The following principles may be laid down as well settled by the aforesaid authorities :
- i) Exclusion of the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is not to be readily inferred. Such exclusion must either be explicitly expressed or clearly implied.
- ii) Even if jurisdiction is so excluded, Civil Courts have jurisdiction to examine into cases where the provisions of the Act have not been complied with or the statutory tribunal has not act ed in conformity with the fundamental principles of judicial procedure. Civil Court would interfere if it finds the order of the special tribunal is unfair, capricious or arbitrary.
iii) Where a liability not existing at common law is created by statute which at the same time gives a special and particular remedy for enforcing it. a remedy provided by the statute must be followed and the Court jurisdiction is
ousted. The scheme of the particular Act is to be examined to see if remedies normally associated with act ions in Civil suits are prescribed by the statute.
- iv) The Legislature may entrust the special tribunal or body with a jurisdiction which includes the jurisdiction to determine whether the preliminary state of facts exists as well as the jurisdiction, on finding that it does exist, to proceed further or to do something more. The Legislature shall have to consider whether there shall be an appeal from the decision of the tribunal as otherwise there will be none. In cases of this nature, the tribunal has jurisdiction to determine all facts including the existence of preliminary facts on which exercise of further jurisdiction depends. In the exercise of the jurisdiction the tribunal may decide facts wrongly or if no appeal is provided therefrom there is no appeal from the exercise of such jurisdiction.
- v) Even in a case when the Civil Court would have jurisdiction on a finding that the special tribunal has acted beyond the scope of its authority as in point No. (ii), it cannot substitute its own decision for that of the tribunal but would give a direction to dispose of the case in accordance with law.&201D;
- In the case of Ramkanya Bai and another vrs. Jagdish and others, reported in (2011) 7 SCC 452, their lordships of the Honâ€™ble Supreme Court have held that exclusion of jurisdiction of Civil Court is not to be readily inferred. It has been held as follows:
Having regard to section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, a civil court can entertain any suit of civil nature except those, cognizance of which is expressly or impliedly barred.
- In KamalaMillsLtd.v.StateofBombay[AIR 1965 SC 1942 this court held :
The normal rule prescribed by section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure is that the courts shall (subject to the provisions contained in the Code) have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred
Whenever it is urged before a civil court that its jurisdiction is excluded either expressly or by necessary implication to entertain claims of a civil nature, the Court naturally feels inclined to consider whether the remedy afforded by an alternative provision prescribed by a special statute is sufficient or adequate. In cases where the exclusion of the civil Courtsâ€™ jurisdiction is expressly provided for, the consideration as to the scheme of the statute in question and the adequacy or the sufficiency of the remedies provided for by it may be relevant but cannot be decisive. But where exclusion is pleaded as a matter of necessary implication, such considerations would be very important, and in conceivable circumstances, might even become decisive. If it appears that a statute creates a special right or a liability and provides for the determination of the right and liability to be dealt with by tribunals specially constituted in that behalf, and it further lays down that all questions about the said right and liability shall be determined by the tribunals so constituted, it becomes pertinent to enquire whether remedies normally associated with actions in civil Courts are prescribed by the said statute or not
- InDhulabhaiv.StateofMadhyaPradesh- 1968 (3) SCR 662, a Constitution Bench of this Court held that exclusion of the jurisdiction of the civil court is not readily to be inferred with, unless the following, among other conditions apply :
(1) Where the statute gives a finality to the orders of the special tribunals the civil courtâ€™s jurisdiction must be held to be excluded if there is adequate remedy to do what the civil courts would normally do in a suit. Such provision, however, does not exclude those cases where the provisions of the particular Act have not been complied with or the statutory tribunal has not act ed in conformity with the fundamental principles of judicial procedure.
2) Where there is an express bar of the jurisdiction of the
court, an examination of the scheme of the particular Act to find the adequacy or the sufficiency of the remedies provided may be relevant but is not decisive to sustain the jurisdiction of the civil court.
“Where there is no express exclusion, the examination of the remedies and the scheme of the particular Act to find out the intendment become necessary and the result of the inquiry may be decisive. In the latter case, it is necessary to see if the statute creates a special right or a liability and provides for the determination of the right or liability and further lays down that all questions about the said right and liability shall be determined by the tribunals so constituted, and whether remedies normally associated with act ions in civil courts are prescribed by the said statute or not.