The first and foremost issue of admissibility of a suit is the matter of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is decided as a preliminary issue before the suit is admitted. The provisions related to jurisdiction are primarily divided into 5 categories:
• Pecuniary jurisdiction
• Territorial jurisdiction
• Subject matter Jurisdiction
• Original Jurisdiction
• Appellate Jurisdiction
CIVIL PROCEDURE CODE, 1908
The provisions related to pecuniary jurisdiction is contained in section 6 of CPC,
“Section 6: Save in so far as is otherwise expressly provided, nothing herein contained shall operate to give any Court jurisdiction over suits the amount or value of the subject-matter of which exceeds the pecuniary limits (if any) of its ordinary jurisdiction.”
Therefore we can conclude that it just declares that a court cannot be vested with the jurisdiction if the value of the suit or subject matter is beyond its jurisdiction. Now the question arises that What is the pecuniary jurisdiction of various courts in delhi? There are civil courts act in almost every state which generally provide for pecuniary jurisdiction of civil courts, this is not included in LLB curriculum of any university in india and is left for the students to keep guessing. Coming back to the matter in hand, we have to find out the pecuniary jurisdiction in delhi, the Punjab courts act governs the civil courts of Delhi.
PUNJAB COURTS ACT
Section 25 provides that:
25. Original jurisdiction of District Judge in suits—Except as otherwise provided by any
enactment for the time being in force, the court of the District Judge shall have jurisdiction in every
original civil suit the value of which does not exceed rupees twenty lakhs.
Section 26 of the same act provides that :
“Pecuniary limits of jurisdiction of subordinate Judges—[Subject to the limit specified in
Section 25 the jurisdiction] to be exercised in original civil suits as regards the value by any person
appointed to be a Subordinate Judge, shall be determined by the High Court either by including him
in a class or otherwise as it thinks fit.”
According to the notification issued by DELHI HIGH COURT on 21st july, 2003
“In supersession of Notification No. 322/Gaz./F. Judl. 1(a) Powers dated the 19th March, 2002,
Hon‟ble the Chief Justice and Hon‟ble Judges of the High Court of Delhi are, in exercise of the powers
conferred by Section 26 of the Punjab Courts Act, 1918, as amended by Act No. 9 of 1922, pleased to
order that with effect from 16th July, 2003, all the Civil Judges shall try Original Civil Suits the
jurisdictional value of which does not exceed Rs. 3,00,000/-.
After perusal of the above provisions, it becomes clear that upto 20 lakhs District Judge has the original pecuniary Jurisdiction, except otherwise provided by any statute, and the jurisdiction of subordinate judges will be determined by the high court through notification in the official gazette.
Further, Section 29 and 30 provides that:
“29. Power to invest subordinate Judge with Small Cause Court Jurisdiction—The High Court
may, by notification in the Official Gazette, confer, within such local limits as it thinks fit upon any
Subordinate Judge, the jurisdiction of a Judge of a Court of Small Causes under the Provincial Small
Cause Courts Act, 1887 [IX of 1887], for the trial of suits cognizable by such Courts, up to such value
not exceeding [Two thousand rupees] as it thinks fit, and may withdraw any jurisdiction so
30. Exercise by Subordinate Judge of jurisdiction of District Court in certain proceedings—(1)
The High Court may by general or special order authorise any Subordinate Judge to take cognizance
of, or any District Judge to transfer to a Subordinate Judge under his control, any of the proceedings
next hereinafter mentioned or any class of those proceedings specified in such order.
(2) The proceedings referred to in sub-section (1) are the following, namely:
(a) Proceedings under the [Indian Succession Act, 1865 (X of 1865) and the Probate and
Administration Act, 1881 (V of 1881) which cannot be disposed of by District Judge.
(b) [Repealed by the Guardian and Wards Amendment Act, 1926, (IV of 1926), Section 7.]
(3) The District Judge may withdraw any such proceedings taken cognizance of by or transferred
to a Subordinate Judge and may either himself dispose of them or transfer them to a Court under his
control competent to dispose of them.
(4) Proceedings taken cognizance of by or transferred to a Subordinate Judge as the case may be
under this section shall be disposed of by him, subject to the rules applicable to like proceedings when
disposed of by the district Judge.
Now, according to the above information we can conclude the pecuniary jurisdiction of civil courts in delhi:
High court : original Jurisdiction for suits above the value of 20 lakhs.
District Court : original jurisdiction upto 20 lakhs
Subordinate Courts: upto 3 lakhs, except in the cases of specific statutes which provide for original jurisdiction of district courts.