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Cause of Action in a Suit

 Cause of Action in a Suit


  • Cause of Action refers to a set of circumstances which leads to a suit. In court, it means every fact which is necessary for the plaintiff to entitle him to a decree in the suit. In other words, it is the material upon which the plaintiff has asked the court to arrive at a decision in his favour. 

  • There is no statute defining cause of action, it has been judicially interpreted. 

  • Every claim must disclose a Cause of Action, if it does not it is the duty of the court to reject the plaint (Order 7 Rule 11). 

  • Transaction is basically the setting under which the parties interact with one another to form a certain relationship, where there may be a breach causing damage to the other party i.e. the Cause of Action. Therefore, while selecting parties one has to refer to the transaction but jurisdiction based on Cause of Action, the breach needs to be understood. 

  • Order II Rule 2: An act or transaction may give rise to one Cause of Action or it may give rise to multiple Cause of Actions. Where there are multiple Cause of Actions, one can bring a separate suit in respect of each distinct and separable Cause of Action though they may arise from the same transaction. But one cannot split a Cause of Action to bring multiple suits in respect of the same Cause of Action. 

  • Joinder of Causes: When the cause of actions arise out of the same transaction. Rule 5 of Order II prohibits the joinder of claim against an executor, administrator or legal heir, unless the claim is in relation to the transaction in question and not personally against the executor, administrator or legal heir.

  • One plaintiff, one defendant, multiple Cause of Actions: The plaintiff is at the liberty to unite the same suit with multiple Cause of Actions against the defendant under Order II Rule 3.If the Cause of Actions are disconnected in such a manner that they cannot be conveniently tried together, the Court may order separate trials (Order II Rule 6).  

  • Multiple plaintiffs, one defendant, multiple Cause of Actions: When there are two or more plaintiffs and the Cause of Actions are separate but they seek a common relief and a common question of law or fact arises, then they can be joined in a single suit. Here, the subject matter of the transaction and the relief sought should be identical and the question of law should be the same (Order II Rule 3). 

  • One plaintiff, multiple defendants, multiple Cause of Actions: In case of multiple defendants and Cause of Actions, plaintiff can unite them in same suit if it is against the same defendants. The transaction should be identical, the question of law should be the same and the subject matter of transaction should be the same. Furthermore, all the Cause of Actions should be related to the defendants. To determine the same following points are taken into consideration: 1. Same transaction 2. Common questions of law or fact 3. Defendants should also be interested in the common question jointly. 


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