State Bank of India Vs. Gracure Pharmaceuticals Ltd. ( Supreme Court of India) ((2014) 3 SCC 595 )
- We may, before examining the rival contentions, extract the relevant provisions of Order 2 Rule 2, CPC for easy reference which reads as under:
“2. Suit to include the whole claim.-
- Every suit shall include the whole of the claim which the plaintiff be entitled to make in respect of the cause of action; but a plaintiff may relinquish any portion of his claim in order to bring the suit within the jurisdiction of any court.
- Relinquishment of part of claim.- Where a plaintiff omits to sue in respect of, or intentionally relinquishes, any portion of his claim, he shall not afterwards sue in respect of the portion so omitted or relinquished.
- Omission to sue for one of several reliefs.- A person entitled to more than one relief in respect of the same cause of action may sue for all or any of such reliefs; but if he omits, except with the leave of the court, to sue for all such reliefs, he shall not afterwards sue for any reliefs so omitted.”
- The scope of the above-mentioned provisions came up for consideration before this Court in several cases. The earliest one dealt by the Privy Council was reported in Naba Kumar Hazra v. Radhashyam Mahish AIR 1931 PC 229 wherein the Privy Council held that the plaintiff cannot be permitted to draw the defendant to court twice for the same cause by splitting up the claim and suing, in the first instance, in respect of a part of claim only. In Sidramappa v. Rajashetty and Others (1970) 1 SCC 186 this Court held that if the cause of action on the basis of which the previous suit was brought, does not form the foundation of subsequent suit and in the earlier suit the plaintiff could not have claimed the relief which he sought in the subsequent suit, the latter, namely, the subsequent suit, will not be barred by the rule contained in Order 2 Rule 2, CPC.
In Gurbux Singh v. Bhooralal AIR 1964 SC 1810 the scope of the above-mentioned provision was further explained as under: “In order that a plea of a Bar under Order 2 Rule 2(3) of the Civil Procedure Code should succeed the defendant who raises the plea must make out; (i) that the second suit was in respect of the same cause of action as that on which the previous suit was based;
(2) that in respect of that cause of action the plaintiff was entitled to more than one relief;
(3) that being thus entitled to more than one relief the plaintiff, without leave obtained from the Court omitted to sue for the relief for which the second suit had been filed.
From this analysis it would be seen that the defendant would have to establish primarily and to start with, the precise cause of action upon which the previous suit was filed, for unless there is identity between the cause of action on which the earlier suit was filed and that on which the claim in the latter suit is based there would be no scope for the application of the bar.”
- In Sandeep Polymers (P) Ltd.’s case (supra), the above-mentioned principles were reiterated and this Court held as under: “Under Order 2 Rule 1 of the Code which contains provisions of mandatory nature, the requirement is that the plaintiffs are duty-bound to claim the entire relief. The suit has to be so framed as to afford ground for final decision upon the subjects in dispute and to prevent further litigation concerning them. Rule 2 further enjoins on the plaintiff to include the whole of the claim which the plaintiff is entitled to make in respect of the cause of action. If the plaintiff omits to sue or intentionally relinquishes any portion of his claim, it is not permissible for him to sue in respect of the portion so omitted or relinquished afterwards.
- The above-mentioned decisions categorically lay down the law that if a plaintiff is entitled to seek reliefs against the defendant in respect of the same cause of action, the plaintiff cannot split up the claim so as to omit one part to the claim and sue for the other. If the cause of action is same, the plaintiff has to place all his claims before the Court in one suit, as Order 2 Rule 2, CPC is based on the cardinal principle that defendant should not be vexed twice for the same cause.
- Order 2 Rule 2, CPC, therefore, requires the unity of all claims based on the same cause of action in one suit, it does not contemplate unity of distinct and separate cause of action. On the above- mentioned legal principle, let us examine whether the High Court has correctly applied the legal principle in the instant case. ……………………..