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Causes of Action

Joinder of

Order 1, Rule 3 and Order 2 Rule 3, if read together indicate


that the question of joinder of parties also involves joinder of
causes of action. The simple principle is that a person is made a
party in his suit because there is a cause of action against him
and when actions are joined, the parties are also joined. 1 It is to
be read subject to the provisions of Rule 4-5 below as is shown
by the words save as otherwise provided. It is also to be read
subject to the provisions of order 1 rule 1-3. The frame of a suit
may not be supported by this rule, and yet it may be justified
by order1 rule1, order1 rule3. Rule 6&7 of this order are to be
read with this rule. When the conditions laid down in the rule
are satisfied, the suit is maintainable without regard to the
question of convenience or inconvenience.
Section 15 and 16 of the Provincial Small Causes Courts Act
1887 take out the power of joinder of causes of action from the
operation of this sub-rule. Joinder of different cause of action is
permissible only if the Court is trying them has jurisdiction in
respect of all causes of action. Hence, a cause of action
exclusively triable by a small cause court cannot be joined with
another cause of action in respect of which a civil court has
jurisdiction, since the latter court has no jurisdiction to try a
cause exclusively triable by small cause court.
The object of the rule is to prevent multiplicity of suits. The
underlying principle is that a defendant is not to be vexed twice
for one and the same cause of action
1 Ishwar Bhai C Patel v. Harihar Behra (1999) 2 LRI 36.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

CAUSE OF ACTION
Cause of action may be described as a bundle of essential
facts, which it is necessary for the plaintiff to prove before he
can succeed. A cause of action is the foundation of a suit. It
must be antecedent to the institution of a suit and on the basis
of it the suit must have been filed. If a plaint does not disclose a
cause of action, a court will reject such plaint.

Rule 3 contemplates 4 kind of situations :


i.

ONE PLAINTIFF, ONE DEFENDANT AND SEVERAL


CAUSES OF ACTION

Where there is only one plaintiff and one defendant, the


plaintiff is at liberty to unite in the same suit several causes of
action. But if it appears to the court that the joinder of causes
of action may embarrass or delay the trial or is otherwise
inconvenient, the court may order separate trials. 2
For example, where the plaintiff is owner of a registered
trademark and copyright, he can file a combined suit, claiming
relief for breach of both these rights.3

2 Order 2, Rule 6.
3 Glaxo Operations UK Ltd v. Samrat Pharmaceuticals AIR 1984 Del 265.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

In a case, where the plaintiff filed one suit on the basis of same
cause of action alleging breach of contract on the part of
defendants entitling plaintiff to claim refund of security deposit,
loss of profit for work left incomplete on account of termination
of contract and enhanced rate of work done during extended
period of contract, it was held that since the plaintiff prayed for
three claims arising from breach of same contract, he could not
have filed three separate suits in view of the provisions of Code
of Civil Procedure.4
ii.

JOINDER OF PLAINTIFFS AND CAUSES OF ACTION

Where there are two or more plaintiffs and several cause of


action, the plaintiff may join such cause of action in one suit
against the same defendant if they all are jointly interested. But
this provision must be read with Order 1 Rule 1. Thus, where
there are two or more plaintiffs and two or more cause of
action, they may be joined in one suit only if the following two
conditions are fulfilled:
1) The cause of action must have arisen from the same act or
transaction; and
2) Common questions of law or fact must have been
involved.
Therefore, where the plaintiffs are not jointly interested in
several causes of action which have been joined in one suit and
the right to relief does not arise from the same act or
transaction or where common questions of law or fact are not

4 State of Gujrat v. K L Patel AIR 2006 Guj 3 (DB)

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

involved, the suit will be bad for mis-joinder of plaintiffs and


causes of action.
In a case where X sells to Y two plots of land adjoining to each
other, one of which is claimed by A by adverse possession and
other by B by adverse possession. Under the Code A and B
could not join as plaintiffs in one suit against X and Y, for the
evidence of adverse possession by A would not be evidence of
adverse possession in favour of B and vice-versa. 5 Similarly
where five plaintiffs contract separately to sell cotton, though
to the same defendant, they cannot all join in one suit for
damages of the five contracts.6
iii.

JOINDER OF DEFENDANTS AND CAUSES OF ACTION

Where there is one plaintiff and two or more defendants and


several causes of action the plaintiff may unite in the same suit
several causes of action against those defendants, if the
defendants are jointly interested in the cause of action. But this
provision also must be read subject to Order 1 Rule 3, and
therefore, two or more defendants can be joined in one suit,
provided the following two conditions are fulfilled;
1) The relief claimed must have been based on the same act
or transaction; and
2) Common questions of law or fact must have been
involved.

5 Aiyava v. Vellaya(1911) ILR 34 Mad 55.


6 Chandulal v. Dagdu AIR 1925 Bom 342.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

In a decided case, a suit was filed for the eviction of a tenant


from two premises. One of the premises was in the occupation
of tenant, on behalf of his firm. For the other premises, the
tenant had signed in his personal capacity. The two, it was held
could be combined. The firm was not a necessary party. The
plaintiff owned both the premises and he needed them for
bona fide personal requirement and the suit was not bad for
multifariousness.7
Where, in one suit, two or more defendants have been joined
against whom the causes of action are separate and therefore
they are not jointly liable to the plaintiff in respect of those
causes of action and the right to relief claimed is not based on
the same act or transaction or where common question of fact
or law are not involved, the suit will be bad for misjoinder of
defendants

and

causes

of

action,

technically

called

as

multifariousness.

iv.

JOINDER OF PLAINTIFFS, DEFENDANTS AND CAUSES


OF ACTION

Where there are two or more plaintiffs, two or more defendants


and several causes of action, the plaintiffs may unite the cause
of action against the defendants in the same suit only when all
the plaintiffs are jointly interested in the cause of action and
the defendants are also jointly interested in the cause of action.
If the plaintiffs are not jointly interested in the cause of action,
7 Padam Singh Jain v. Chandra Bros AIR 1990 Pat 95.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

the suit will bad for misjoinder of plaintiffs and causes of action.
On the other hand, if the defendants are not jointly interested
in the cause of action, the suit will be bad for multifariousness.
And if neither the plaintiffs nor the defendants are jointly
interested in the cause of action, the suit will be bad for double
misjoinder, i.e. misjoinder of plaintiffs and causes of action and
misjoinder of defendants and causes of action.

JURISDICTION
Where plaintiff combines several causes of action against the
same defendant in one suit, the jurisdiction of the court as
regards the suit depends on the value of the court as regards
the suit depends on the value of the aggregate subject
matters.8
The jurisdiction referred to in the rule is pecuniary jurisdiction.
Where the court is not competent to try the suit by reason of
either the subject-matter or the defendants not being within its
jurisdiction, that is a defect which is not cured by this rule.
Thus, where A filed suit in court X against B and C, and the
court had jurisdiction as regards B, as the cause of action arose
within its limits, but not regards C as he did not reside nor did
the cause of action arise within its jurisdiction, it was held that
the court did not acquire competence to try the suit under this
rule.9
8 Chiragh Din v. Bhagwan Das (1915) Punj, pg. 100.
9 Lingaya v. Sitharam AIR 1955 Mad 595.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

REVISION
It has been held by the High Court of Madras that a decision on
the question whether a suit is bad for misjoinder of parties and
causes of action is subject to revision. 10

WHERE TWO OR MORE PERSONS CONSPIRE TO COMMIT


A WRONG OR BREACH OF CONTRACT ENTERED INTO
THEM SEPRATELY BY THE PLAINTIFF
Where

two or more persons conspire to commit a wrong or

breach of several contracts entered into with them by the


plaintiff has, in such a case, one cause of action against all the
defendants, namely, a conspiracy to do act complained of.
Thus, where the seven salt manufacturers had conspired
together not to deliver the salt to A, A could have brought one
suit against them all. Similarly, if A and B conspire together to
assault C, C may bring one suit against them for damages for
assault.11

Rule 4 provides that no cause of action shall be joined with a


suit for the recovery of immovable property without the leave o
the Court.

10 Ramavtar Singh v. Ramsewak Lal AIR 1951 Pat 352.


11 Varajlal v. Ramdat(1902) ILR 26 Bom 259.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

It also provides certain exceptions to this general rule:


(a)

Claims for mesne profits or arrears of rent in respect of

(b)

the property claimed or any part thereof ;


Claims for damages for breach of any contract under

(c)

which any property or any part thereof is held and,


Claims on which relief sought is based on the same
cause of action.

Provided that nothing in this rule shall be deemed to prevent


any party in a suit for foreclosure or redemption from asking
to be put into possession of the mortgaged property.
Rule 4 deals with joinder of claims. The rule provides that in a
suit for the recovery of immovable property. No claims other
than those specified in three exceptions shall be joined without
leave of the court. The purpose of this rule is to prevent joinder
of dissimilar claims with the claim of recovery of immovable
property. However, no relief of Court is required if all the reliefs
are arising from same cause of action. Also, the rule has no
application

where

all

relief

are

recoveries

of

different

immovable property. Rule 4 provides an exception to Rule 3 of


Order II. The proviso of Rule 4 permits plaintiff in a suit for
foreclosure or redemption to ask to be put in possession of the
mortgaged property.12
The word claim in this rule refers to a right which would be
enforceable if decreed by Court.
RULE 6 says that though joinder of causes of action is
permissible, but Court can order separate trials or make such
12 Ganeshi v. Jyoti, AIR 1953 SC 1.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of

other order as is expedient if it finds that the joinder of causes


of action in one suit may embarrass or delay the trial or is
inconvenient.13 The power is discretionary.
This rule does not apply to cases of misjoinder, but to cases
where several causes of action have been properly joined in
one suit and the causes of action so joined cannot be
conveniently tried together.

OBJECTIONS AS TO MISJOINDER OF CAUSES OF ACTION :


Rule 7
All objections on the ground of misjoinder of causes of action
must be taken at the earliest opportunity, otherwise they will
be deemed to have been waived. Similarly, no decree or order
under Section 47 of the Code can be reversed or substantially
varied in appeal, inter alia, on account of any misjoinder or nonjoinder of cause of action not affecting the merits of the case or
the jurisdiction of the court.

______________*******_____________

13 Rule has been substituted in place of old rule by the Amendment Act, 1976.

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Causes of Action

Joinder of