In a civil suit in India, the jurisdiction of the court can be categorized into three main types: territorial jurisdiction, subject matter jurisdiction, and pecuniary (monetary) jurisdiction. Let’s look at each one in more detail:
Territorial jurisdiction refers to the geographical area within which a court has the authority to hear and decide cases. In civil suits, the territorial jurisdiction is determined based on factors such as the residence of the parties involved, the location where the cause of action arose, or the place where the property in dispute is situated. Each court, such as the District Court, has its defined territorial limits within which it can exercise jurisdiction.
Subject Matter Jurisdiction:
Subject matter jurisdiction relates to the authority of a court to hear and decide cases based on the nature or subject matter of the dispute. Different courts in India are designated to handle specific types of civil cases. For instance, family courts have jurisdiction over matters like divorce, child custody, or maintenance. Commercial courts or tribunals may have jurisdiction over business-related disputes. The subject matter jurisdiction is typically determined by legislation and rules governing the courts.
Pecuniary (Monetary) Jurisdiction: Pecuniary jurisdiction refers to the authority of a court to hear and decide cases based on the monetary value of the claim or relief sought by the plaintiff. Each court is vested with the power to hear cases falling within a specific range of monetary value.
For example, a lower court may have jurisdiction over civil suits with a claim value up to a certain amount, while higher courts like High Courts and the Supreme Court may have jurisdiction over cases exceeding that threshold. The specific limits of pecuniary jurisdiction for different courts are prescribed by law.
Determining the correct jurisdiction is crucial when initiating a civil suit in India. Filing a suit in a court lacking jurisdiction may result in the case being dismissed or transferred to the appropriate court.
It is advisable to consult with a lawyer to determine the correct jurisdiction for your civil suit, considering the territorial, subject matter, and pecuniary aspects, based on the specific details and circumstances of your case.