Section 25 CPC – Scope Cannot Be Extended To Determine Territorial Jurisdiction Of Proceedings Under Transfer Petition - SC
A Supreme Court Bench of Justice JK Maheshwari heard a Transfer Petition and held that "it is no longer res integra that there is limited scope vested in this Court while exercising its jurisdiction under Section 25 of CPC and the same cannot be extended to determine the question of territorial jurisdiction of the proceedings before it as the plea of jurisdiction or the lack of it can be prompted before the Court in which the proceedings are pending."
In this case, the Petitioner sought the transfer of a case filed under Section 34 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 before the CCH83 LXXII Addl. City Civil and Sessions Judge (Commercial Court) at Bengaluru, Karnataka to the Bombay High Court or any other court of competent jurisdiction in Mumbai, Maharashtra.
This was in light of the Petitioner having filed an Arbitration Petition before the Bombay High Court under Sections 47 and 48 of the Act for the enforcement of arbitral award dated 27 September 2018 passed by Arbitral Tribunal in ICC International Court of Arbitration in London under the ICC Rules 2012.
The Counsel for the Petitioner argued the principle of exclusive jurisdiction to be applied to avoid a multiplicity of views arising out of the same agreement between the same parties. The Counsel urged the Court to determine the jurisdiction of the cases filed in the subject proceedings, particularly when these matters are identical in nature as it would be possible for two courts to arrive at conflicting findings and turning the proceedings into an empty formality.
The Supreme Court held that there was limited scope vested in it while exercising jurisdiction under Section 25 of CPC and it cannot be extended to determine the question of territorial jurisdiction of proceedings, as the plea of jurisdiction or the lack of it can be prompted before the Court in which the proceedings are pending.
Therefore, the Bench found that the Petition was bereft of merit and dismissed the Petition.