M/S. EXL CAREERS Vs. FRANKFINN AVIATION SERVICES PRIVATE LIMITED
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
M/S. Exl Careers
Frankfinn Aviation Services Private Limited
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NAVIN SINHA, J. -
(2.)The present appeal has been placed before us on a reference by a two Judge Bench opining a perceived conflict between two Division Bench decisions in Joginder Tuli vs. S.L. Bhatia, (1997) 1 SCC 502 and Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. vs. Modern Construction and Co., (2014) 1 SCC 648. The question of law we are required to answer is that if a plaint is returned under Order VII Rule 10 and 10A of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908, (hereinafter called as "the Code") for presentation in the court in which it should have been instituted, whether the suit shall proceed de novo or will it continue from the stage where it was pending before the court at the time of returning of the plaint. The order of reference also leaves it open for consideration if the conduct of the appellant disentitles it to any relief notwithstanding the decision on the issue of law.
(3.)The respondent filed a suit for recovery against the appellant arising out of a franchise agreement dated 24.03.2004, before the Civil Judge (Sr. Division) at Gurgaon. In view of the exclusion clause in the agreement, the plaint was returned holding that the court at Gurgaon lacked territorial jurisdiction and that the court at Delhi alone had jurisdiction in the matter. The High Court by the impugned order dated 13.03.2018 has held that the suit at Delhi shall proceed from the stage at which it was pending at Gurgaon before return of the plaint and not de novo. Aggrieved, the appellant preferred the present appeal. Further proceedings were stayed on 13.07.2018 culminating in the order of reference.
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