Q. ‘X’ wants to bring a partition suit in respect of two houses one situated at Patna and the other situated at Muzaffarpur. In which place or places the suit may be instituted? Give reasons for your answer and also refer relevant provisions on this point.
Rajasthan Judicial Service Examination (similar question) and Haryana Judicial Service Exam. 1995 (II)- Similar Problem.
Ans: The suit may be instituted by ‘X’ either in Patna or in Muzaffarpur—Section 17 (suits for immovable property situate within the jurisdiction of different courts).
Reasons: According to Section 16, the suit relating to immovable property including the suit for partition may be instituted in the court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situated.
Further Section 17 provides that when the immovable property is situated within the jurisdiction of different courts, the suit can be filed in any court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any portion of property is situate (provided that the suit is within the pecuniary jurisdiction of such court).
It is notable that Section 17 applies when one property is situated in the jurisdiction of different courts—Karam v. Kunwar, AIR 1942 A 387. In this case there are two properties but as the case is of partition, it will be treated as one property for the purpose of Section 17.
In this problem the immovable property i.e., houses are situated in the territorial jurisdiction of different courts (Patna and Muzaffarpur).
Thus, in view of the provisions made in Section 17, the partition suit in respect of both the houses may be filed by ‘X’ either in Patna or in Muzaffarpur. This provision is intended for the benefit of suitors and to prevent multiplicity of suits.
Note: It is notable that in Rajasthan Judicial Service Examination the similar problem was given in following words—“Where would the following suit would lie?
A suit for partition of immovable property by a member of joint Hindu Family against the other members of family when a small portion of the immovable property is situated in Rajasthan, but the larger part of it is situated in Kolkata”.
Source: Kishor Prasad, Problems & Solutions on Civil Law