Justice Jaishree Thakur, Judge, Punjab and Haryana High Court
Where the defendant being a corporate has a Subordinate office, shall also have jurisdiction, though no cause of action has arisen therein.
(2020-4)200 PUNJAB LAW REPORTER 501
Suit filed at S where the branch office of the Defendant was situated but no cause of action had taken place.
Objection of jurisdiction on the ground that head office of the appellant company is located at C and no transaction as alleged had taken place between the parties at S, therefore, the civil court at S had no territorial jurisdiction.
Section 20 of Code of Civil Procedure Code provides
“20. Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises. Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction-
(a) the defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or
(b) any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or
(c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
Explanation.-A corporation shall be deemed to carry on business at its sole or principal office in India or, in respect of any cause of action arising at any place where it has also a subordinate office, at such place.
Sub-clause (a) of Section 20 explains that a suit can be instituted in a court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant at the time of commencement of the suit actually or voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gain.
Explanation to Section 20 consists of two parts.
The first part applies only to such corporation, which has its sole or principal office at a particular place, however, the Second part takes care of a case where it has branch office.
The words 'at such place' as appearing in the explanation suggest that if the case falls within the latter part of the explanation, it is not the court within whose jurisdiction the principal office of the defendant is situated but the court within whose jurisdiction it has a branch office will also have the jurisdiction.
In the present case, admittedly, the appellant had a branch office at S and therefore, the Civil Court at S had jurisdiction to try the suit.
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