Legal Provisions of Section 24 of Code of Civil Procedure 1908, (C.P.C.), India

(i) Try or dispose of the same, or

(ii) Transfer the same for trial or disposal to any Court subordinate to it and competent to try or dispose of the same; or

(iii) Retransfer the same for trial or disposal to the Court from which it was withdrawn.

(2) Where any suit or proceeding has been transferred or withdrawn under sub-section (1), the Court which is thereafter to try or dispose of such suit or proceeding may, subject to any special directions in the case of an order of transfer, either re-try it or proceed from the point at which it was transferred or withdrawn.

(3) For the purpose of this section—(a) Courts of Additional and Assistant Judges shall be deemed to be subordinate to the District Court; (b) “proceeding” includes a proceeding for the execution of a decree or order.

(4) The Court trying any suit transferred or withdrawn under this section from a Court of Small Causes shall, for the purposes of such suit, be deemed to be a Court of Small Causes.

(5) A suit or proceeding may be transferred under this section from a Court which has no jurisdiction to try it.

Scope of Section-24:

Apart from other provisions, there is the- general power of transfer and withdrawal vested in the High Court, or the District Court, which, on the application of any of the parties after notice to the parties and after hearing such of them as desire to be heard, or of its own motion without such notice, can (1) transfer any suit, appeal or other proceeding pending before it for trial or disposal to any court subordinate to it and competent to try or dispose of the same, or (2) withdraw any suit, appeal or other proceeding pending in any court subordinate to it, and try or dispose of the same, or transfer the same for trial or disposal to any court subordinate to it and competent to try or dispose of the same, or re-transfer the same for trial or disposal to the court from which it was withdrawn.

Convenience of Parties:

Convenience of parties is to be regarded as a sufficient ground for taking action under Section 24, particularly when parties are required to approach specific different forums. Where both suits raise common defence and issues the case should be transferred to the same court.

Three suits in respect of declaration of rights of distribution of one film were pending in Madras and Bombay High Courts. The Supreme Court directed to stay further proceedings in Bombay suit and to dispose of suit of Madras expeditiously and in the circumstances the Bombay suit was not transferred to Madras.

Relation of Sections 23 and 24:

Section 23 merely lays down the forum in which applications under section 22 are to be made. Section 23 is not an independent section. It is supplement to section 22. Section 24 is a general provision empowering the High Court or the District Court to transfer a case on the motion of any other party or on its own motion.

The general power conferred by section 24 is not to be applied where the case falls under section 22. If section 24 were to apply to the classes of cases covered by section 22, it would not have been necessary for the legislature to enact section 22 at all.

If an application is made for transfer of a suit from one district to another on the ground which is covered by section 22, C.P.C. it falls under that section and not under section 24 and if the provisions of section 22 are not complied with by the applicant the application is not maintainable.

Suo Motu Transfer or withdrawal of cases by Court:

Under section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure the exercise of jurisdiction in the matter of transfer of a suit, appeal or proceeding by the High Court or the District Court is not dependent on or controlled by an application being moved by any of the parties and the power of transfer can be exercised by the High Court or the District Judge even without any such application being moved on his motion suo motu?

Under section 24 of the Code of Civil Procedure the High Court may, on the application of any of the parties or of its own motion, not only transfer a suit for trial from one court to another court subordinate to it, but may also withdraw any suit pending in any court subordinate to it and try or dispose of the same. The power for transfer can be exercised on an application of any of the parties and also suo motu.

Section 24 does not prescribe any grounds on which the transfer of a case may be ordered from one court to another. But certain principles have been evolved by decisions, when a case may be transferred on the application of a party. There is, however, no restriction whatsoever on the power of the High Court to transfer a case or withdraw it suo motu.

Transfer to a Court having no jurisdiction:

The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1975, has added sub-section (5) which provides that a suit or proceeding may be transferred under this section from a court which has no jurisdiction to try it.

Transfer of suit—Non-applicability of Section 24, C.P.C:

D.R.T. will not fall within meaning of Section 24, C.P.C. Hence Section 24, C.P.C. was not applicable. However, permission could be granted to convert proceeding into one under Article 227 of the Constitution. As such transfer C.M.P. was not maintainable.

Transfer of suit from file of Additional District Judge to D.R.T:

Tribunal like D.R.T. will not fall within the meaning of Section 24, C.P.C., especially in the light of specific provisions of special enactment. Section 24, C.P.C. was not applicable and proceeding was converted to one under Article 227 of Constitution on request.

The Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 1975, has added sub-section (5) which provides that a suit or proceeding may be transferred under this section from a court which has no jurisdiction to try it.

Murari Lai v. Raman Lai:

Section 24(5) will enable a court to pass orders transferring even pending proceedings. When we talk of retrospective operation of a procedural law, it means only this that even pending proceedings will be governed by the changed law of procedure. But the doctrine of retrospectivity does not extend to mean that if an order has already been passed which had no legal efficacy at the time when it was passed, it will get such legal validation in view of the subsequent amendment of law.

Of course, if the amending legislation, expressly or by clear implication, suggests that even orders which have already been passed in the past, will be affected ex post facto by the amending provision, the Legislature is competent to do so.

But the newly added section 24(5) has no such express or implied intendment. Looking to its phraseology, which is clearly made operative in the future, it lays down that a suit or proceeding may be transferred under this section. This phraseology is not capable of leading itself to an interpretation that the orders which were so passed in the past, which lacked validity at the time when they were so passed, will get validity in the light of this provision.

Court—meaning of:

In S. Mohd. Ali and Sons v. Madhavrao, it was held that the Court of a Rent Controller is not a Court within the meaning of section 24, C.P.C. as a Rent Controller is not subordinate to the District Court or the High Court.

The District Judge while acting under Act XIII of 1972, U.P. Urban Buildings (Regulation of Letting, Rent and Eviction) Act, 1972, functions as persona designata and not as a Court. Once the District Judge is found to be a Court, then it is not open to the High Court to transfer a case from his file to the file of some other Court of competent jurisdiction.

Factors for transferring a case:

A transfer of suit is not to be made in a light-hearted fashion. This is particularly so, when the party seeking the transfer is the very same person who opted one of the places available to him for instituting the suit. Convenience of other parties and the expenses likely to be incurred by them are also to be considered.

The belated nature of the application for transfer and the fact that several proceedings have been gone through in a suit are factors which have to weigh with the court for declining an application for transfer.

Allegations against Presiding officers:

Every effort would be made by the High Court to ensure that a litigant gets a fair and impartial trial. At the same time it must be remembered that the High Court will not permit the litigants to make wanton and rash allegations against the subordinate judiciary, which discharges onerous duties in a very creditable manner, despite very many disadvantageous factors.

If there is a reasonable apprehension on the part of a litigant about his getting justice from a particular judicial officer that would certainly be taken serious note of while considering an application for transfer. A transfer would not, however, be readily granted, for any fancied notion of a litigant. The duty of all concerned is to be circumspect in making allegations about the presiding officers of the court.

Where no Inconvenience—no transfer:

Transfer of succession application is not necessary when the other party was ready to bear expenditure of travel and stay of petitioner for attending the court.

Transfer on ground that no advocate was available at place where succession application was pending is not tenable especially when applicant was allowed to have expenses for engaging counsel from other party.

Motor Accident Claims Tribunal—A Court:

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal is a court subordinate to the High Court within the meaning of and for the purposes of section 24, C.P.C. Hence, the transfer of cases from one Tribunal in the State for trial or disposal to another is permissible.

Related Articles

Right of the Citizens to form Associations and Unions as Guaranteed under Article 19 (1) (c) of the Constitution of India

The right of association pre-supposes organisations. It Is an organisation of permanent relationship between its members in matters of common concern. It thus includes the right to form companies, societies, partnership, trade union and political parties. The right guaranteed is not merely the right to form association implies also the freedom to form or not […]
Read more

Debate on Global Competitiveness–Essay

(i) The asymmetries of the present trading system: The concern is that WTO Agreements will operate against the interests of developing countries. The dominant share of a small number of developed countries in world trade and weak preferential treatment for developing countries (under the Special and Differential provisions) will make it difficult for many of […]
Read more
Search for: