Once an application for rejection of plaint is filed under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC, the court has to dispose of the same before proceeding with the trial. There is no point or sense in proceeding with the trial of the case, in case the plaint is only to be rejected at the threshold.
Rejection of Plaint
Therefore, the defendant is entitled to file the application for rejection before filing his written statement. In case, the application is rejected, the defendant is entitled to file his written statement thereafter.
But once an application for rejection is filed, the court has to dispose of the same before proceeding with the trial court. However, The liberty to file an application for rejection under Order VII Rule 11 of the CPC cannot be made as a ruse for retrieving the lost opportunity to file the written statement.
Case Law Reference
Sopan Sukhdeo Sable Vs. Assistant Charity Commissioner, (2004) 3 SCC 137
Rule 11 of Order 7 lays down an independent remedy made available to the defendant to challenge the maintainability of the suit itself, irrespective of his right to contest the same on merits. The law ostensibly does not contemplate at any stage when the objections can be raised, and also does not say in express terms about the filing of a written statement.
Instead, the word “shall” is used, clearly implying thereby that it casts a duty on the court to perform its obligations in rejecting the plaint when the same is hit by any of the infirmities provided in the four clauses of Rule 11, even without intervention of the defendant.
Saleem Bhai Vs. State of Maharashtra, (2003) 1 SCC 557
A direction to file the written statement without deciding the application under Order VII Rule 11 cannot but be a procedural irregularity touching the exercise of jurisdiction of the trial court.