Case turned down by Appellate Court for lack of jurisdiction

Commercial Courts are not competent to decide property related disputes

Litigants before filing a lawsuit should be aware or take advice from a lawyer on of the rules pertaining to jurisdiction of courts, be it territorial or qualitative. Failure of which would lead to loss of time and money of litigants and ends up with forfeiture of the rights claimed.

In addition to the jurisdiction rules, a litigant should also be aware or take advice from a lawyer what are the time limitation governing the lawsuits. Failure to file or appeal within the stipulated limitation of the concerned court or law would lead to dismissal of the lawsuit either in primary or appellate court leading to losing all rights and claims.

We are referring to case as an example for readers to understand the above rules in the lawsuit;

The plaintiff filed the lawsuit in the commercial circuit court, claiming that the it had rented a 100,000-square-meter a plot of land for a period of 25 years from the defendant on which the plaintiff would set up facilities to establish a factory with amenities. The plaintiff stated that it had executed around 80% of the project on the land on the said rented premises, but the defendant alleged that the plaintiff did not erect anything and the plaintiff wants to prove the existing situation seeking the courts intervention to appoint an engineering expert to verify and prove that plaintiff has executed his work.

The court called for the defendant to respond on the petition of the plaintiff, to which the defendant’s lawyer responded to the Court that it has nothing to do with this case since there was no contractual relationship between the plaintiff and the defendant. The defendant’s lawyer said that the contract was signed between the Plaintiff and a 3rd party consequently the lawsuit was initiated against the defendant which has no capacity in the lawsuit. The plaintiff stated that the contract referred by the defendant was transferred by the 3rd party to the defendant and as such the defendant is a party to the dispute. However, the plaintiff wasn’t able to provide the court the contract. Following which the defendant stood its ground that it is not a party to this dispute since no contractual relationship and if the defendant is willing to proceed with this lawsuit then the plaintiff must sue the 3rd party before the General court. Both parties to the lawsuit decided to satisfy with what they had given to the court, and requested the court to decide the case.

The Circuit Court, after verifying the relationship between the parties to this case, and the pleadings made by the Defendant, dismissed for the reason that the defendant is not a party and lack capacity in the lawsuit

 Being dissatisfied with the primary court’s ruling, the Plaintiff filed an appeal in the commercial appellate court within the limitation period of appeal. The appellate court as briefed on the facts of the case from the judgment of the lower court. Appellate Court asked the appellant on what grounds he has field this appeal, the appellant stated that he has contested the primary court’s ruling claiming the Defendant had a capacity in this case because all the fixed assets, permits, contracts, and agreements concluded between the franchisees and tenants of the project were been transferred to the company (defendant), which is now legally holding the right of the rented land property.

After all the submission, the Appeal court quashed the lower court decree, however also dismissed the appeal stating that thought accepted that the appeal was filed within the limitation period, however it dismissed the appeal stating the subject of the dispute is stemmed from renting out a plot of land and commercial courts have no jurisdiction to decide cases pertaining to properties and real estate even if both the parties to the lawsuit are traders, and the case has to do with their original businesses or their with subsidiary commercial activities and, the verification of jurisdiction of courts will always precede verification of the capacity of the parties to the lawsuit.

Therefore, litigants should verify the jurisdiction of court whether they are approaching the proper court for their claim and relief, failure to observe would lead to loss of time and money

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