How to know the jurisdiction of the court

judiciary 3

Jurisdiction is the power to exercise authority over persons and things within a territory. It gives power to the court to where a particular case or lawsuit must be heard. 

Jurisdiction of Court is mainly of three types:

  • Territorial Jurisdiction
  • Subject matter Jurisdiction
  • Pecuniary Jurisdiction

Territorial Jurisdiction: Territorial Jurisdiction can be over a place of the local jurisdiction. Every civil suit relating to mortgage, sale, recovery or to claim compensation for the immovable or movable property shall be instituted in the court of law within the local limits. This is provided by Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The general rule is that a suit should be filed within local limits where the action arose. This is also stated in Section 177 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973. It states that if any crime is committed within local limits than suit can be brought in that area against the person. 

Subject Matter Jurisdiction: Subject matter court comes first when we talk about jurisdiction. For example, Bankruptcy related matters will be heard in bankruptcy court or matrimonial issue related cases will be heard in family courts. 

Pecuniary Jurisdiction: Pecuniary jurisdiction sets the pecuniary limits on the jurisdiction of a court. All courts have certain pecuniary limits beyond that they will not be able to hear such matters. For example, at present the Delhi Court has pecuniary jurisdiction as follows:

  • Suits amounting to Rs 1- Rs 20,000 belongs to District Courts
  • Suits amounting to over and above Rs 20,000 lie in High court

Different High Courts have different criteria for such division. In many states, the High court has no pecuniary jurisdiction. All civil suits go before District Courts, and the only appeal lies before the High Court.


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