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The concept of preliminary objections in Law

Filed under: People and society by Hari
Posted on Fri, Aug 24, 2012 at 10:29 IST (last updated: Fri, Aug 24, 2012 @ 12:15 IST)

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Preliminary objections are generally a form of pleadings by lawyers around the world in common law jurisdictions. While the exact term of usage may vary across different legal jurisdictions, the fundamental principle is the same.

Preliminary objections are points of law or fact raised at the outset of a case or lawsuit by the defence without going into the merits of the case. In other words, preliminary objections take no account of the validity of the claims of the claimant or plaintiff.

Instead preliminary objections may be taken on the basis of the following:

It may be noted that preliminary objections are narrow in scope and cannot raise substantive issues raised in the pleadings that may have to be determined by the court after perusal of evidence. The maximum relief that a preliminary objection can seek is a return of the suit (not a dismissal on merits) to the claimant/plaintiff with appropriate directions.

Understanding the nature and scope of preliminary objections is very important for practicing lawyers. Knowing how to raise a properly formulated preliminary objection, and when to raise it, can save a lot of time and costs for clients. On a related note, defending a suit is always easier than prosecuting as there are several ways by which a defendant can break down the claim of the plaintiff or claimant. Preliminary objections are the basic legal weapons that a defendant can utilize without expending too much effort.

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4 comment(s)

  1. Under which section of CPC, an IA can be filed with preliminary objections by defendant of the suit.Thanking you, Best regards, HariprasadGV

    Comment by Hariprasad G V (visitor) on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 16:52 IST #
  2. You can file a Rejection of Plaint IA under Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC. For return of plaint to present before court of proper jurisdiction, you can file an IA under Order 7 Rule 10 of CPC.

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Wed, Jan 29, 2014 @ 19:42 IST #
  3. Very brief but to the point analysis of concept of preliminary objection. There is a general notion that preliminary objection can be taken only in a civil suite and not in a criminal case by defendant. Where as if your introductory remarks are considered that preliminary objection can save lot of cost and time of court even in criminal case particularly false and vexatious cases. Please let me know your view and whether it is possible for victim of a false criminal case to raise preliminary objections of law and of fact at the threshold of the case i.e. as soon as he receives copy of summons. Thanking you in anticipation.

    Comment by Prakash Deval (visitor) on Wed, Apr 13, 2016 @ 16:27 IST #
  4. Hi Prakash. Sure, preliminary objections can be raised even in criminal cases, but the nature of grounds and procedure would be different. For instance, limitation cannot be a ground in criminal cases. There is also no concept of pecuniary jurisdiction as in civil cases. However, a different nature of preliminary grounds can be raised in criminal cases.

    You can also file quash petition in criminal cases before the High Court raising preliminary grounds. In fact, you can even raise defences such as "the case is a civil dispute to be determined by appropriate civil court" in criminal cases where it is obvious that a false criminal case has been made out when the primary dispute is of civil nature. This is particularly applicable in contractual disputes where an obligation has not been fulfilled by one party but the other party (wrongly) chooses to file criminal case for fraud, breach of trust etc.

    Comment by Hari (blog owner) on Wed, Apr 20, 2016 @ 20:40 IST #

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