What is meant by Joinder of Parties, Mis-joinder of Parties and Mis-joinder of cause of action?

The question of Joinder of parties arises only when an act is done by two or more persons or it affects two or more persons. Thus, if A assaults B and C, or A and B assault C, the question regarding joinder of plaintiff or defendant arises.

All persons may be joined in one suit as plaintiffs/defendants if the following two conditions are satisfied:

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(i) If the cause of action accrues to each plaintiff out of the same act or transaction; and

(ii) The character of the suit is, if separate suits are filed, any common question of law or fact would arise.

Example (1):

A enters into an agreement jointly with B and C to sell 100 tins of oil. A thereafter refuses to deliver the goods. Hence, both B and C have each of them a right to recover damages from A.

The said right arises out of the same transaction, namely, the breach of agreement, and common questions of law and fact would also arise, B and C, therefore may file a suit jointly as plaintiffs against A for damages.

Example (2):

An altercation takes place between A on the one hand and B and C on the other, B and C simultaneously assault A. A may join B and C as defendants in one suit for damages for that tortious act as both the above conditions are fulfilled.

Necessary and Proper Parties:

There is an essential distinction between a necessary party and a proper party to a suit. A necessary party is one whose presence is indispensable to the constitution of the suit, against whom the relief is sought and without whom no effective order can be passed.

A proper party is one in whose absence an effective order can passed, but whose presence is necessary for a complete and final decision on the question involved in the proceeding.

Non-joinder/Mis-joinder of parties:

Where a person, who is necessary or proper party to a suit has not been joined as party to the suit, it is a case of non-joinder. The effect of the non-joinder of necessary party, in the absence of necessary party no decree will be passed.

Thus in a suit for partition, all shares are necessary parties. The effect of non-joinder of proper party, in the absence of a proper party a decree can be passed as it relates to the parties before the Court.

All objections on the ground of non-joinder of parties must be taken at the earliest opportunity, otherwise they will be deemed to have been waived.

If two or more persons are joined as plaintiffs or defendants in one suit in contravention of Order 1, Rules 1 and 3, it is a case of mis-joinder of parties.

Joinder of causes of action:

Rule 3 of Order 2 (1) says that, a plaintiff may unite in the same suit several causes of action against the same defendant or the same defendants jointly, and any plaintiffs having causes of action in which they are jointly interested against the same defendant or the same defendants jointly may unite such causes of action in the same suit.

2. The effect of Joinder of causes of action will be, where causes of action are united, the jurisdiction of the Court as regards the suit shall depend on the amount or value of the aggregate subject matter at the date of Institution of the suit.

3. Certain restrictions on joinder of causes of action for recovery of immovable property:

In the following cases the cause of action for immovable property and for claim/damages could be joined in one suit-

(a) Claims for, mesne profits or arrears of rent in respect of the property claimed or any part thereof;

(b) Claims for damages for breach of any contract under which the property or any part thereof is held; and

(c) claims in which the relief sought is based on the same cause of action.

In all other cases other than above, the joinder of causes of action shall be only with the leave of the Court. In the interest of justice Court may order separate trials to avoid embarrassment or delay in the trial of suit.

Any object as to mis-joinder of causes of action shall be taken at the earliest, and such objection not so taken shall be deemed to have been waived.