Striking Out Pleadings Under The Rules of The High Court 1980
Striking Out Pleadings Under The Rules of The High Court 1980 By P. Rau & S. A. Malick
|Author||P. Rau & S. A. Malick|
|Publisher||International Law Book Series|
The Rules of the High Court 1980, as well as the Subordinate Court Rules 1980, contain two key clauses that may be capable of determining the positive or negative side of pleadings at an early stage of litigation. Order 14 of the Rules of High Court 1980, which corresponds to Order 26A of the Subordinate Court Rules 1980, is one such regulation. These clauses provide for summary verdicts in favour of plaintiffs in cases when their claims are without flaws, and putting the cases to full trials will not allow the defendants to raise defences where none exist. The other provisions are Order 18 of the High Court Rules 1980 and Order 14 rule 21 of the Subordinate Courts Rules 1980, both of which provide for the strike out of pleadings, which comprise the statement of claim, defence, and counterclaim. These provisions give courts the authority to dismiss petitions that (a) fail to disclose a reasonable cause of action or defence, as the case may be; (b) are scandalous, frivolous, or vexatious; or (c) may prejudice, embarrass, or delay a fair trial of the action; or (d) are otherwise a misuse of the judicial process. Order 92 rule 4 of the Rules of the High Court 1980 and order 53 rule 11 of the Subordinate Court Rules 1980 both provide the High Court and the Subordinate Court inherent authority to "make any order as may be necessary to prevent unfairness or abuse of the court's procedure." The fact that either the relief sought in the Statement of Claim or the points raised in defence are wholly unsustainable is common to all of the grounds stated in Order 18 rule 19 of the Rules of the High Court 1980 or Order 14 rule 21 of the Subordinate Court Rules 1980 that allow the courts to strike out pleadings.
It is common for a plaintiff or defendant to seek to have their pleadings thrown out by invoking all of the subparagraphs of Order 18 rule 19 of the Rules of the High Court 1980 or Order 14 rule 21 of the Subordinate Court Rules 1980, as the case may be. A minor point of contention is that a defendant cannot rely on an affidavit in the instance of subparagraph (a), which covers statements of claim with no cause of action, although it is permitted to refer to affidavits in the case of the other subparagraphs. In such scenarios, the Court may first consider only the question of the statement of claim exposing no cause of action and defer consideration of the problems under the first limb, as has been done in several cases; the rest of them are truly redundant. Provided the applicant still wants conclusions on issues covered by all or any of the other limbs, the Court may consider the other limbs if the statement of claim discloses a viable cause of action.
The quality of submissions made by Malaysian lawyers, the judicial conclusions made on them by knowledgeable High Court judges, and the consideration of appeals by the Court of Appeal and the Federal Court are all simply thrilling.
We ardently hope that members of the Bench, as well as members of the Bar and others who may find the book useful, would support our book on STRIKING OUT PLEADINGS.
We are grateful to Hj Dr Syed Ibrahim of International Law Book Services, Petaling Jaya, for allowing us to publish a book on a fascinating topic.
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