Udaya Sankar Samudrala
Asked September 01, 2016

Clause 12 of letters patent act

  • 1 Answer

What is clause 12 of letters patent act

Answer 1

Clause XII of the Letters Patent of the High Court of Bombay (“Letters Patent”) sets the limits of the original jurisdiction of the Cour. Except for certain suits[1], the High Courts of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras (under their respective Letters Patent) can try certain suits under their Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction.


The court, under the Letters Patent, sees whether leave of Court is required under Clause XII and if so, whether such leave has been obtained.


The Bombay High Court has held, through various judgments:

a. This leave is a safeguard against an unfair use of the jurisdiction of the Court.[2] 

b. Obtaining leave under Clause XII, being the foundation of the jurisdiction of the Court, is a must before the institution of the suit and cannot be granted afterwards.[3]

c. Leave under Clause XII is a condition which the Courts cannot ignore and which the parties cannot parties to waive.[4]

d. Leave under Clause XII is not granted as of right, and, if granted, is not granted irrevocably, which means, it can be taken back.[5]



[1] Cases falling within the jurisdiction of the Small Cause Court at Bombay, or the Bombay City Civil Court

[2] Hatimbhai Hassanally v. Framroz Eduljee Dinshaw (1927) 29 BOMLR 498

[3] Rampurtab Samruthroy v. Premsukh Chandamal (1890) I.L.R. 15 Bom. 93

[4] Devidatt v. Shriram (1928) 30 BLR, 236

[5] Shanta Apte v. Sailapati Chatterji AIR 1947 Bom 72

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