All about plaint under CPC

 

ALL ABOUT PLAINT UNDER CPC

 

INTRODUCTION:

If you are wondering about what is a plaint and why it came into picture, what are the benefits of plaint, how to file a plaint, what are the essentials to keep in mind while drafting a plaint, grounds under which a plaint can be returned and rejected, then here are all your answers in this article. I have tried to cover maximum answers of the questions which generally, came into one’s mind.

In simple words it’s a comprehensive legal document, which have the contents of civil suit and by the word plaint it is obvious that it is filled by the plaintiff. It is the first step towards the commencement of the suit which contains the pleading of the plaintiff, the purpose of filling that particular suit, and it describes the cause of action and all the necessary information which is considered as essential for the suit.

Therefore, it is considered a very important concept in code of civil procedure as it’s the foremost stage in instituting a lawsuit and it also help one to find  a court of appropriate jurisdiction.

It is not defined anywhere in CPC, but it is described in Order 7 of CPC. Many different rules are given in Order 7 of CPC which deals with different constituents of plaint.

  1. Rules 1 to 8: deal with the particulars of the plaint.
  2. Rule 9: deals with how the plaint will be admitted and after that
  3. Rule 10 to 10-B: talks about the return of the plaint and the appearance of parties.
  4. Rule 11 to 13: deals with the rejection of the plaint and in which circumstances the plaint can be rejected.

Section 26 of the code of Civil Procedure Code clearly shows that plaint is very much necessary for the establishment of a suit before the civil or commercial court.

Necessary contents of a plaint:

These are given under Rule 1 to 8 of Order 7 of the Code of Civil Procedure without which it cannot be considered as a plaint:

  1. The name of the particular court where the suit is initiated.
  2. Name, place, and description of the plaintiff’s residence.
  3. A statement of unsoundness of mind or minority in case the plaintiff or the defendant belongs to either of the categories.
  4. The facts that led to the cause of action and when it arose.
  5. The facts that point out to the jurisdiction of the court.
  6. The plaintiff’s claim for relief.
  7. The amount allowed or relinquished by the plaintiff if so.
  8. A statement containing the value of the subject matter of the suit as admitted by the case.

ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS:

  1. Order VII, Rule 2 states that the plaintiff shall state the exact amount of money to be obtained from the defendant if the case is so. On the other hand, if the exact amount cannot be arrived at, as is then case with mesne profits, or claim for property from the defendant, an approximate figure must be mentioned by the plaintiff.
  2. Order VII, Rule 3 states that when immovable property is the subject matter of the plaint, the property must be duly described, that is sufficient in the ordinary course to identify it.
  3. Order VII, Rule 3 states that when the plaintiff has initiated the suit in a representative capacity, it has to be shown that he/ she has sufficient interest in doing the same as well as has taken the required steps to ensure the same.
  4. The plaint should adequately show the involvement of the defendant, including his/ her interests in the same and thereby justifying the need to bring him/ her forward.
  5. If the plaintiff files the suit after the expiration of the period of limitation, he/ she must show the reason for which such an exemption from law is being claimed.

Filing Procedure for a plaint:

1. Time Period

The period of limitations for filing a civil suit is prescribed under the Limitation Act, 1963. The time period for filing a civil suit is three years from the date on which the cause of action arose.

In certain circumstances the period of limitation can be extended beyond the three year limit, like in the case of acknowledgement of liability in writing or if the person suffers from a legal disability. However, there are certain exceptions in which the time period of limitation is more than three years. for example, a suit for recovery of possession of immovable property is twelve years.

2. Vakalatnama

It is a document in a written form under which the person who is filing the suit authorises the advocate / counsel to represent him before the court of law. If the person decides to represent himself in a suit, then no vakalatnama will be required. A vakalatnama includes the following term-

  1. The counsel cannot be held responsible for any decision
  2. It is the responsibility of the client to bear the cost of the proceedings
  3. It is the right of the counsel to retain all the documents until the entire fee amount has been paid.
  4. The client has the right to disengage the current counsel at any stage of the proceedings.

 

3. Court Fees

Appropriate court fees have to be paid along with the process fees for filing a plaint. The amount of court fees to be paid depends on the different types of documents. It is generally a nominal percentage of the total value of the suit or the amount claimed by the plaintiff. The requisite amount of the court fees to be paid along with the stamp duty varies in every different suit and the same is prescribed under the Court Fees Stamp Act.

4. Valuation

The Suit Valuation Act 1887 and the Court Fees Act 1870 prescribe the mode of valuation of a suit for the purpose of determining the jurisdiction of Courts and determining the amount of court-fees to be paid in a suit. The valuation for purposes of jurisdiction has to be made under the Suits Valuation Act.

5. Filing Other Documents

Once the plaint and the written statement are completed and the parties have filed their respective submissions, they are given the opportunity to present and produce certain files that they think are important and substantial with respect to their claims. It is important to file these documents and get it admitted on record as otherwise reliance on these documents cannot be placed as these documents are not a part of the record.

6. Conduct of the Proceedings

Once the court is satisfied and comes to the conclusion that there are merits in the case, then it issues, a notice to the opposite party asking them to submit their reply in form of arguments and thus, fix a date for hearing the matter. Once, the notice is issued then the plaintiff is required to pay the requisite court fees, stamp duty etc. along with two copies of the plaint for the defendant to be sent by the mode of courier and ordinary post respectively.

Grounds on which a plaint can be returned:

Return of Plaint:-

The Code of Civil Procedure empowers the civil court to return the plaint if in case it was not filed appropriately. Return is different from Rejection of plaint. Return of Plaint simply mean that the Court is not empowered to entertain the suit for which the plaint has been filed. On such circumstances, the plaint is rejected if the necessary requirements of a plaint, does not meet its aspect or if the certain provisions are vague and ambiguous. As per Order 7 Rule 10(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 a plaint is to be returned on the sole ground of lack of jurisdiction with the concerned Court-territorial, pecuniary or other causes. If the court is satisfied that it has no jurisdiction to entertain the suit, it’s the duty to give effect to that on its own initiative.

Procedure on returning plaint-

On returning a plaint, the Judge shall endorse thereon the date of its presentation and return, the name of the party presenting it, and a brief statement of the reasons for returning it”. A court of appeal or revision may direct, after setting aside the decree passed in a suit the return of the plaint this sub-rule. On returning the plain the Judge shall endorse thereon the date of its presentation and return the name of the party presenting it and brief statement of the reasons for returning it.

Grounds on which a plaint can be rejected:

Rejection of Plaint:-

Order 7 RULE 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 elaborates the process of rejecting a plaint.  The plaint shall be rejected on the following circumstances-

  1. Where it does not disclose a cause of action, In the case of Snp Shipping Service Pvt. Ltd. V. World Tanker Carrier Corporation, the plaint was rejected and the suit dismissed under Order 7, Rule 1(a) of the C.P.C., 1908.
  2. Where the relief claimed is undervalued and the plaintiff on being required by the court to correct  the valuation within the time to be fixed by the court fails to do so;
  3. Where the relief claimed is properly valued, but the plaint is written upon paper insufficiently stamped and the plaintiff on being required by the court to supply the requisite stamp paper within a time to be fixed by the court, fails to do so;
  4. Where the suit appears from the statement in the plaintiff to be barred by any law;
  5. Where it is not filed in duplicate;
  6. Where the plaintiff fails to comply with the provisions of Rule 9 [ORDER7, RULE 11].

Provisions on the rejection of plaint under CPC:

  1. Order VII Rule 12 of C.P.C states the procedure on rejecting the plaint so that it can be used as a precedent for future cases.
  2. Order VII Rule 13 of C.P.C states that rejection of the plaint does not stop the presentation or filling of the fresh plaint.

Two modes which are mentioned to show the manner in which the plaint can be rejected:

  1. The defendant has the right to file an application in the form of an interlocutory application at any stage of proceedings for the rejection of the plaint.
  2. Suo moto (on its own): The meaning of the suo moto itself defines the way of rejection of the plaint. Suo moto rejection is under Order 7 Rule 11 which states Rejection of the plaint. A court can itself try a suit under Order 7 Rule 11 if the plaint fulfills the conditions discussed in the first point.

Landmark Case on Rejection of Plaint:

  1. Kalepur Pala Subrahmanyam v Tiguti Venkata: In this case, it was said that a plaint cannot be rejected in part and retained part under this rule. It must be rejected as a whole and not with the rejection of one part and acceptance of another. This judgment is considered as a landmark judgment on the rejection of the plaint.
  2. Bibhas Mohan Mukherjee v. Hari Charan Banerjee: In this case, it was held that an Order rejecting a plaint is a decree and hence it is applicable and binding in other cases, which involves the rejection of the plaint.
  3. ROJA vs. U.S. RAYU: Court, in this case, held that any application for the rejection of the plaint under Order 7 Rule 11 of the code of civil procedure can be filed at any stage and the court has to dispose of the same before proceeding with the trial.

The time fixed by the court for the correctness of the valuation or supplying the requisite stamp-papers shall not however be extended unless the court for reasons to be recorded is satisfied that the plaintiff was prevented by any cause of an exceptional nature from correcting the valuation or supplying the requisite stamp-papers as the case may be within the time fixed by the court and that refusal to extend such time would cause grave injustice to the plaintiff.

Conclusion:

In my opinion in the field of law the concept of Plaint is emerged for better knowledge of the point of conflict and facts so that the decisions can be more effective and well-informed. But due so many rules, orders etc., it creates a chaos in the civil system and simplifying these regulations will make it easier for us to file a suit.

 

 

 

pratibha.chaudhary

Law student

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