An indigent person is defined in explanation one to Rule 1 according to which is a person is an indigent person if he is not possessed of sufficient means other than property exempted from attachment in execution of the degree, to enable him to pay prescribed fees. An application is to be filled along with the suit for permission to allow the applicant to file the suit as an indigent person. After due inquiry the court however may reject the application for permission to file the suit as an indigent person on the ground mentioned in Rule 5. A person having been declared as indigent person can be disappeared on the ground mentioned in Rule 9. Under Rule 18 the state government can provide free legal service to indigent person.

Meaning And Scope: Indigent Person

The concept is well explained by the Orissa high court in the case of Manglu Chattar v. Maheshwar Bhoi as follows, the tools of artisans are exempted from the attachment. In the instant case according to the findings of the trial court, the appellant possessed of tools and weaving materials and they get daily wages. Both these items are covered under the Section 60(1) of CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 1908. There is no other evidence adduced from the side of the defendant to show that the petitioners are possessed of any other property. Therefore there is no dispute about the fact that the appellants are all weavers and their weaving materials consist of tools of artisans. These properties are not to be taken into consideration to find out whether they will be able to pay the court fee. So also the daily wages they get cannot be taken into consideration for the aforesaid purpose. On the aforesaid analysis, it should be held that the appellants are indigent persons and, therefore, they should be allowed to sue as indigent person.

The Supreme Court of India has settled the issue that, whether a public company can file a suit as an indigent person while holding the judgement of UOI v. Khader International Construction, held that, the word “person” has to be given its meaning in the context in which it is used. It refers to a person who is capable of filling a suit and this being a benevolent provision; it is to be given an extended meaning. Therefore, a public limited company, which is otherwise entitled to maintain suit as a legal person, can every well maintain application under Order XXXIII, Rule 1, CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 1908.

The word “person” mentioned in Order XXXIII includes not only a natural person but other judicial person also.

III – Cost Where Indigent Person Succeeds

Where the plaintiff succeeds in the suit, the court shall calculate the amount of court fees which would have been paid by the plaintiff if he had not been permitted to sue as an indigent person; such amount shall be recoverable by the state government from any party Ordered by the decree to pay the same and shall be a first charge on the subject matter of the suit.

Such a decree is executed by the collector to institute new proceedings to pursue for the recovery of the amount of court fee from the person or property liable to pay the court fee, that too as arrears of land revenue hence, separate recovery proceedings cannot be pursued in execution proceedings.

But the situation is different when we talk of Indigent person, in a situation where a suit is filled by the indigent person for realization of full contractual amount from government. Decree was passed in favour of plaintiff. Direction was issued to defendant State Government to pay cost of plaintiff as liability was imposed on defendant to pay court fee payable to Government, hence, proceedings initiated against plaintiff for recovery of court fee was not maintainable.

IV – Procedure Where Indigent Person Fails

Rule 11 of Order 33 of CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE, 1908 deals with this aspect of Suits by indigent person. Where the plaintiff fails in the suit or the permission granted to him to sue as an indigent person has been withdrawn, or where the suit is withdrawn of dismissed.

1. Because the summons for the defendants to appear and the answer has not been served upon him in consequences of the failure of the plaintiff to pay the court fee or postal charges, chargeable for such services or to present copies of the plaint or concise statement, or

2. Because the plaintiff does not appear when the suit is called on for hearing the court shall Order the plaintiff, or any person added as a co plaintiff to the suit, to pay the court fees which would have been paid by the plaintiff if he had not been permitted to sue as an indigent person.

3. Conclusion

4. In the end the author would like to conclude the project, that my hypothesis was partially incorrect regarding the position of indigent person when he fails in the suit brought by him, the hypothesis is that an indigent person cannot be made liable to pay anykind of damages or compensation, but according to Order 33 Rule 11 of Code of Civil Procedure, an indigent person cannot be held liable for any kind of damages other than the court fee, i.e. if a person fails in his action as an indigent person then he is bound to pay the court fee of the respective court, and the remaining damages have to be borne by the State Government as if they had committed the wrong.












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