Suits by Indigent Person is dealt un Order XXXIII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (hereinafter referred as CPC). Suits by Indigent persons is aiso known as ‘Pauper Suits’.
Who is an Indigent Person?
He has been described under Explanation I of Order XXXIII. The following elements of an indigent person are:
- Not possessed of sufficient means to pay the prescribed fees for the plaint to get instituted other than the subject Matter of the suit and the property exempted from attachment for execution.
- Where no such fees is prescribed and not entitled to the property worth ₹
Who will find whether the person is an indigent person or not?
The inquiry will be done by the Chief Ministerial Officer of the Court. Order XXXIII rule 1A
The application should contain
- The particulars required for the plaint (Order VII rule 1)
- Schedule of movable and immovable property with estimated value
- Signed and verified.
On what grounds the application can be rejected?
- If not framed as per the manner prescribed in rule 2 and 3.
- Where the applicant is not an indigent person
- Where in order to prove himself as an indigent person two months before filing the application he has disposed off his property. But if it is proved that the value of the property disposed off was not sufficient enough then he will be allowed to proceed as indigent person .
- No cause of action
- He has signed an agreement with respect to the subject matter of the suit and any other person has acquired interest in it.
- The application is barred by the limitation
- Any other person is financing the litigation on his behalf through an agreement.
In all these cases the application can be rejected. ( Order XXXIII rule 5)
The court may fix a day for hearing and a prior notice of 10 days should be given to the opposite party. ( Order XXXIII rule 6)
How does the permission to sue as an indigent person be withdrawn? (Order XXXIII rule 9)
The court can withdraw it’s permission order to sue as an indigent person upon an application made by the defendant or the Government Pleader and giving a seven days prior notice to the plaintiff on the grounds:
- If guilty of vexatious or improper conduct.
- His means are such that he ought not to appear as indigent person
- He has entered into agreement with any other person who has acquired interest in the suit.
If in case the person allowed as indigent person does not have a pleader to get represented then the court may assign a pleader for him. (Order XXXIII rule 9A)
Rule 10-11 protects the rights of the Government to recover the Court fees. Rule 10 says if the person wins then amount would be deducted from the decretal amount. Rule 11 says that if he fails he still has to pay the fees or if he dies, the amount would be recovered from his property.
Besides if the court is refusing to file the application to sue as forma pauperis then the suit of similar nature be barred under it. (Order XXXIII rule 15).