Civil Case Procedure in India
For filing a civil case or civil law suit, there is a detailed process laid down, if the process is not followed, then the registry has a right to dismiss the suit. The Procedure is as follows:
Filing of Suit/Plaint: Order 4 Rules 1 & 2 CPC)– Plaint is the written complaint or allegation. One who files it is known as “Plaintiff” and against whom it is filed is known as “Defendant”. It contains Name of the Court, Nature of Complaint, Names and Address of parties to be suit, it also contain verification from plaintiff, stating that, contents of the plaint are true and correct.
Filing -Filing of plaint before Chief Ministerial Officer [Sherestedar)–paying appropriate court fee & process fees, different amount of court fees is paid for different type of documents.
Vakalatnama– Vakalatnama is a written document, by which the person/party filing the case authorizes the Advocate/Lawyer to represent on their behalf. However a person/party filing a case, May also represent their own case personally in any court and in this case he do not need Vakalatnama”
Issue and service of summons O. 5
Once the suit is registered, summons is send to the defendant to appear in court on a specified date. The summons shall be signed by the judge and sealed with the seal of court. The summons is accompanied by plaint as well.
The court, if sees fit, may also require the plaintiff to be present as well during the appearance of defendant.
The court may require the party to appear in person only if they
They reside within the local limits or the court’s ordinary jurisdiction
They reside at place less than fifty or (where there is railway or steamer communication or other established public conveyance for five-sixths of the distance between the place where he resides and the place where the Court is situate) less than two hundred miles distance from the Court-house
If the defendant is not required to appear in person then the defendant may send a pleader to represent his case.
Summons for final disposition
If the court deems fit, the summons can be sent for final disposition (instead of settling the issues). If the summons is sent for the final disposition, then the summons would mention this and would also direct the defendant to produce all the documents, evidence, and witnesses to support his case.
Appearance of Defendant
The defendant needs to appear in the court either personally, or by a representative on the date mentioned in the summons. If the summons was for final disposal, then the defendant needs to present evidence, documents, and any witnesses to support his case.
Hearing on IA No (If any IA is filed for immediate relief. eg :interim Application likre injunction order.
If IA is allowed, comply with the order (compliance means sending ia copy to the otherside by Registered Post with Acknowledgement due and filing affidavit to that effect in the court.On the every interim application there will be stages to be followeds by either of the party or the Court will issues Notice/Summon to the other side o
Return of Notice
If otherside appears,they will file vakalat or they will be placed exparte. If the notice is not served to the otherside (due to wrong address )steps to reissue the summon to be taken by filing process or take steps to give public notific ationin newspaper,advertisement .If adder ss of defendant is not known
Submission of Written Statement. (O.8)
The written statement may be filed on the first day of hearing but the court the may permit additional time provided that the period allowed for filing the written statement shall not ordinarily exceed thirty days
Replication is a reply, filed by the plaintiff, against the “written statement” of Defendant and it should also specifically deny the allegations raised by the Defendant in written statement. Anything which is not denied is deemed to be accepted.Once Replication is filed, pleadings are stated to be complete.
Forumulation of Issues: (O.14):
– Issues are framed by the Court and on the basis of “Issues” arguments and examinations of witness takes place.
Filing of Other Documents
– Once, the pleadings are complete, and then both the parties are given opportunity to produce and file documents, on which they rely, and to substantiate their claims. Filing of Documents should be admitted and taken on record
Evidence of Plaintiff
Evidence of plaintiff by way of filing affidavit and exhibiting the documents. The plaintiff has to state his case in front of the judge.
Cross-Examination of Plaintiff: (O. 18)
The plaintiff will be cross-examined by the defendant’s lawyer. The witnesses from plaintiff’s side also have to appear in the court, who are also cross-examined by the defendant’s counsel
Evidence of Defendant:
The defendant also presents his side of the story supported by the witnesses and evidence from his side. The evidence needs to be be marked earlier by the court, otherwise it will not be considered by the court
Cross-Examination of Defendant
. The plaintiff’s lawyer will then cross-examine the defendant. The witnesses from defendant’s side also have to appear in the court, who are also cross-examined by the plaintiff’s counsel
Argument: (O. 20 R. 1):
Once the evidence has been submitted and cross-examination is conducted by the plaintiff and defendant, both sides are allowed to present a summary of their case and evidence to the judge in the Final argument session.
Judgment: O. 20
After the final arguments, the court may give the judgement on the same day or may adjourn the court for a further date. If the court does not give the judgment immediately, then it tries to give the judgement within 15 days. However, if the judgement is not pronounced within 30 days of final hearing then the court needs to record he reason for doing so.
The party in whose favor the judgement is passed is known as decree holder, and the party against whom the judgement is passed is called the judgement debtor.
Review of Judgement
If a party is not satisfied with the judgement, then it can file an application for review of the judgement. If the court feels there are not sufficient grounds for the review, then it may reject the application. The court may also reject the application if it was based on some new evidence unless strict proof is provided that the party was earlier unaware of it
A party may appeal in appellate court against the original decree. A memorandum needs to be filed in the appellate court specifying the grounds of objection. The appellant may be required to provide the security for cost. The court may accept, reject, or send back the appeal to the appellant for modifications.
Execution of Decree: (O.21)
The holder of decree applies to the court to execute it. (O.21. R. 10). All applications for execution need to be in writing except where the decree is for the payment of money. O. 21. R.11