File Copyright Online - File mutual Divorce in Delhi - Online Legal Advice - Lawyers in India

Fundamentals of Pleading: Order-VI

In the court of law, pleadings serve as the case's skeleton or its basis. Pleadings are specifically covered in Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 and it talks about Pleadings in General. Order VI contains 18 rules altogether. According to the provision of this act, pleading means a plaint or written statement.

In the case of Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes v. Erasmo Jack De Squeria[1]it was stated that- Pleading being the foundation of litigation must contain only relevant material by excluding irrelevant and unnecessary information.
  • Rule 1 talks about Pleading.
  • Rule 2 outlines the basic principle of Pleading.
  • Rule 3- 13 mandates the parties to provide with the required documents.
  • Rule 14-15 covers the signing and verification of pleading respectively.
  • Rule 16 grants the power to the court to strike out pleadings at any stage of proceedings.
  • Rule 17-18 talk about the amendment of pleadings.

According to P.C. Mogha - pleading is a statement in writing drawn up and file by each party in any suit. It includes all those things upon which the suit is a frame and the defendant submit his own written statement.[2] The initial stage of a lawsuit called pleading, parties formally present their claims and defences.

In this, a plaintiff submits a complaint, or plaint, outlining their cause of action and the issues at hand. The defendant provides a written statement in response outlining his or her defences and denies. A counterclaim naming a cause of action against the plaintiff may also be submitted by the defendant. An essential purpose of pleadings is to inform the defendant that a lawsuit has been filed against him. Additionally, it informs the plaintiff of the defendant's plans in relation to the lawsuit.

Pleading helps the parties understand the details of the claim made against them by the adverse party, saving time and money. In the past, when pleadings were not common and parties used to argue their case in court, it occasionally happened that parties took a long time to respond to claims because of the sudden and new arguments of the opposing party. The main goal of pleading is to focus on the key issues and paint a precise picture of the case, which improves and speeds up the court process.

The pleadings assist both parties in understanding their points of contention and where they diverge so that they can present the most pertinent arguments and evidence in court. In the case of Throp v. Holdsworth[3]it was held that:
The whole object of pleading is to bring parties to an issue and the meaning of the rules relating to pleadings was to prevent the issues bring enlarged, which would prevent other parties from knowing when the cause came on for trial, what the real point to be discussed and decided.

Fundamentals Of Pleading

Sub-rule (1) of Rule 2 (order VI) states the fundamentals of pleadings:
  1. The first fundamental of rule of pleading is that it should only state facts and not the law.
  2. The facts that are stated in the pleading must be material facts.
  3. It should never state or disclose the evidence.
  4. The facts stated in the pleading must be in a concise form.

Facts and not law
In the case of Kedar Lal v. Hari Lal[4] the Supreme Court ruled that in a civil lawsuit, the parties are only required to describe the events that occurred and the basis for their claims in their pleadings; it is the judiciary's responsibility to apply the law. It implies that the parties should outline their claims and the reasons why they should be accepted.

Material facts
The term "material fact" is not specifically defined in the CPC, 1908 or any other law. In Udhav Singh v. Madhav Rao Scindia,[5] the Supreme Court provided the following definition of "material fact": According to the court, "material facts" are all those important details that the parties rely on to support their claims and establish their causes of action or to make a strong defence or counterclaim against the party making the initial claim.

The courts have noted that determining what facts or information qualifies as a material fact is a subjective matter that will be decided by the court on an individual basis depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.

Facts and not evidence
This rule mandates that the evidence in the pleadings be excluded. In other words, the party is not required to mention the witnesses or documentary evidence that it intends to present to the court in order to use against the opposing party. This is done to guarantee the safety of the evidence and the fairness of a trial. According to jurisprudence, there are two different types of facts: facta probanda and facta probantia.
  • Facts probanda: material facts
  • Facts probantia: evidence
Concise form
The last and most important fundamental rule, also known as the "rule of brevity," calls for the pleadings to be concise, clear, and limited to the interpretation that the pleader wishes to convey. Not only should the pleading be brief, but it also needs to be precise. Even though the pleading must be concise, it must also be accurate and certain. For the sake of brevity, pleadings shouldn't be compromised in terms of clarity and specificity. However, this does not imply that the facts that must be stated are so brief as to lose their significance in the pleadings.

The very goal and objectives of pleading are to discover the true source of controversy and it would be defeated if there is a lack of precision in the arguments. The Golden Rule of pleading states that the facts must be presented in such a way that neither important nor irrelevant information is left out or included.

The Supreme Court made the following observation in the case of Virendra Kashinath v. Vinayak N. Joshi[6]:
"Pleadings must be brief and niggling [i.e. causing slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety should be avoided.]" However, this does not imply that crucial information must be left out or overlooked in an effort to achieve brevity. According to the court, if syntax errors and drafting style are avoided, pleadings can be clear and legible.

Other Rules Of Pleading

Rule 3 to Rule 16 (Order VI) talks about other rules of pleading:
  • Specific details with regard to dates and items should be mentioned in the pleadings in a case for misrepresentation, criminal breach of trust, fraud, or willful default in payment of due.
  • It is not necessary to mention a condition precedent to filing a lawsuit if it has been satisfied. If it is not, it is crucial to mention the fact and provide justifications. For instance, no legal action against the government may be brought without two months' notice under Section 80 of the CPC. Therefore, the plaintiff must mention this as well as the reason for non-adherence if the notice is not served.
  • If no new allegations or grounds for a claim are added to the initial pleadings, a pleading may be amended at a later stage of the proceeding.
  • Each pleading must be signed by the party whose pleading it is, must be verified by the party whose pleading it is, and must be accompanied by a sworn affidavit that serves as the party's deposition.
  • Documents need not be fully described in the pleadings unless their content is crucial.
  • When a person's malice, fraudulent intention, knowledge, or other mental state is relevant, it may be alleged in the pleading only as a fact without stating the specific circumstances from which it is to be inferred. Such circumstances actually serve as material fact evidence.
  • When giving notice to a person is required or a condition precedent, pleadings should only mention giving the notice; they shouldn't specify its exact form or duration, or the circumstances from which it should be inferred, unless those details are crucial.
  • Implied agreements or relationships between people may be stated as a fact, and a general plea should be made based on correspondence, a conversation, or other evidence.
  • It is not necessary to plead facts that the court presumes to be true or that the other side must prove. Every claim must be signed by the claimant, one of the claimants, or his or her pleader.
  • A party to the action must provide his address. He should also include the other party's address.
  • Each pleading must be verified on an affidavit by the party, one of the parties, or a third party who is familiar with the case's facts.
  • If a pleading is unneeded, scandalous, frivolous, vexatious, or has the potential to jeopardise, embarrass, or delay a fair trial of the case, the court may order that it be struck out.
  • Where appropriate, forms from Appendix A of the Code should be used. Forms of a similar nature should be used in cases where they are not applicable.
  • Each pleading should be divided into paragraphs that are serially numbered. A separate paragraph should be used to state each allegation or assertion. Dates, totals, and numbers should be written both in words and in figures.

Amendment Of Pleading

Amendment of a pleading is covered by Rules 17 and 18 of Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. These rules work to bring about justice in society. According to Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, either party may be required to amend or alter his pleading at any point during the proceeding in a fair and just manner, allowing amendment when necessary to settle the precise contentious issue between the parties.

Rule 18 deals with the problem of the pleading not being amended. It deals with the law that states if a party is ordered by the court to make a necessary change and fails to do so within the time limit specified in the order, or if no time limit is specified, then within 14 days of the order's date, he will not be allowed to amend after the time limit specified above, or after such 14 days, as the case may be, unless the time is extended by the court.

Any legal case's foundation is made up of pleadings. The pleading lays out the case. It directs the parties to develop their arguments and understand the other party's claims in order to frame claims or defences for either party, as appropriate. It serves as direction for the entire suit journey.

They also specify what types of admissible evidence the parties may present during the trial. The fundamental guidelines for pleadings are set forth in the Code of Civil Procedure, along with any modifications. These rules are intended to achieve justice's highest goals while maintaining social harmony.

  1. AIR 2012 SC 1727: (2012) 5 SCC 370: JT 2012 (3) SC 457: (2012) 3 SCALE 550.
  2. Mogha's Law of Pleadings(1983) at p.1.
  3. AIR 1876 LR 3 Ch D 637
  4. AIR 1952 SC 47
  5. (1977) 1 SCC 511: AIR 1976 SC 744
  6. AIR 2007 SC 581
Also Read:

Law Article in India

Ask A Lawyers

You May Like

Legal Question & Answers

Lawyers in India - Search By City

Copyright Filing
Online Copyright Registration


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi


How To File For Mutual Divorce In Delhi Mutual Consent Divorce is the Simplest Way to Obtain a D...

Increased Age For Girls Marriage


It is hoped that the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which intends to inc...

Facade of Social Media


One may very easily get absorbed in the lives of others as one scrolls through a Facebook news ...

Section 482 CrPc - Quashing Of FIR: Guid...


The Inherent power under Section 482 in The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (37th Chapter of t...

The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in India: A...


The Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is a concept that proposes the unification of personal laws across...

Role Of Artificial Intelligence In Legal...


Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various sectors of the economy, and the legal i...

Lawyers Registration
Lawyers Membership - Get Clients Online

File caveat In Supreme Court Instantly