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The Impact Of The Civil Procedure Code On The Administration Of Justice In India And Its Role In The Development Of The Legal System

The Civil Procedure Code (CPC) is a key legislation that governs the administration of civil justice in India. It was first enacted in 1908 and has since been amended several times to keep up with the changing times and evolving legal landscape. The CPC plays a crucial role in the development of the Indian legal system by providing a framework for the conduct of civil cases and the protection of the rights of parties involved.

Law can be generally classified based on its substantive and adjectival components. The substantive law is the legal framework that deals with the definition of the legal status, the formation of citizens' rights and obligations, and the scope of the law. The adjective law, on the other hand, deals with the method involved in creating these rights. This area of adjective legislation includes the Civil Procedural Code of 1908.

Impact of CPC on the administration of justice
One of the major duties of the state is the administration of justice. The primary role of justice administration is to defend individuals' rights, enforce laws, and punish wrongdoers. Justice administration entails administering justice in accordance with the law. In general, justice refers to the trait of being just. For instance, the payment of what is owed. Justice consists of impartiality, honesty, or rightness, among other things.

The administration of justice is often separated into two parts: civil justice administration and criminal justice administration[1]. Justice is said to be the absolute end of the law and the goal of society, which judges of the court have been pouring into law with new variants of justice in the form of contemporary values and need-based rights like freedom, liberty, dignity, equality, social justice[2] as authorised by the constitutional document, and access to justice for the people is thus the foundation of the Indian Constitution.[3]

Justice is divided into two categories: civil and criminal. When a person's civil or legal rights are violated, it is referred to as a civil injury. On the other hand, when public rights and obligations are violated, it is referred to as a crime and has an impact on the whole community. As a result, crime is considered a wrong against the community as a whole, and the state is responsible for punishing the criminals, whereas civil wrong is an infringement of an individual's legal right that does not affect society as a whole and is redressable through monetary compensation.

The primary goal of civil justice administration is to offer assistance to the aggrieved person in the form of compensation or other redress. Civil procedures enforce two types of rights: primary rights and sanctioning rights. Primary rights are those that exist in their own right they do not have their source in some incorrect place. Sanctioning or remedial rights are those that arise as a result of a breach of a basic right. A primary right is one that arises from behaviour or as a jus in rem[4].

The primary goal of civil procedures is to enforce people' rights, in civil procedures, the person may be condemned to jail for disobeying a court-issued injunction order. The goal of civil justice is to enforce a right in civil procedures, whether it is the primary or sanctioning. One of the key impacts of the CPC on the administration of justice in India is that it has provided a comprehensive framework for the conduct of civil trials.

The CPC provides clear guidelines for the procedure to be followed in civil cases, from the filing of the suit to the final judgment. This has helped to ensure consistency and uniformity in the conduct of civil trials across the country. Which implies civil and criminal justice must be assessed in terms of the legal implications that come from the conduct rather than the nature and effects of the act.

Role of CPC in development of the Indian legal system
Through the adjective laws he concepts of fair trial and natural justice be realised, and without these concepts in place, the court trial is ruled illegitimate and null. Regarding this some roles of CPC has been mentioned which helped to develop Indian Legal System.
  1. Free Legal Aid
    In our nation, legal assistance is a critical component of ensuring the preservation of the present rule of law in society. In the case of Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar, it was held that "free legal aid is an inalienable element of reasonable, fair, and just procedure, and thus the right to free legal services was implicit in the guarantee of Article 21.[5]

    This mandatory responsibility has also been examined in numerous other cases, with the conclusion that legal help must be supplied to everyone free of charge. If a trial continues without the legal assistance provided by the state, the trial must be declared void, even if the person did not apply for such legal aid.

    A good interpretation of the Code reveals that the principle of free trial was already present in CPC, 1908. Furthermore, these laws empower the High Court to enact rules and regulations that it deems appropriate for the purpose, including the overall time of such free service and its type.[6]

    According to Article 39A of the Constitution, it is the obligation of the state to promote justice by providing equal opportunity to all citizens and ensuring that economic incapacity does not impede access to justice. In order to achieve this goal, the state has been involved in a number of schemes "via Legal Aid schemes, Societies, and Law Departments."[7]
  2. Speedy Trial
    It is critical in the judicial system that a person receives justice and does it on time. The Indian judicial system is particularly known for this feature of delay in justice supply, which eventually destroys, if not completely, at least substantially, the goal of the entire trial. The trial cannot be considered fair if it is not conducted in a timely way.[8] The same as has been said in other Indian statements. It is widely accepted that any delay in judicial processes plainly results in injustice[9]. An inordinate delay in issuing the judgement is unjust to the accused, and he should be exonerated if there is no valid explanation for the events.[10]

    However, this may not occur in every case since the delay may be due to unusual allegations, in which case the only alternative is for the court to order that the process be expedited.[11]To promote this goal of speeding the legal process, parties' rights to reach a compromise or withdraw their suit are recognised. This is accomplished by Order XXII, Rule 3, which requires "parties either to abandon a claim, or to request the court, to record the compromise between the parties."[12]
  3. Ensures to Fair Trial
    The CPC lays down the rules and procedures to be followed during a civil trial. It ensures that both parties have an equal opportunity to present their case and that the trial is conducted in a fair and transparent manner. These rights in judicial proceedings normally comprise, at a minimum, the following:[13]
    • A transparent and unbiased body to adjudicate is available.
    • Mandatory public hearing availability
    • An appropriate time frame must also be established.
    • Counselling rights.
    • The right to interpret.
    So, under this notion of natural justice, the aforementioned principle of receiving a fair hearing is highly valued. Due to the aforementioned values, it is explicitly stated in our constitution that the citizens of the country must be guaranteed a fair trial. So, in order to grasp these principles, there are a number of essential CPC rights that are described in the next part, as well as many changes that have occurred over the years that have strengthened the legal framework even more.
    This is a Latin aphorism that meaning "to hear the opposing party or side."[14] The principle implies that all parties must be given a reasonable opportunity to react to the reasons made against them in a fair and unbiased hearing. This idea is applicable in practically all legal systems across the world, demonstrating its significance. A just legal system not only ensures justice at the conclusion of its procedure, but also during its duration; consequently, this idea is critical.

    1. Ex Parte D´╗┐ecree
      The explanation provided by the 1976 amendment, as well as Rule 13 of Order IX, explained that such a provision makes the legal mechanism more efficient because the defendant is given an audience through adequate opportunities in cases where his omission in ccourt does not arise from extraordinary grounds. This right provides that an individual's right to a legal hearing cannot be denied because of allegations of cheating and fraud, as long as the subject fits the Code's requirements and "prevents a protracted litigation."6.
    2. Doctrine of Res Judicata
      Res Judicata, also known as "Claim Preclusion," relates to a specific legal issue that has already been adjudicated and deals with the concept of preventing the legal matter from being continued between the same parties. As a result, res Judicata will be utilised to prevent an issue from being discussed in court again. It is regarded as a crucial component of the fair trial hypothesis. The ultimate goal is to guarantee that no unnecessary lawsuit is filed when parallel litigation is being conducted by a competent agency.7
    3. Encouraging Alternative Dispute Resolution
      Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is more than simply arbitration; it encompasses a variety of techniques that differ from litigation but achieve the same goal of 'providing justice' in a more timely and effective manner. Section 89 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, adopted by the Act of 1999, incorporates the legislative authority to the court to refer civil disputes to the different ADR mechanisms indicated in the Section where appropriate.
If the overarching goal is to seek a resolution, that is, to obtain justice, why not use methods that may be resolved pleasantly and swiftly through compromise. ADR was developed with the goal of minimizing the pressure on the overburdened system and providing quick justice.[15] Section 89 was enacted to empower many forums and was more practicable than any other alternative for decreasing judicial latency, such as expanding the number of judges or infrastructure.

In the case of Afcons Infrastructure Ltd. v. Cherian Varkey Construction Co. (P) Ltd., the legal stance on ADR practises was clarified.[16]Arbitration was referred to as a method of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that is done due to a prior agreement between parties to settle issues through arbitration or by submitting an application/joint document before the court, the latter occurring in the case of no prior arbitration agreement.

Overall, the CPC has had a significant impact on the development of the Indian legal system. It has provided a comprehensive framework for the conduct of civil trials, protected the rights of litigants, and improved the efficiency of the civil justice system. While there is always scope for improvement, the CPC has played a vital role in ensuring that the administration of justice in India is fair, efficient, and consistent.

The CPC has also had a significant impact on the protection of the rights of litigants. It provides for a number of important safeguards, such as the right to be heard, the right to a fair trial, and the right to appeal. These safeguards are crucial for ensuring that the civil justice system in India is fair and impartial and that the rights of all individuals are protected.

Moreover, the CPC has played a significant role in reducing delays and improving the efficiency of civil trials. The CPC has laid down strict timelines for the various stages of a civil trial, and this has helped to prevent unnecessary delays and ensure that cases are resolved in a timely manner. Additionally, the CPC has introduced alternative dispute resolution mechanisms like mediation, which have helped to reduce the burden on the courts and expedite the resolution of disputes.

  1. Administration of Justice: Jurisprudence (SRD Law Notes) accessed April 7, 2023
  2. Garg K and Siddiqui L, "The Concept and Administration of Justice: Jurisprudence" (Legal ReadingsApril 27, 2022) accessed April 7, 2023.
  3. State of Haryana v. Darshana Devi, AIR 1979 SC 855.
  4. Administration of Justice: Jurisprudence" (SRD Law Notes) accessed April 7, 2023.
  5. Hussainara Khatoon v. State of Bihar, 1979 AIR 1369, 1979 SCR (3) 532
  6. Id., Order XXXIII, Rule 18 (2).
  7. mishra A, "Civil Procedure Code, 1908- More Effective and Justice Oriented" (AcademikeFebruary 5, 2015) accessed April 7, 2023.
  8. Klopfer v. N.Carolina, (1967) 386 US 213.
  9. mishra A, "Civil Procedure Code, 1908- More Effective and Justice Oriented" (AcademikeFebruary 5, 2015) accessed April 7, 2023.
  10. State of Andhra Pradesh v. Pavithran, AIR 1990 SC 1266.
  11. Mangi Lal v. State of Rajasthan, (1988) Cr. L.J 1188 (appeal dismissed by Supreme Court).
  12. Supra 10, Order XXIII, Rule 3; K. Venkata Subbaiah vs. Kanduru Ramasubbamma, 1991(3) SCC 338.
  13. mishra A, "Civil Procedure Code, 1908- More Effective and Justice Oriented" (AcademikeFebruary 5, 2015) accessed April 7, 2023.
  14. - DR and others, "Audi Alteram Partem" (iPleadersFebruary 20, 2022) accessed April 7, 2023.
  15. Krishnan, K.S. Gopala. The Code of Civil Procedure. 1st ed. Vol. 1. Hyderabad: Alt Publications, 2011.
  16. (2010) 8 SCC 24.

Award Winning Article Is Written By: Mr.Soumyadip Chakraborty
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