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Civil Suit: From Take-Off To Landing

In this blog, I throw light on the civil case procedure adhere by Indian courtrooms. Before I start this journey, firstly I would like to highlight some basics about civil laws and civil cases. As we all know that if there is any violation of our civil rights we go to court for enforcement of these rights. So the main question is what are the steps or route we follow in court of justice for recovery of damages against breach of civil rights.

Here I make an effort to explain in brief about the civil cases trial. Civil proceedings are time-consuming comparison to criminal cases. The court takes help of substantive as well as procedure laws to deliver good judgments, Indian Contract Act, The Transfer of Property Act, the Industrial Disputes Act, I.P.C are instance of substantive law, while Indian Evidence Act, The Code of Civil Procedure, The Code of Criminal Procedure are instances of procedural law. C.P.C. neither creates nor takes away any right.

It is intended to regulate the procedure to be followed by civil courts. A procedural law is always subservient to the substantive law. Nothing can be given by a procedural law what is not sought to be given by a substantive law and nothing can be taken away by the procedural law what is given by the substantive law.

A civil case involves a legal dispute between two or more parties on particular facts and issues. The two parties are plaintiff and defendant. Plaintiff may asks the court to award damages (pecuniary compensate the plaintiff for any harm suffered). Defendant in written statement disown the facts given by plaintiff in plaint. Defendant make rebuttal of facts produce by plaintiff to make his own defense.

Without any further ado, let's go start now!!

Suppose there is one dispute between person A and B in case B v/s A. A makes a contract with B to sell his house in 2 Cr. rupees, both A and B sign a contract and B fulfill the condition as per the contract of sale deed. But A refuses to give a possession of house to B. Then B case a civil suit against defendant in court of original jurisdiction.

Now by the help of this aforesaid example, we enjoy civil suit: from take-off to landing!!

B institute a civil suit against A for specific performance to deliver the possession of house, then B will have to follow the route given below to enforce his civil rights:

Step By Step Civil Procedure

  1. Presentation Of Plaint By Plaintiff

    A civil proceeding is set in motion by presenting or filing a plaint. This is the first step from where the civil suit takes its flight (or take-off).Plaint is a statement of claim, a document, or memorial by the presentation of which a suit is instituted. It is filed by the plaintiff and states in writing the claims of the plaintiff against the defendant in the manner prescribe under order 7 of the C.P.C, 1908. Suit to be commenced by plaint according to order 4 r/w section 26 of C.P.C, 1908
  2. Service Of Summons To Defendant

    After plaint instituted in court the presiding judge either accept or reject the plaint if there is any default. After that in the case of acceptance of the plaint, it is the duty of the court to call the defendant to appear before the court by serving summon as per order 5 of C.P.C, 1908. Summons means an invitation to parties of the case by court, summons are also served when either parties wants to produce a witness in the court in accordance with the procedure laid out in section 31 of C.P.C,1908.
  3. Non-Appearance Of The Parties & Ex-Parte Order

    1. When only plaintiff is absent
      According to order 9 rule 8, of C.P.C, a suit can be dismissed by a court in a case where the plaintiff fails to appear before the court even after the service of summons to the defendant.
    2. When only defendant is absent
      When the defendant chooses to remain absent despite proper service of summons, the court is entitled to continue with the proceeding of the suit by hearing only the plaintiff.
    3. when both parties are absent
      The basic rule 3 of order 9 is that the suit should be dismissed when both parties are absent. However, the use of word May in the provision makes the power a discretionary at the hand of the judge. Therefore, if a judge has reason to believe that the case should not be Dismiss, it can adjourn to a later date.
  4. Written Statement

    A written statement is a document containing the pleadings of the defendant as per order 8 C.P.C, 1908 in response to the plaint filed against him/her. It highlights the defendant's side of facts of the case and defends the claims made in the plaint against his/her. It is mandatory to file a written statement within 90 days, but it may extend if court satisfy to do so.
  5. Examination Of Parties

    After the written statement file in court, the examination of parties is conducted at the first hearing of a civil suit and is a critical stage in a civil proceedings as it is when the court determines and takes on record the plaintiff's and defendant's admission or denial of claim and pleading.
  6. Framing Of The Issues

    Next step after examination of parties is framing of issues
    Issues mean a point in question, an important subject of debate or litigation. Issues are of three kinds: (a) issues of facts, (b) issues of law (c) mixed issues of fact and law. Issues arise when a material proposition of fact or law is affirmed by one party and denied by the other.
    The court may ask both the parties to produce a draft issues based on which final issues are framed by the court in accordance with order 14 of C.P.C, 1908.
  7. Production Of Documents & Attendance Of Witnesses

    After the final issues have been framed, the court will require the concerned parties or their pleader to submit a list of documents that will be relied on to support their claims and defenses under order 13 C.P.C, 1908. The court will also require the parties to submit a list of witnesses whom they propose to call on to support their plaint or written statement. The court may at any stage of the suit reject any document which it considers irrelevant or otherwise inadmissible, recording the grounds of such rejection
  8. Hearing Of Suit, Examination & Cross- Examination Of The Parties & Their Witnesses

    According to natural justice, hearing of both parties to the suit is necessary before pronouncing a judgment. The plaintiff to present his / her case before the court prior to the defendant, this is followed by cross-examination of the plaintiff and his witnesses by the defendant's advocate. The same is then repeated with the defendant and his witnesses. Follow the manner prescribe under order 18 C.P.C, 1908.
  9. Arguments

    The parties engage in arguments by applying the relevant laws to the facts of the case and interpreting them in a manner that is likely to approval their case. This is the final opportunity to present their cases before the court makes it final judgment.
  10. Judgment / Decree

    After the concerned court has heard the matter the court will pass judgment/ decree. Judgment means the statement given by the judge of the grounds of a decree or order. The provision dealing with judgment and decree is in section 33 and is to be read with order 20 of C.P.C, 1908. The court, after the case heard, shall pronounce judgment in an open court, either at once, or as soon thereafter as may be practicable and when the judgment is to be pronounced on some future day, the court shall fix a day for that purpose, of which due notice shall be given to the parties or their pleaders.
  11. Appeal, Review & Revision

    In the occasion that either party is not satisfied with the judgment / decree pronounced by the court, they may avail the option to either apply for review as per section 114 r/w order 47 of C.P.C, 1908 within a period of 30 days from the date of pronouncement of judgment/ decree. Review means to reconsider, to look again or to re-examine. Alternatively, the aggrieved party may apply for revision as per section 115 to the higher court. Revision means the action of revising, especially critical or careful examination or perusal with a view to correcting or improving. The aggrieved party can also opt to Appeal as per section 96 to 110 along with order 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, to the higher court within 60 or 90 days from the pronouncement of the judgment/ decree. Appeal means the judicial examination of the decision by a higher court of the decision of an inferior court.
  12. Execution Of The Decree

    Execution of the decree is the last step from where the civil suit takes its landing. This is the stage wherein a decree-holder (means any person in whose favors a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made) reaps the fruits of the judgment as it is when the decree-holder compels the judgment-debtor (means any person against whom a decree has been passed or order capable of execution has been made) to execute the mandate of the decree judgment or order. The execution is only considered complete when judgment creditor or decree-holder gets the money or other things awarded to him as a result of the judgment, decree or order.

The code lays down the following mode of execution of decrees:
  • Delivery of property (movable or immovable);
  • Attachment and sale of property;
  • Arrest and detention;
  • Appointment of receiver;
  • Partition;
  • Payment of money;
  • Specific performance of the contract;
  • Injunction;
  • Restitution of conjugal rights;
  • Execution of documents;
  • Endorsement of negotiable instrument;
  • Attachment of rent, mesne profit;
  • Decree against corporation & firm.

At the winding-up of this blog, I would like to conclude here: procedural laws prescribe the method for enforcing rights and duties. The code of civil procedure, 1908 gives the law relating to the procedure of the courts of civil judicature. Through this blog I tried to explain complexity of civil procedure in simplest way.

It is impossible to me to consolidate all civil provision or matter related to civil suit in this particular journal, but I tried here to highlight main issues, which helps to understand what general route we follow in civil cases. I hope this blog very utilitarian for law students, CLAT aspirant, lawyers, and also for general public because ignorance of law is no excuse.
Thank you friends

Written by: Akhil Shrivastava, Law Student, 4th Year - Dr. Harisingh Gour Vishwavidyalaya (Central University)

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