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All you need to know about a Civil Suit in India

6 min read
Civil Suit law insider

By Abhijit Mishra

Published on: 31 December 2022 at 14:44 IST

As per Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a civil Suit must be filed according to a certain procedure. It is a Conflict between individuals or entities, usually involving money, are the focus of civil proceedings.

A civil suit begins when a person files a “Plaint” or a complaint with the court, alleging that he has been monetary (Not Necessarily all the time) harmed of as a result of the activities of another person or entity.

However, the “Registry” can dismiss the suit if the procedure is not followed. “Registry” in this context refers to a department that each court maintains and that disseminates the information or data relating to the court matters/proceedings and other requisite court forms.

Civil Suit is one of the Legal Remedy available to a person for adjudication of his rights which are in nature of

  1. Jus in Rem i.e., Right against anyone,
  2. Jus Ad Rem i.e., Right to a Things,
  3. Jus In Personam i.e., Right of Legal Action Against or to Enforce a Legal Duty of a Particular Person

The following are the key factors which are essential of the Civil Suit:

  1. Pecuniary Jurisdiction
  2. Territorial Jurisdiction
  3. Statutory Bar against the jurisdiction of a Civil Judge
  4. Joinder of Parties to Suit
  5. Cause of Action
  6. Special Cases and Declarations
  7. Documents in Support of the Civil Suit
  8. Suit Valuation and Court Fee Declaration
  9. Verification and Affidavit of the Civil Suit
  10. Interlocutory Applications

POINT A. PECUNIARY JURISDICTION

  1. The Civil Suits is primarily based upon the pecuniary jurisdiction which is the Monetary Value of the Civil Suit.
  2. Statue: Section 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 defines for the pecuniary value of the Civil Suit.
  3. It is essential to note that the Pecuniary Jurisdiction is also commonly referred as Original Civil Jurisdiction of a Civil Court.
  4. There are 25 High Courts for the states in India, however only 5 High Courts have Original Pecuniary Jurisdiction
    1. High Court of Delhi
    1. High Court of Bombay
    1. High Court of Madras
    1. High Court of Calcutta
    1. High Court of Himachal Pradesh
  5. Comparative Examples of Original Jurisdiction of Civil Courts amongst New Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
NEW DELHIRAJASTHANUTTAR PRADESH
Upto 3 Lacs – Civil Judge3 Lacs to 2 Crores – Additional District Judge / District Judge2 Crores & to Infinite Amount – High Court of DelhiUpto Rs. 5 Lacs – Civil JudgeRs. 5 Lacs to Infinite Amount – Court of District / Additional District JudgeUpto Rs. 5 Lacs – Civil Judge – Junior DivisionRs. 5 Lacs to Infinite Amount – Court of Civil Judge – Senior Division

POINT B. TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION

  1. The territorial jurisdiction of the Hon’ble Court to adjudicate the Civil Suit is primarily based on two distinct factor
    1. Personal Wrong
    1. Other than Personal Wrong
  2. Civil Suit for the Personal Wrong such as “Defamation” is governed by Section 19 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which allows for institution of the Civil Suit at the choice of the Plaintiff i.e., place where Plaintiff resides or place where Defendant resides.
  3. Civil Suit for other than Personal Wrong such as Recovery, Eviction, Partition of Property etc. is either governed by Section 16 or Section 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which allows for institution of the Civil Suit at the place where Defendant resides or where the subject matter of the Civil Suit is situated.
  4. In a case where property falls within jurisdiction of the multiple Civil Courts then anyone Court can be made as choice of Court of adjudication by virtue of Section 17 of the of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. 
  5. It is pertinent to note that no party can invoke Forum Non Conveniens which meansobjection to jurisdiction of the Civil Court if it is not raised on the first hearing under the provision of Section 21 of the of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

POINT C. STATUTORY BAR AGAINST THE JURISDICTION OF A CIVIL JUDGE

  1. The institution of Civil Suit is liable to the statutory restrictions as enumerated under the aegis of Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which means if the subject of the dispute is governed by special law.
  2. The Civil Courts are not allowed to conduct trial of the Civil Suit if any statue specifically has barred the same. Example
    1. Marital Disputes can only be tried at Family Court by the virtue of Family Courts Act, 1984
    1. Labour Disputes can only be tried at Labour Court by the virtue of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947
    1. Contract having Arbitration clause can only be tried before the Arbitration Tribunal by the virtue of Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996
    1. Commercial Disputes are to be tried in accordance by the Special Commercial Court by the virtue of Commercial Court Act, 2015

POINT D. JOINDER OF PARTIES TO SUIT

  1. The Civil Suit must include all the essential parties which must be made defendants in accordance with Order I Rule 3 and Rule 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  2. The Civil Suit can independently be filed against each defendant in accordance with Order I Rule 3A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 for the same cause of action.
  3. It is essential to note that the Hon’ble Civil Court may add any other party if it deems fit or can direct the Plaintiff to make another person as a Defendant in accordance with Order I Rule 10/10A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  4. All the Defendants are to be mentioned in the Memo of Parties along with their address, contact details and must be designated with specific Defendant Serial Number.

POINT E. CAUSE OF ACTION

  1. The Civil Suit must disclose the cause of action that enumerates the dispute between the parties in accordance with Order VI Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  2. Cause of Action must disclose the following
    1. Right of the Plaintiff to the subject matter of the Civil Suit.
    1. How that right of the Plaintiff to the subject is effected / affected by the actions of the Defendants.
    1. Acts of the Defendants which are adverse to the interests of the Plaintiff in regards to the subject of the Civil Suit.
    1. List of all the Plaintiff’s Ante Litem Motam actions against the Defendants which were done to avoid the dispute.

POINT F. SPECIAL CASES AND DECLARATIONS

  1. Civil Suit must be in compliance of the Special Cases such as declaration under
    1. Statutory Declaration of the Recovery Suit in accordance with Order XXXVII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
    1. Statutory Declaration of the Interpleader Suit in accordance with Section 88 Read with Order XXXV of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  2. Each Civil Suit must declare that No other similar Civil Suit or Petition has been preferred by the Plaintiff for the seeking efficacious remedy on similar cause of action before any other Hon’ble Court of competent jurisdiction.

POINT G. DOCUMENTS IN SUPPORT OF THE CIVIL SUIT

  1. Civil Suit must accompany with the documents in support of the Cause of Action in accordance with Order XII of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  2. The documents must be succinctly marked with a number for identification and be placed along with the Civil Suit.
  3. Documents such as Notice under the aegis of Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 or legal notice to the Defendants.

POINT H. SUIT VALUATION AND COURT FEE DECLARATION

  1. Civil Suit must be valued in accordance with the provisions of the Suit Valuation Act, 1887 according to the subject matter / cause of action of the Civil Suit.
  2. The Civil Suit must be accompanied with the appropriate Court Fee as per the deemed valuation of the Civil Suit in accordance with Section 7 of the Court Fee Act, 1870.
  3. It is highly advised to make a declaration on the Court Fee Clause that the “Plaintiff would further deposit the Court Fee in accordance with the appropriate directions of the Hon’ble Court if deemed necessary”.

POINT I. VERIFICATION AND AFFIDAVIT OF THE CIVIL SUIT

  1. Civil Suit must be accompanied by the verification and affidavit of the pleading of the Plaint in accordance with Order VI Rule 15 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  2. The verification must specifically mention that Plaintiff is duly verifying paragraphs which are correct based on his own knowledge and paragraphs which is based upon information received and believed to be true in his opinion.
  3. The Civil Suit must mention place and date where the verification of has been done by the plaintiff along with the affidavit in support of his pleadings.

POINT J. INTERLOCUTORY APPLICATIONS

  1. Civil Suit can be accompanied with interlocutory application for seeking immediate relief for the Plaintiff such as
    1. Temporary Injunction under the provision of ORDER XXXIX Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
    1. Institution of Commission under the provision of Section 75 read with ORDER XXVI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908
  • The function of the Interlocutory Application is to ensure that the preservation of the subject of the Civil Suit or situation arising negative action of the Defendants till the final disposal of the Civil Suit.