An Advocate has to deal with numerous types of fillings during the course of their career, one of them is the filling of a Suit. This is not only one of the most important types of filling you will encounter, but also one which will involves a number of steps. The present Article therefore, attempts to break down the procedure for filling a suit, to make it as simple as possible for you to understand so that in the likelihood you are entrusted with the task of this type of filling you are somewhat prepared.
Various categories of Suit
Since the introduction of the Commercial Courts Act 2015, suits to be filed before any Court are primarily categorized into either an Ordinary Civil Suit or a Commercial Suit depending upon the nature of their dispute and are thereafter categorized into suit for recovery, eviction, possession, partition, permanent injunction, mandatory injunction, suit seeking damages, specific performance etc. depending the relief being sought.
A suit is categorized into a Commercial suit wherein, the dispute in question is covered under Sec 2(1) (c) of the Commercial Courts Act 2015.Such a suit is required to be filed before a designated Commercial Court. One should be aware of the category of suit they are about to file in order to avoid any difficulties later on.
Factors to be considered before filling a Suit
It is imperative that one is aware of both the correct pecuniary and territorial jurisdiction before filling a suit, as filling a suit before a Court lacking proper jurisdiction can result in the dismissal of the suit.
The Delhi High Court is one of the only 5 High Courts in India conferred with Original Civil side jurisdiction. In Delhi, suits valued over Rs. 2 Crore both of Civil and Commercial nature can be adjudicated by the Hon'ble High Court. Suits valued upto Rs. 2 crore have to be filed in the District Courts.
For determining the correct territorial jurisdiction one should refer to Sec 20 of the Civil Procedure Code 1908 which states as follows.
Section 20: Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises: Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in a Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction.
(a) the defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or
(b) any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally works for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or
(c) The cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
2[Explanation].-- A corporation shall be deemed to carry on business at its sole or principal office in 3
[India] or, in respect of any cause of action arising at any place where it has also a subordinate office, at such place.
Subject to the whole or part cause of action arising in Delhi all suits valued above Rs. 2 crore would be filed before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi. However, any suit valued upto Rs. 2 crore has to be filed before a District Court conferred with the appropriate territorial jurisdiction in terms of Sec 20 of the CPC. Delhi District Courts are divided into 11 Districts for jurisdictional purposes which are as follows:
(i)South, (ii)South-East, (iii)East, (iv)North-East, (v)Shahdara, (vi)South-West, (vii)North-West, (viii)West, (ix)Central, (x)New Delhi, (xi)North.
Procedural requirements before filling of a suit before District Courts:
Now once you have determined the category of the suit, its pecuniary and territorial jurisdiction comes the actual process of filling for which you need to be keep in mind the following:
(i) Fillings of a Suit is done on legal sized pages(A3) with left side margin of 1.7 inches on the page.
(ii) For seeking ad-interim ex-parte injunction an Application under Order 39 Rule 1& 2 of the CPC should be filed alongwith the plaint.
(iii) There are no Annexures Annexed with a plaint. Any document that has to be filed, is filed separately with a list of documents.
(iv) For filling any kind of suit a requisite Court fees has to be paid which varies from state to state. Court fee can be defined as a fee which may be imposed upon a litigant in order begin a lawsuit or start a legal dispute resolution case .For calculating the correct Court fee to be affixed on a suit, one has to keep in mind the Court Fees Act, 1870 and the Suits Valuation Act 1887.
In Delhi for eg. in a suit seeking prayer for Mandatory Injunction a fixed Court fee of Rs.200/- has to be paid, in a suit for Permanent inunction Court fee of Rs. 130/- has to be paid.
However, in a Suit for recovery of over Rs. 4 lakh the Court fee would depend on the amount you are seeking to recover based upon a fixed formula which is as follows:
For seeking recovery of upto Rs.4 lacs Court fee is already fixed in a table issued. For recovering Rs. 4 lakhs an amount of Rs 6248/- is pre-fixed to be paid.
However, for every subsequent Rs.5000/- to be recovered over an amount of Rs. 4 lakh an amount of Rs.48.80/- of court fees would be added.
So for eg. if you want to seek recovery of Rs. 6 lakhs , then on Rs.4 lakh, fee would be fixed as Rs. 6248/- and for remaining Rs. 2 lakh would be 2,00,000/5000 =40
Then 40*48.80=Rs 1952/-.
Thus, the Court fee payable in the case would be : Rs. 6248 + 1952=Rs.8200/-.
In a suit where more than one relief is sought such as recovery, mandatory as well as permanent injunction the Court fees of all the reliefs would be added.
Court fees can be bought from any Stock Holding Corporation India (SHCL) booth located at all Court Complexes.
(v) Apart from the said fee Welfare stamp of Rs. 25 is to be affixed on the vakalatnama alongwith a Court fee of Rs 3/-.
(vi) For filling of a Commercial suit one must keep in mind the additional requirements which are:
(a) a Statement of Truth in terms of Under First Schedule, Order VI- Rule 15A and Order XI- Rule 3 of CPC 1908 has to be filed alongwith the plaint;
(b) Signature on every page of the Plaint as well as the documents and applications by the by client is required;
(c) a para in the Plaint has to be mentioned stating that the matter is a Commercial matter covered under Sec 2(1)(c) of the Commercial Courts Act.
(vii) The affidavit to be filed alongwith the plaint or any accompanying Application needs to be attested before a notary as well as verified by an Advocate. An affidavit from outside Delhi can be sent after being notarized.
(viii) Once the Plaint is ready it has to be compiled in the order of :(1)Opening Sheets, (2) Index,(3) Court Fees,(4) Memo of Parties,(5)Plaint,(6)Affidavit,(7)List of Document alongwith document(8)Any Applications,(9)Vakalatnama to be put in a Blank file cover.
(ix) For filling a suit in District Courts usually only 1+1 sets (1 Original +1 photocopy) are required by the filling counter.
(x) Once you have completed these steps the Plaint is more or less ready for filling and can be presented before the appropriate filling window or counter. The filling Counter after receiving your plaint would check for any objection or defects in the case. It is always advisable to carry a whitener and some pens with you as any objections regarding numbering etc. can be removed at the spot.
(xi) Once the matter is cleared for listing a Unique registration number is given to your case.
Fresh matters after filling in District Courts usually get listed on the next day or a day after usually at 2 pm. The information regarding listing of the case such as the Court and Suit number is provided on the filling counter itself.
E-filling of Commercial Suits in District Courts has also started from 1st of March 2020.
Suits to be filed before the Hon'ble High Court of Delhi
The filling of a suit before the Delhi High Court varies somewhat from filling of a suit before the District Courts and is governed by the Delhi High Court Original Side (Rules) 2018. Under the said Rules notifications are issued from time to time which govern the filling procedure and require a strict adherence in order to get a matter listed.
While the basic principles for affixation of Court fees, Welfare stamp, attestation of affidavits remain the same, the actual format of the filling is different which is as follows:
(i) The first thing to keep in mind is that in High Court e-filling is done on the Original side after scanning on a CD therefore, it is always advisable to ensure that least number of objections/ defects are present at the time of filling in the suit. Otherwise, needless to say every time objections would be raised in filling you will have to file a fresh CD after removing them.
(ii) Suits to be filed before the High Court are required to be filed on A4 sheets with 1.7inch left margin.
(iii) Any document not legible should have a typed copy and a document in any other language than English would require a translated copy.
(iv) A Suit before the High Court is filed in four parts tied together by a Master Index which is as follows:
Urgent Application Synopsis & list Of dates Memo Of Parties
Plaint with supporting Affidavit
Affidavit under Sec 65-B of the Indian Evidence Act 1872
Applications required to be filed along with the suit such as under Order 39 Rule 1 & 2 CPC Application under Sec 151 CPC seeking exemption
Any Authority letter/ Board Resolution etc.
Vakalatnama List of reliance
Details of parties to documents(s)
Documents in power, possession control, custody of
Originals or photocopies ort office copies
Mode of Execution /issuance or receipt
Line of custody
(v) Commercial suits before the High Court are filed in the same 4 Sections format with a few departures such as:
(a) instead of the normal Affidavit with the Plaint a Statement of Truth is filed
(b) instead of Affidavit under Sec 65 B of the Evidence Act an affidavit under Order 11 (6) (3) CPC is to be filed,
(c) each page of the Plaint as well as the document will have to be duly signed by the client,
(d) the Plaint ought to contain a para under Sec 2(1) (c) of the Commercial Courts Act stating that the matter is a Commercial matter .
Once the Suit is filed a Diary number is issued and the suit will be referred by its diary number until all objections are removed and the suit is designated a number for listed. Any objections regarding the suit are informed on your registered mobile number and email Id, the said objections have to be removed within 30 days , otherwise a delay in re-filling would be counted.
While one cannot be an expert in the entire spectrum of filling for all courts, however, a basic understanding and knowledge in this respect is certainly helpful. If one is aware of these basic steps before filling a suit, it can help in streamlining the work and thereby make the filling process quicker and much easier without having to face unnecessary delays that one can encounter with incomplete or improper filling.