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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) is the legal framework that governs and manages civil cases in India.
  • Order 7 of CPC 1908 defines the particulars of the plaint, particulars to be contained in money suit, when immovable property is the subject matter of the suit and much more regarding plaint. 
  • Order 7 Rule 1 of CPC 1908 defines essentials of the plaint. Any civil case must have a plaint as a necessary component. 
  • Order 7 Rule 11 of CPC 1980; the major goal is to dismiss first complaints that are premature, unreasonable, and inappropriate in character, sparing judicial time and money.

INTRODUCTION 

The Civil Procedure Code has a definition of the word "plaint." A plaint is a statement that contains the pleadings or arguments that the plaintiff wants to present to the court. To put it simply it is a declaration that details the plaintiff's basis for filing a lawsuit and lists the remedies the plaintiff requests of the court.

The plaintiff should specify in his complaint when the cause of action originated. This will make it easier for the defendant to fight against the claim and for the court to decide if the plaintiff's claim for a cause of action has merit both legally and factually.

According to this Code, the court must decide whether or not a civil lawsuit may be maintained before accepting it for filing. Order 7 Rule 11 establishes the grounds for rejecting a plaint. While Order 7 Rule 10 mandates that the lawsuit must be returned to or given to the court where it should have been filed if the court determines that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the case at any point throughout the litigation.

RULES ELABORATING PLAINT

  • Rule 1 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Particulars of the plaint"

The following necessities required are such that; the jurisdiction of the court that the lawsuit was filed in, the plaintiff's name, identification, and domicile. A declaration to that effect must be appended if either the plaintiff or defendant in the lawsuit is a juvenile or of incompetent mental capacity. The details that make up the cause of action and the time it started. The details demonstrating that the court being petitioned has competence to examine the case. The remedy that the plaintiff is asking for, the amount waived in circumstances where the plaintiff has allowed or permitted setoff of a portion of his claim.

  • Rule 2 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "In money suits"

When the plaintiff aims to recover money, the plaint must contain the exact amount sought; however, when the plaintiff sues for money gains, an amount that will be determined to be owed to him after considering unresolved accounts between him and the defendant, for movables in the defendant's possession, or for debts whose values he cannot reasonably estimate after exercising due diligence, the plaint must contain an approximation of the value or sum sued for.

  • Rule 3 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "When the subject-matter is immovable property"

When immovable property is the subject of the lawsuit, the plaint must provide a description of the property that is adequate to identify it. If the property may also be recognised by limits or digits in a settlement or survey record, the plaint must mention those bounds or numbers.

  • Rule 4 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Plaintiff filing as representative"

When a plaintiff files a lawsuit in a representative capacity, the plaint must demonstrate both the plaintiff's true interest in the matter and that he has taken the appropriate procedures to be allowed to file the lawsuit.

  • Rule 5 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 " Liability and interest of the defendant to be shown"

The complaint must establish the defendant's interest in the subject matter and his claim to such interest, as well as the fact that he may be required to respond to the plaintiff's demand.

  • Rule 6 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Grounds of exemption from limitation law"

When a lawsuit is filed after the statute of limitations has run out, the plaint must specify the legal theory supporting the claim of exemption. If a basis not stated in the plaint is compatible with the grounds stated in the plaint, the court may allow the plaintiff to seek exclusion from the legislation of limitation on such ground.

RULES DEALING WITH RELIEF AND POWER OF APPELLATE COURT

  • Rule 7 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Relief to be specified"

Every plaint must specify the relief that the plaintiff seeks, either explicitly or implicitly. It is not required to ask for broad or other remedies, since the court may determine that it would have the same impact even if it had been requested. The same standard also applies to any relief that the defendant requests in his written statement.

  • Rule 8 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Relief asked on separate cause"

The plaintiff must explain each claim or cause of action as clearly and independently as possible when seeking justice on behalf of many conflicting statements or causes of action that are supported by distinct and separate causes.

  • Rule 9 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Procedure to be followed when  admitting plaint- compact statements"

A list of the supporting papers must be endorsed on the plaint or annexed to it by the plaintiff. If the plaint is accepted, the plaintiff must thereafter appear within the time frame that the court may establish or occasionally extend. As many copies of the plaint on plain paper as there are defendants, except if the court grants him permission to present a similar number of brief summaries of the nature of the point raised or the relief sought in the suit, in which instance he shall display such summaries due to the length of the plaint, the number of defendants, or for any other justifiable grounds.

The plaintiff must serve the defendants with a summons within the time frame the court has set or has extended. This is done by making the necessary amount. When a plaintiff or defendant is being sued in a legislative capacity, it must be made clear in the statement how the plaintiff or defendant is being sued. With the court's permission, the plaintiff is permitted to modify these assertions to align them with the plaint. If, after review, the chief ministerial officer of the Court determines that the list, copies, or declarations are accurate, he must sign them.

  • Rule 10A Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 " The court setting the date for appearance in the court where the plaint must be filed upon its return."

In cases where the court feels that the plaint must be restored after the defendant has arrived, it must inform the plaintiff before taking such action. The plaintiff is not allowed to appeal over the order dismissing the plaint if the application submitted by the plaintiff pursuant to sub-rule (2) is granted by the Court.

  • Rule 10B Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Appellant’s court power to refer a case to the appropriate court.”

If a court upholding an appeal affirms the plaint return order, the court of appeal may, upon returning the plaint, instruct the plaintiff to file the plaint if the plaintiff so requests by application. This is subject to the limitations set forth in Section 36 of the Limitation Act of 1963, which specifies the court where the action should have been filed and sets down a date for the presence of the parties in the court where the plaint is to be filed.

When a date is set, it is not essential for the court where the plaint was made to provide the defendant with a summons to appear in court, except if the court where the plaint was filed specifically orders accordingly for reasons that must be documented. The parties' rights to contest the Court's jurisdiction where the plaint was filed to hear the case will not be harmed by the directive given by the Court pursuant to sub-rule (1).

RULE FOR REJECTION OF PLAINT 

In the following circumstances, the complaint should be dismissed and this is discussed under Rule 11

  • If no cause of action has been disclosed
  • When the remedy sought is undervalued and the plaintiff refuses to update the valuation after being ordered by the court to do so within a certain amount of time.
  • When the plaintiff is requested by the court to provide the necessary stamp-paper within a deadline that will be set by the court and fails to do so. The relief sought is duly valued, but the plaint is returned on paper that is improperly stamped.
  • In cases where it appears that the lawsuit is unlawfully banned based on the plaint's assertion.

The Court may, for causes to be noted, extend the deadline for the adjustment of the valuation or the provision of the necessary stamp-paper, as applicable, if it determines that the plaintiff was precluded from doing so by an exceptional circumstance that prevented them from doing so within the deadline and that the failure to do so would result in grave injustice to the plaint.

Rule 12 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Procedure on rejecting plaint"

When a plaint is dismissed, the judge must document an order towards that effect together with the justification for the decision.

Rule 13 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Rejection of plaint not affecting the filing of new plaint"

The plaintiff is not automatically barred from filing a new complaint based on the original cause of action if the first complaint is rejected for any of the reasons previously indicated.

Rule 14 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Document being produced on the grounds the plaintiff sues"

When a plaintiff brings a claim based on a document that is in his possession or under his control, he must exhibit the document in court along with the plaint and deliver it, or a duplicate of it, at the same time. List of further papers, (if he counts on any additional documents whether they are in his custody, under his control, or not) produce as proof for his argument, he must specify them in a list that will be attached or appended to the plaint.

Rule 15 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 " Documents that the plaintiff does not own or control"

If the plaintiff does not have custody or control of any such document, he must, if at all feasible, identify the person who does.

Rule 16 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Suits on lost negotiable instruments"

The Court may issue the same judgement as it would have if the plaintiff had generated the instrument in Court whenever the plaint was displayed and had concurrently supplied a copy of the instrument which needs to be submitted with the plaint in cases where the suit is based on a negotiable instrument, it is proven that the instrument is misplaced, and an indemnity is offered by the plaintiff, to the Court's expectations., against by the allegation of any other individual upon such instrument.

Rule 17 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Producing shop-book"

When the record upon which the plaintiff litigates is an input in a shop-book or any other account in his control or possession the plaintiff must generate the book or account there at moment he files the plaint, along with a copy of the entry he depends upon, unless the Bankers' Books Evidence Act, 1891 section 18 of 1891 provides otherwise.

The Court, or the official it designates in this regard, must immediately mark the record for identifying purposes. If the copy and the original are determined to be identical, the Court must declare that the copy is accurate, restore the original book to the plaintiff, and enable the copy to be lodged.

Rule 18 Order VII of Code of Civil Procedure 1908 "Non applicability of document which were not introduced at the time of filing the plaint"

Without the court's permission, a document that the plaintiff should have brought in court when the complaint was made or that should have been added to or attached to the complaint but wasn't, shall not be included as record on his behalf during the beginning of the lawsuit.

Nothing under this rule applies to papers presented during the defendant's witnesses' cross-examination, in response to any defence case put out, or presented to a witness simply to recharge his mind.

CASE LAW ELABORATING THE DEFINATION OF PLAINT 

Kuldeep Singh v. Ganpat Lal (1995) 

Under this case law Supreme Court observed that, to enable the court to determine whether the plaint reveals the cause of action since the plaint is subject to being denied under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC if it does not, Order 7 Rule 1(e) demands that the plaint must therefore comprise the specifications about the facts establishing the cause of action and when it originated. To assist the court in determining whether or not the lawsuit is time-barred, it is necessary for the plaint to state when such cause of action first materialised.

If the plaintiff had correctly stated the date when the cause of action originated and the lawsuit was still within the statute of limitations as of that date, any mistake would have been of little significance. In this instance, the plaintiff would still be eligible to request remedy from the court notwithstanding the inaccuracy in the plaint's reference of the date the cause of action arose.

Initially, the court must consider whether the facts raised by the plaintiff are a significant, essential, or integral component of the cause of action in order to decide whether they do or do not create a cause of action. When it is, then the action is caused by it; if not, then the action is not caused by it.  

Dahiben v. Arvindbhai Kalyani Bhanusali (2020)

The Gujarat High Court and the trial court in this instance both denied the application of the plaint, and the person who had been wronged, took the matter to the Supreme Court, where the same ruling was made.

The Court went a step farther, nevertheless, and clarified the real meaning of Order 7 Rule 11. Citing the Rajiv Gandhi case, the Court stated that Order 7 Rule 11's primary goal is to reject pointless and vexatious litigation, sparing the judiciary's time. Additionally, it said that any supporting documentation filed in accordance with Order 7 Rule 14 shall be viewed as a unit and an integral component of the plaint.

Additionally, it was stated that the court has the authority to dismiss the plaint if it determines that the lawsuit is pointless, unreasonable, or lacking in merit. Additionally, if it is proven that the plaint is deceptively written and fabricates the appearance of a cause of action; it must be dismissed to put an end to such frivolous litigation as soon as possible.

CONCLUSION 

In addition to making it simpler for the plaintiff to lodge a complaint and for the judiciary to decide whether or not there is a cause of action for subsequent hearing, Order 7 is essential in guaranteeing that the courts are not required to deal with frivolous law suits. More crucially, the Order has made sure that the court's jurisdiction to hear the issue is established in the plaint, eliminating any potential for further legal contention. Therefore, if you want to file a civil lawsuit for damages in the future, ensure that the plaint has all the information indicated in this article to avoid having your plaint dismissed by the court for failing to comply with Order 7 Rule 1's criteria.
 


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