Format of Different Legal Documents Frequently Used by Civil Lawyers: Dos and Don'ts

Civil Suit

Common Documents:

a) Pleadings (Plaint/ Complaint)
b) Written Statement
c) Summons
d) Affidavit
e) Verification
f) Vakalatnama

Various categories of Cases in a Civil Court:

1. Tort Claims–There are different categories of tort claims

• Negligence
• Intentional
• Strict liability

Fraud, False Imprisonment, Invasion of privacy, Medical malpractice, Assault are example to tort claims.

2. Breach of Contract Claims - When a party breaks the agreement. For example:

• Dispute between a landlord and tenant
• Dispute between a homeowner and building contractor
• Dispute over the sale of property
• Defective product sold
• Non-delivery of purchased products
• Violation of the business agreement

3. Equitable Claims­ - Filed to prevent a future harmful act. Equitable claims might ask court to:

• Put an injunction on a developer from building
• Have a party cease a certain activity
• Transfer property to rightful owner

4. Class action claims- The plaintiff is actually a group of people & class action suits are similar to tort cases. For Example: A company that exposes people to hazardous substances. Can be many

Stages of a Civil Suit

Stages

Tort Claims

(ASSAULT)

Breach of Contract Claims

(TENANCY DISPUTE)

Equitable Claims

(INJUNCTION)

Class Action Claims

(ADULTEROUSPRODUCT)

Stage 1

Complaint is filed

Complaint is filed

Plaint is filed

Complaint is filed

Stage 2

   

WS by defendant

 

Stage 3

   

Rejoinder by plaintiff

 

Stage 4

   

Framing of issue

 

Stage 5

   

Filing of Evidence

 

Stage 6

   

Decree passed by the Court

 

Plaint under order VII of the CPC means the statement of claims made by the Plaintiff. These are the material facts.

Written Statement under order VIII of the CPC Statement of defence made by the Defendant dealing with each material fact in Plaint.

Factors to be considered before drafting a document

Plaint

Plaint Structure

1. Heading and Title

The Plaint shall include name of the Court in which the suit is brought. If the Court has various jurisdictions then the jurisdiction in which suit is brought should be stated.

The Plaint should include-

1. Number of the suit (including year)

2. Title or Cause Title-

Name, description and place of residence of Plaintiff
v.
Name, description and place of residence of Defendant

[Description includes- name of the father, age and particulars necessary to identify the person]

2. Body of the Plaint

The body of the Plaint contains the Plaintiff's statement of claim and other matters which he/she is legally required to state. Body of the Plaint is composed of two portions:

Formal portion which shall include

I. Statement as to when the Cause of Action arose [Order VII R1(e)]
II. Facts showing that the Court has jurisdiction [Order VII R1(f)].
III. Statement of the value of the subject-matter of the suit for the purposes of jurisdiction and of Court-fees so far as the case admits [Order VII R1(i)]
IV. Statement stating that the suit is within limitation [Order VII R6]

Substantial Portion which shall include

I. Matters of inducement or introductory facts Shall include Statement of all the facts constituting the Cause of Action. It is important to state in properly because non-showing of Cause of Action his Plaint is ought to be rejected.

II. Particulars of those facts which are necessary.

3. Relief Claimed

Different kinds of reliefs are claimed in a plaint which can be recovery of debt, damages, or movable property; possession of immovable property, declaration of title, specific performance, injunction etc.

Whatever relief claimed must be stated in the Plaint specifically; as reliefs claimed in the Plaint cannot be supplemented by oral prayer

If a Plaintiff can claim more than one relief on the same Cause of Action, the plaintiff must claim all; otherwise he shall not be entitled to bring a new suit for omitted reliefs, unless the omission was with the leave of the Court. [Order II R2]

Damages are of two kinds: -

1. General damages
2. Special damages

WRITTEN STATEMENT

The Defendant requires filing a written statement of his defence under Order VIII R1 as amended by the 2002 amendment Act within 30 days the service of summons on him which can be extended to 90 days according to the proviso.

It is the duty of the Defendant to raise all the pleas in the Written Statement else Plaint averments are deemed to be admitted and the pleas not raised cannot be allowed to be raised at the hearing.

A 'subsequent pleading' by the Plaintiff, either in reply to Defendant's claim of set-off or Counter Claim or with leave of the Court, in answer to Defendant's pleas in defence, is also called a “written statement” (also called Replication or Rejoinder)

Please Note-Examine Plaint carefully to understand the claim. If any fact/particular is required by Defendant to draw up his defence then he must apply for the Plaintiff to provide it before Defendant drafts written statement. He may apply for inspection/ discovery of documents

Forms of Defence

  • Traverse: where the Defendant totally and categorically denies the Plaint allegations.
  • Special defence (pleas in confession and avoidance): where he admits the allegations but seeks to destroy their effect by alleging affirmatively certain facts of his own.
  • An objection on point of law: limitation, jurisdiction, Cause of Action not disclosed etc.

Affidavit

When do I file an affidavit?

The deponent requires to finish an affidavit under R15(4) CPC in support of his/her pleadings. This is further required by section 26(2) of the Code which deal which institution of suits. It requires in every Plaint to be proved by an affidavit.

Formal Requirements

Affidavit is required in addition of verification to put an extra burden on the parties to:

a. Not to submit incorrect and frivolous pleadings

b. To be more responsible

c. Not to burden the courts with irrelevant pleadings.

Ingredients-

1. Heading and Title like the pleadings
2. General statement stating: “affidavit of X, s/o ....., age ..., r/o ...
3. I the above-named deponent do hereby solemnly affirm and declare as under.

Please Note-

Only attach documents that are essential to establish your case.

If you are illiterate, you must have had the affidavit read to you.

Affidavit must be sworned or affirmed in front of a qualified person.

Verification

Verification means checking or proof reading of the pleadings. Every pleading needs to be verified under Order 6 Rule 15 (1) of CPC. A party or one of the parties may verify the pleadings.

Vakalatnama

Vakalatnama is a species of Power of Attorney. It is that important document, which enables and authorizes the pleader appearing for a litigant to do several acts as an Agent, which is binding on the litigant who is the principal. It is a document which creates the special relationship between the lawyer and the client.

SAMPLE:

Q. A is residing on B's property as a tenant. A constructed two rooms on the rented property with the consent of the owner. Now A is facing problems by the employees of B and is forced to disposes the said property forcibly. What shall A do?

A. The aggrieved party shall file a suit for permanent injunction. Draft of the suit and other documents are attached below.

SUIT FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION

IN THE COURT OF SENIOR CIVIL JUDGE (DISTRICT ___________), DELHI
SUIT NO. ____________ OF 20..
IN THE MATTER OF:
Sh. X,
S/o
R/o. ........ PLAINTIFF
VERSUS
Shr. Y,
S/o'
R/o ...... DEFENDANTS

SUIT FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:

1. That the plaintiff is the permanent resident of the above-mentioned address in property bearing no. ________ Uttam Nagar, New Delhi for the last many year and is living with wife and minor children, as a tenant.

2. That the plaintiff is a tenant in respect of the above said property bearing no._____________Uttam Nagar, New Delhi consisting two rooms, latrine and kitchen in the above said premises of Rent Rs. 1500/- (fifteen hundred only) p.m. excluding electricity and water charges under the tenancy of late Sh_________ who died on 17.10.2013 and late Sh. _____ used to collect the rent from the plaintiff but late Sh. _____did not issued any rent receipt to the plaintiff even after several demands made by the plaintiff but he always used to postpone the issue of rent receipt.

3. That the plaintiff spent a huge amount on the construction of these two rooms in the above said premises at the request of Late Sh. _____and Sh. _____assured the plaintiff to adjust the said rent (the plaintiff is having the necessary documents/proofs of material for construction of rooms in the above said property). It is also pertinent to mention here that the plaintiff looked after late Sh. ______ many a times, whenever he fell ill.

4. That at present the plaintiff is having the peaceful possession of premises no. ____________Uttam Nagar, New Delhi and is having the whole necessary documents/record regarding possession (photocopy of Ration Card, School Card is enclosed herewith) but the above said defendants are intended to disturb the peaceful physical possession of the plaintiff of the above said premises.

5. That the plaintiff is having the whole necessary household goods which are lying/kept in the above said premises and is living peacefully.

6. That the plaintiff has paid the agreed rent @ Rs. 1500/- p.m. to late Sh. ______up to Oct. 2013. It is also pertinent to mention hare that the legal hairs of late Sh. ______are not in the knowledge of the plaintiff and at present also the plaintiff is ready to tender the rent before the legal heirs of late Sh. _________.

7. That on dt. 30.1.2015 the above said defendant came to the above said premises of the plaintiff and threatened the plaintiff to vacate the tenanted premises immediately otherwise the plaintiff would have to face dire consequences, when the plaintiff asked about their identity then they did not disclose the same, instead started throwing household goods forcibly and illegally and started to quarrel with the plaintiff when the local residents/neighbors intervened in the matter then the defendants left the spot after threatening for dire consequences and to dispossess the plaintiff forcibly and illegally in the near future with the help of local goondas. The defendants openly stated that the staff of police post Matiala dances at their tune and it is very easy job for them to dispossess any person or to grab the property of any one with the help of the police staff.

8. That immediately on the same date the plaintiff rushed to the police post Matiala to lodge his report against the defendants regarding such incident, but duty officer did not lodge the report of the plaintiff. The plaintiff was surprised to see that both the defendants were already present at the Police Post Matiala.

9. That on 10.2.2015, the plaintiff sent a Registered Notice to the defendant no. 1 and copy to Chowki in charge Police Post Matiala by Regd. A.D. (copy of the same is enclosed herewith) but P.P. Matiala staff has not taken any action against the defendants for reasons best known to them.

10. That on 11.2.2015, the defendants along with two unknown persons/ whom the plaintiff can recognize by face, came to the above said premises bearing no. _______ Uttam Nagar, and knocked at the door at odd hours and threatened the plaintiff to come out of the room. The plaintiff saw their faces from gaps of the door and the plaintiff got nervous, and therefore did not come out of two-room apartment. The said persons threatened the plaintiff to vacate the premises immediately. However, then the neighbors gathered there, and they restrained the defendants from dispossessing the plaintiff from the above said premises forcibly and illegally. When the neighbors threatened them, they left the spot with a threat to come after one or two days with heavy force to dispossess the plaintiff from the above said premises forcibly and illegally.

11. That on de. 12.2.2015, the plaintiff again went to the police post Matiala to lodge the report against the defendants but no Police Officer of P. Post Matiala is ready to listen against the defendants and they advised the plaintiff to approach to the competent court of law to seek his remedy and to get injunction order against the defendants and the P.S. Matiala.

12. That the plaintiff has no other efficacious remedy except to approach to this Hon'ble court for seeking relief of injunction against the defendants from interfering in the peaceful possession of the premises no. __________Uttam Nagar, New Delhi.

13. That the cause of action arose on different date when the defendants threatened the plaintiff to vacate the premises no. __________Uttam Nagar, New Delhi and threatened the plaintiff of dire consequences and further to dispossess him from the above premises bearing no._____________Uttam Nagar, New Delhi forcibly and illegally. The cause of action lastly arose on dt. 11.2.2015 when the defendants again threatened and tried to dispossess the plaintiff from the premises no. ______ Uttam Nagar, New Delhi forcibly and illegally with the connivance of the Local Police. The cause of action still subsists as the threat of the defendants to dispossess the plaintiff and to create disturbance in the peaceful possession of the premises no._______ Uttam Nagar, New Delhi continues.

14. That the parties to the suit for the purpose (s) of court fee and jurisdiction is ........ on which the requisite court fee has affixed.

15. This Hon'ble Court has jurisdiction to entertain this suit because the part of the cause of action arose at Delhi and the suit property is situated within the territorial jurisdiction of this Hon'ble Court.

PRAYER

It is, therefore most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to: -

a. Pass the decree for Permanent Injunction in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendants thereby restraining the defendants, their representatives, employees, agents etc. from dispossessing the plaintiff forcibly and illegally from the tenanted premises bearing no. _______ Uttam Nagar, New Delhi and also from interfering in the peaceful possession of the above said premises.

b. Award cost of the suit in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendants;

c. Pass such other and further order(s) as may be deemed fit and proper on the facts and in the circumstances of this case.

Date:

Place: Plaintiff

Through
Advocate

[NOTE: This plaint has to be supported by an affidavit and Verification]

WRITTEN STATEMENT
IN THE COURT OF SHRI ........................ CIVIL JUDGE
(DISTRICT __________), DELHI
SUIT NO. ................................OF 201..
X_______________ ..... PLAINTIFF
VERSUS
Y_________________ ...... DEFENDANT
WRITTEN STATEMENT OF BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT

MOST RESPECTFULLY SHOWETH:

PRELIMINARY OBJECTIONS:

1. That the suit is barred by limitation under Article .......... of the Limitation Act and is liable to be dismissed on this short ground alone.

2. That this Hon'ble Court has no jurisdiction to entertain and try this suit because the suit property lies outside its jurisdiction OR because the defendant or all/either of the defendants permanently resides, work for gain or does business outside the jurisdiction of this Court.

3. That the suit has not been properly valued for the purpose of court fees and jurisdiction and is therefore liable to rejected out rightly.

4. That there is absolutely no cause of action in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant. The suit is therefore liable to be rejected on this ground also.

5. That the suit is bad for non-joinder of necessary parties, namely ..........................

6. That the suit is bad for mis-joinder of Z.

7. That the suit is barred by the decree dated ................... passed in suit No....................... titled Y Versus X by Sh. ..........................., Sub-Judge, Delhi, the present suit is therefore barred by the principle of res-judicata and therefore liable to be dismissed on this short ground alone.

8. That the suit is liable to be stayed as a previously instituted suit between the parties bearing No.................. is pending in the Court of Sh. ......................., Sub-Judge, Delhi.

9. That the suit has not been properly verified in accordance with law.

10. That the Plaintiff's suit for permanent injunction is also barred by Section 41 (i) of the Specific Relief Act because he has not approached this Hon'ble Court with clean hands and his conduct has been most unfair, dishonest and tainted with illegality.

11. That the Plaintiff's suit for declaration is barred by Section 34 of the Special Relief Act as the plaintiff has omitted to claim further consequential relief available to him.

12. That the suit is barred by Section 14 of the Specific Relief Act as the contract of personal service cannot be enforced.

13. That the suit is liable to be dismissed outrightly as the Plaintiff has not given the mandatory notice under Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure/Section 14 (1) (a) Rent Control Act/Section 478 of the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act.

14. That the suit is liable to be dismissed as the Plaintiff firm is not registered under Section 69 of the Indian Partnership Act and as such is not competent to institute this suit.

15. That the present suit is barred by Section 4 of the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988, and is therefore liable to be dismissed outrightly.

ON MERITS:

Without prejudice to the preliminary objections stated above, the reply on merits, which is without prejudice to one another, is as under: -

1. That para 1 of the plaint is correct and is admitted.

2. That the contents of para 2 of the plaint are denied for want of knowledge. The Plaintiff is put to the strict proof of each and every allegation made in the para under reply.

3. That the contents of para 3 of the plaint are absolutely incorrect and are denied. It is specifically denied that the Plaintiff is the owner of the suit properly. As a matter of fact, Mr. N is the owner of the suit properly.

4. That with respect to para 4 of the plaint, it is correct that the Defendant is in possession of the suit properly. However, the remaining contents of para under reply are absolutely incorrect and are denied.

5. It is specifically denied that...................... 5-10. (Each and every allegation must be replied specifically depending upon the facts of each case.

6. That.....
7. That....
8. That....
9. That....
10. That....

11. That para 11 of the plaint is incorrect and is denied. There is no cause of action in favour of the Plaintiff and against the Defendant because....................... The plaintiff is therefore liable to be rejected outrightly.

12. That para 12 is not admitted. This Hon'ble Court has no jurisdiction to entertain this suit because the subject matter of this suit exceeds the pecuniary jurisdiction of this Hon'ble Court.

13. The para 13 is not admitted. The suit has not been properly valued for the purpose of court fee and jurisdiction. According to the Defendant the correct valuation of the suit is Rs...................

PRAYER:

It is, therefore most respectfully prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased to:

a) Dismiss the suit of the plaintiff.
b) Award costs to the defendant.
c) Pass any other just and equitable order as deemed fit in the interest of justice.

DATE: DEFENDANT PLACE: THROUGH ADVOCATE

VERIFICATION:

Verification at Delhi on .... day...... of, 20.... that the contents of paras 1 to ..... Of the preliminary objection and para....to.... of reply on merits are true to my personal knowledge and those of paras .... to ..... of preliminary objection and para....to.... of reply on merits are true & correct on the basis of legal advice received and believed to be true. Last para is prayer to the Hon'ble Court.

DEFENDANT

[NOTE: Counter Claim, set off can be joined in the Written Statement and the same may be verified and supported by affidavit] 

 

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