The general view of the court shows the judge sitting in the higher position and the counsel of the parties pleading before the judge. The Civil Procedure Code, 1908 (hereinafter CPC) defines the pleading in the Order VI Rule as “Pleading” shall mean plaint or written statement.” The CPC contains Orders and Rules which describes plaint, written statement, plaintiffs, defendants and many more such rules which are necessary to be followed. In this article, some important provisions of Order VI, VII, and VIII of the CPC will be discussed.
Order VI contains 18 rules about the pleading. What is pleading? It is described in Rule 1 as mentioned in the introduction above. The plaint is of the plaintiff and the written statement is of the defendant. The object of the pleading has been described by the courts and it is to afford the other side intimation regarding the particular facts of his case so that they may be met by the other side and is to enable the court to determine what the issue between the parties is really. Rule 2 establishes some basic rules for the pleading. The basic four rules are:
1) Facts should be pleaded, not a law
2) Material facts should be provided
3) Evidence should not be pleaded
4) Facts should be mentioned in a concise form.
Other rules which it states are that pleading should be divided into different paragraphs and should be numbered. Date, sums, and numbers shall be expressed in both figures and words.
The parties should plead the facts, not the law. The legal consequences flow from the facts need not be pleaded.[III] The material facts are the important facts of the pleading and non-stating of one material fact can turn the plea into a bad plea. Particulars, whereas, are the detailed facts that present the full scene of the cause of action and provide details to the opposite parties.[IV] The other basic rule is that pleading should contain facts, not the means to prove the facts. The facts are of two different types: facta probandaand facta probantia. Facta Probanda should be pleaded which means the facts which are needed to be proved no the means which prove the facts (Facta probantia). Denial of contract by the opposing party is construed as the denial in fact but not the legality of such contract.[V] Notice to the other party[VI], malice or another state of mind can be presented as the matter of fact[VII] and any matter of facts needs not to be presented if the law presumes it in the favor of the party.[VIII] Rule 3 mentions the forms of pleadings that are provided in Appendix A. Non-compliance with Rule 3 will not dismiss the suit.[IX]
Rule 4 provides the instances where the particulars can be provided in the pleadings. This should be read with Rule 10. They can be provided when the party alleges “misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, wilful default, or undue influence, and in all other cases in which particulars may be necessary beyond such as are exemplified in the forms.” Rule 10 mentions particularly the intention of the mind.
No party is allowed to change any allegation which is against the allegation in the previous pleading except by the way of amendment. Rule 7 should be read with Rule 17 which mentions the amendment in the plea. The court can allow either party to change or alter his pleading at any stage on the ground of just and the necessity for determining the real questions in dispute.
Rule 14 and 15 provide the verification of the pleading. Where Rule 14 mentions the signature by the pleading party and the leader (if any) and if not possible by the pleading party then any person authorized by the pleading party can put his signature and Rule 15 mentions the verification. The person verifying the pleading should verify the paragraphs of the pleading on the knowledge of what he has and what he believes to be true and while verifying he must put the signature along with the date, place, and affidavit.
Rule 16 or 18 mentions the power of the court to strike the pleading or the part of it.
In this Rules are mentioned about the plaint which is the pleading by the plaintiff. The important things which plaint should contain are mentioned in Rule 1. They are the: name of the court where the suit is filed; details of the plaintiff like name, address; and of the defendant also; if any of the parts is of unsound mind or minor then statement should be made of that; cause of action; jurisdiction of the court; relief; the value of the subject matter and court fees.
In money suits, the precise amount of money should be mentioned in the suit, and where the immovable property is the subject matter then the description should be provided of it so then it can be identified.[X]
When the plaintiff is the representative then the actual interest should be there in the subject matter and the same should plaint prove in respect of the defendant.[XI] Relief has to be specifically mentioned and the relief not mentioned in the plaint cannot be granted.[XII]
If the suit is barred by the limitation period then the specific reason to be mentioned in the suit and it is at the discretion of the court to allow the suit.
Rule 11 mentions the ground on which the plaint can be rejected. They are: when the course of action is not mentioned; when the relief is undervalued and returned to the plaintiff for the correction but not done in the fixed time given by the court and the same goes with plaint written on the insufficiently stamped paper; when the plaint is barred by any law and goes against rule 9. The order of such rejection must be recorded as mentioned in Rule 12.[XIII] Rule 13 makes it clear that rule 11 does not bar the plaintiff to institute a new plaint.
This Order contains the rules for the written statement. Rule 1 mentions the time period to present the written statements and the reply not to present the written statement which is thirty days and ninety days respectively. Although, it is at the discretion of the court to extend the time and the courts have interpreted this rule as not mandatory.[XIV]
The defendant can put the new facts to deny the facts provided in the plaint[XV] but that denial should not be evasive, it should be specific as mention in Rule 2 and 3. When the denial is not specific in nature then the facts in the plaint can be accepted but that is at the discretion of the court.[XVI] The court also has the discretion to give the ex parte judgment but the plant should be conclusive.[XVII]
 Virendra v. Vinayak, (1999) 1 SCC 47.[II]GouriDutt v. Madho Prasad, AIR 1943 PC 147: 209 IC 192.[III] Union of India v. Nawa Bros., AIR 1961 SC 600.[IV]SopanSukhdeo Sable v. Asstt. Charity Commr., (2004) 3 SCC 137[V]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 6, Rule 8, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[VI]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 6, Rule 11, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[VII]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 6, Rule 10, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[VIII]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 6, Rule 13, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[IX]Vairavan v. Vidhyanandanam, AIR 1996 Mad 353.[X]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 7, Rule 2&3, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[XI]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 7, Rule 4, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[XII]Union of India v. Ibrahim Uddin, (2012) 8 SCC 148 : (2012) 4 SCC (Civ) 362.[XIII]Ram Prakash Gupta v. Rajiv Kumar Gupta, (2007) 10 SCC 59.[XIV]Zolba v. Keshao, (2008) 11 SCC 769; See also Salem Advocate Bar Assn. (2) v. Union of India, (2005) 6 SCC 344.[XV]The Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Oder 8, Rule 2, No. 5 of 1908, Acts of Parliament (India).[XVI]See Food Corporation of India v. Pala Ram, (2008) 14 SCC 32 : (2009) SCC (L&S) 690. See also, M. VenkataramanaHebbar v. M. Rajagopal Hebbar, (2007) 6 SCC 401.[XVII]Bogidhola Tea & Trading Co. Ltd. v. Hira Lal Somani, (2007) 14 SCC 606.