Pleading

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Under Rule 1 or Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 pleading can be defined as a written statement or the plaint. Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is concerned with the pleadings in generality. Rule 1 gives out the definition of pleading, while rule 2 sets out the basic principles of pleading. Rules 3 to 13 entails the parties to provide the necessary details. Rules 14 and 15 provide for the signing and verification of pleadings. Rule 16 empowers a Court to strike out the pleadings that is not needed. Articles 17 and 18 contain provisions relating to the modification of pleadings.

Object of pleadings

  • to bring the parties to specific issues;
  • to avoid surprises and miscarriages of justice;
  • to avoid unnecessary expense and trouble;
  • to save public time;
  • to eradicate irrelevance; and
  • to assist the Court

Each pleading must contain, and contain only, a statement in a concise form of the material facts on which the pleading party relies for its claim or defense, as the case may be, but not the evidence by which they must be proven. The pleadings are, if necessary, divided into paragraphs, numbered consecutively, each allegation being, as far as possible, contained in a separate paragraph. The dates, sums and numbers will be expressed in pleading in figures as well as in words.

The forms in Appendix A, if applicable, and where not applicable, forms of a similar character, as closely as possible, should be used for all pleadings. In the case of a commercial dispute, where forms of pleadings have been prescribed under the rules of the High Court or practice directions formulated for the purposes of such commercial disputes, the pleadings take such forms.

It is the fundamental rule of the pleading that the pleading must include the material facts and not the facts by means of which they are to be proved, that is to say the evidence. The term material facts have not been defined in the code. But the Court has defined this term in numerous court decisions. As in the Union of India v Sita Ram case, the Court was of view that material facts implies to all the facts on which the cause of action of the plaintiff or the defense of the defendant is relied upon, or in other words, all the facts which must be proven to establish the claimant’s right to plaint or the defendant’s defense in the written statement.

In case of Gouri Dutt Ganesh Lall Firm vs Madho Prasad, it was held that the pleading law can be summed up in four words; Plead facts not law

In case of Ram Prasad vs State of MP, it was held that a mixed question of law and fact, should be particularly pleaded.