Outline of Fundamental Rules of Pleading

Outline of Fundamental Rules of Pleading

Introduction

Order 6 deals with the general scope of the pleadings.

  • Rule 1 defines the meaning
  • Rule 2 tells about the fundamental principles
  • Rule 3 to 13 ask parties to submit necessary particulars
  • Rule 14 and 15 talks about verification
  • Rule 16 gives power to court for striking down unnecessary pleadings.

Rule 1

  • Defined as a plaint or written statement.
  • A pleading is a statement of claim in which the plaintiff sets out his cause of action with all necessary particulars.
  • A defendant pleading is his written statement, in which the defendant deals with every material fact alleged by the plaintiff
  • Also states any new facts which are in his favour, adding such legal objections as he wishes to take to the claim.
  • Pleadings are statements in writing drawn up and the filed trial by and each giving party all to a case, stating what his contentions will be at such details as his opponent needs to know in order to prepare his case in answer.

Object
  • The whole object of pleadings is to bring parties to definite issues and to diminish expense and delay
  • To prevent surprise at the hearing.
  • A party is entitled to know the case of his opponent so that he can meet it.
  • The sole object of pleadings is to ascertain the real disputes between the parties.
  • To narrow down the area of conflict and to see where the two sides differ.
  • To preclude one party from taking the other by surprise and to prevent the miscarriage of justice.
  • The whole object of pleadings is to bring parties to an issue, and the meaning of the rules (relating to pleadings) was to prevent the issue being enlarged; which would prevent either party from knowing when the cause came on for trial, what the real point to be discussed and decided was. In fact, the whole meaning of the system is to narrow the parties to definite issues, and thereby to diminish expense and delay, especially as regards the amount of testimony required on either side at the hearing[1].
  • The object is twofold. First to afford the other side perspective and second to enable court in determining the real issues between the parties[2].

IMPORTANCE

  • They are the guide for the Litigation.
  • Determine on whom the burden of proof lies and who has the right to open the case.
  • Informs about the proper mode of trial.
  • Lay down the limit on the relief given by the court
  • Settles the proposition of the law in the case.

Fundamental Principles Of The Pleadings

Rule 2 (1)

  • Every pleading shall contain, and contain only a statement in a term of the material facts.
  • Pleadings should state facts and not law.
  1. It is the duty of the parties to state only the facts on which they rely for their claims.
  2. It is for the court to apply the law to the facts pleaded.
  3. Existence of a custom or usage is a question of fact which must be specifically pleaded.
  4. Waiver or negligence is a plea of fact and must be pleaded in the pleading.
  5. Construction or interpretation of a document, being a point of law, need not be pleaded.
  • The facts stated should be material facts.
  1. It means all facts upon which the plaintiff cause of action or the defendant defense depends.
  2. All the primary facts which must be proved at the trial by a party to establish
  3. The existence of a cause of action or his defense is material facts[3].
  4. They give the finishing touch to the basic contours of a picture already drawn so as to make it full, more detailed and more inform.
  5. Failure to state material facts, hence, will entail dismissal of the suit.
  6. In Virender Nath v. Satpal Singh[4], the Supreme Court said: “A distinction between material facts and particulars must not be overlooked. Material facts are primary or basic facts which must be pleaded by the plaintiff or by the defendant in support of the case set up by him either to prove his cause of action or defense. Particulars, on the other hand, are details support of material facts pleaded by the party. They amplify, refine and embellish material facts by a giving distinctive touch to the basic contours of a picture already drawn so as to make it full, more clearly and more informative, Particulars thus ensure the conduct of a fair trial and would not take the opposite party by surprise”.
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  • Pleadings should not state the evidence.
  1. The pleadings should contain only facta probanda (facts required to be proved).
  2. The facts or evidence by means of which the material facts are to be proved are called facta probantia and need rules of Rule not be stated in the pleadings.
  • The facts should be stated in a concise form.
  1. The pleadings should be drafted with sufficient brevity and precision.
  2. Must be precise, specific and unambiguous.
  3. The words in a “concise form” are definitely suggestive of the fact that brevity should be adhered to while drafting pleadings.

Rule 2(2)

  • Every pleading should be divided into paragraphs and sub-paragraphs.
  • Each allegation should be contained in a separate paragraph.

Rule 2 (3)

  • Dates, totals and numbers must be mentioned in figures as well as in words.

Rules For Pleading
  • RULE 4

In case of misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, wilful default or undue influence is pleaded, with stating particulars and dates and items.

If the particulars stated in the pleading are not sufficient and specific, the court should c insist upon the particulars, which give adequate notice to the other side of the case intended to be set up[5].

  • Rule 6

The performance of “condition precedents” is implied and non-performance need to be specifically and expressly pleaded.

  • Rule 7

Departure from the pleading is not allowed where else only by the way of amendment party can raise any ground of claim or any allegation with regard to facts inconsistent with the previous pleadings.

  • Rule 8

The enforceability, legality or validity of any contract is not affected by the bare denial of a contract by another party; it will be considered only as of the denial of factum of contract.

  • Rule 9

No documents should be set out in length in the submitted pleading unless words therein are material.

  • Rule 10

Wherever malice, fraudulent intention knowledge or other condition of the mind of a person is material, it may allege in the leading in pleading as the fact without settling the circumstances which are required to be inferred.

Such circumstances should really constitute evidence in proof of the material fact.

  • Rule 11

In case giving of notice to any person is necessary or a condition precedent, pleadings should only state regarding giving of such notice,

  • Without setting out the form or precise terms of such notice or the circumstances from which it is to be inferred unless they are material.
  • Rule 12

Implied contracts or relations between persons may be alleged as an act, and the series of letters, conversations and the circumstances from which they are to be inferred should be pleaded generally.

  • Rule 13

Facts need not be pleaded are

  1. the law presumes in favour of a party or
  2. As to which the burden of proof lies upon the other side.
  • Rule 14

The pleading need to be signed by

  • the party or
  • one of the parties or
  • By his pleader.

         A party to the suit should supply his address. Also, the supply address of the opposite party.

        The object for the party verification is made the responsibility for the statement for

  • To prevent disputes
  • Defending with the knowledge of the party
  • Who is responsible for verification[6]
  • Rule 15

Every pleading should be verified on affidavit by

  1. The party or
  2. by one f the parties or
  3. By a person acquainted with the facts of the case.
  • RULE 16

A court may order striking out a pleading in the case

  • Unnecessary,
  • Scandalous,
  • Frivolous,
  • Vexatious or
  • Tends to prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the suit
  • Abuse the process of the court.

                           This rule is based on ex debito justitiae (in the interest of justice).

[1] Throp v. Holdworth (1876) LR 33 Ch D 637

[2] AIR 1999 SC 162

[3] Gajanan Krishna v. Dattaii Raghobait, (1995) 5 SCC 347:

[4] AIR 2007 SC 581.

[5] Ladli Prashad v. Karnal Distillery Co. Ltd  AIR 1963 SC 1279

[6] A. K. K. Nambiar v Union Of India AIR 1970 SC 652

Also Read: Scope and Effect of Ex Parte Decree

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