Trial court

WHEREAS it is expedient to consolidate and amend the laws relating to the procedure of the Courts of Civil Judicature; it is hereby enacted as follows:PRELIMINARY 1. Short title, commencement and extent- (1) This Act may be cited as the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. (2) It shall come into force on the first day of January, 1909. [2][(3) It extends to the whole of India except(a) the State of Jammu and Kashmir; (b) the State of Nagaland and the tribal areas :

Provided that the State Government concerned may, by notification in the Official Gazette, extend the provisions of this Code or any of them to the whole or part of the State of Nagaland or such tribal areas, as the case may be, with such supplemental, incidental or consequential modifications as may be specified in the notification. Explanation-In this clause, “tribal areas” means the territories which, immediately before the 21st day of January, 1972 were included in the tribal areas of Assam as referred to in paragraph 20 of the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

(4) In relation to the Amindivi Islands, and the East Godavari, West Godavari and Visakhapatnam Agencies in the State of Andhra Pradesh and the Union territory of Lakshadweep, the application of this Code shall be without prejudice to the application of any rule or regulation for the time being in force in such Islands, Agencies or such Union territory, as the case may be, relating to the application of this Code. ] 2.

Definitions- In this Act, unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context,(1) “Code” includes rules; (2) “decree” means the formal expression of an adjudication which, so far as regards the Court expressing it, conclusively determines the rights of the parties with regard to all or any of the matters in controversy in the suit and may be either preliminary or final. It shall be deemed to include the rejection of a plaint and the determination of any question within [3]* * * section 144, but shall not include(a) any adjudication from which an appeal lies as an appeal from an order, or (b) any order of dismissal for default.

Explanation-A decree is preliminary when further proceedings have to be taken before the suit can be completely disposed of. It is final when such adjudication completely disposes of the suit, it may be partly preliminary and partly final; (3) “decree-holder” means any person in whose favour a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made; (4) “district” means the local limits of the jurisdiction of a principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction (hereinafter called a “District Court”), and includes the local limits of the ordinary original civil jurisdiction of a High Court;

(5) “foreign Court” means a Court situate outside India and not established or continued by the authority of the Central Government; (6) “foreign judgment” means the judgment of a foreign Court; (7) “Government Pleader” includes any officer appointed by the State Government to perform all or any of the functions expressly imposed by this Code on the Government Pleader and also any pleader acting under the directions of the Government Pleader; (7A) “High Court” in relation to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, means the High Court in Calcutta;

(7B) “India”, except in sections 1, 29, 43, 44, 44A, 78, 79, 82, 83 and 87A, means the territory of India excluding the State of Jammu and Kashmir; (8) “Judge” means the presiding officer of a Civil Court; (9) “judgment” means the statement given by the judge of the grounds of a decree or order; (10) “judgment-debtor” means any person against whom a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made; (11)

“legal representative” means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person, and includes any person who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased and where a party sues or is sued in a representative character the person on whom the estate devolves on the death of the party so suing or sued; (12) “means profits” of property means those profits which the person in wrongful possession of such property actually received or might with ordinary diligence have received therefrom, together with interest on such profits, but shall not include profits due to improvements made but the person in wrongful possession;

(13) “movable property” includes growing crops; (14) “order” means the formal expression of any decision of a Civil Court which is not a decree; (15) “pleader” means any person entitled to appear and plead for another in Court, and includes an advocate, a vakil and an attorney of a High Court; (16) “prescribed” means prescribed by rules : (17) “public officer” means a person falling under any of the following descriptions, namely:(a) every Judge; (b) every member of [4][an All-India Service];

(c) every commissioned or gazetted officer in the military, naval or air forces of the Union while serving under the Government. (d) every officer of a Court of Justice whose duty it is, as such officer, to investigate or report on any matter of law or fact, or to make, authenticate or keep any document, or to take charge or dispose of any property, or to execute any judicial process, or to administer any oath, or to interpret, or to preserve order, in the court, and every person especially authorized by a Court of Justice to perform any of such duties:

(e) every person who holds and office by virtue of which he is empowered to place or keep any person in confinement; (f) every officer of the Government whose duty it is, as such officer, to prevent offences to give information of offences, to bring offenders to justice, or to protect the public health, safety or convenience;

(g) every officer whose duty it is, as such officer, to take, receive, keep or expend any property on behalf of the Government, or to make any survey, assessment or contract on behalf of the Government, or to execute any revenue process, or to investigate, or to report on, any matter affecting the pecuniary interests of the Government, or to make, authenticate or keep any document relating to the pecuniary interests of the Government, or to prevent the infraction of any law for the protection of the pecuniary interests of the Government; and (h) every officer in the service or pay of the Government, or remunerated by fees or commission for the performance of any public duty; (18) “rules” means rules and forms contained in the First Schedule or made under section 122 or section 125;

(19) “share in a corporation” shall be deemed to include stock, debenture stock, debentures or bonds; and (20) “signed”, save in the case of a judgment or decree, includes stamped. 3. Subordination of Courts- For the purposes of this Code, the District Court is subordinate to the High Court, and every Civil Court of a grade inferior to that of a District Court and every Court of Small Causes is subordinate to the High Court and District Court. 4. Savings- (1) In the absence of any specific provision to the contrary, nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect any special or local law now in force or any special jurisdiction or power conferred, or any special form of procedure prescribed, by or under any other law for the time in force.

(2) In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the proposition contained in sub-section (1) nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect any remedy which a landholder or landlord may have under any law for the time being in force for the recovery of rent of agricultural land from the produce of such land. 5. Application of the Code of Revenue Courts- (1)

Where any Revenue Courts are governed by the provisions of this Code in those matters of procedure upon which any special enactment applicable to them is silent, the State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare that any portions of those provisions which are not expressly made applicable by this Code shall not apply to those Courts, or shall only apply to them with such modifications as the State Government may prescribe.

(2) “Revenue Court” in sub-section (1) means a Court having jurisdiction under any local law to entertain suits or other proceedings relating to the rent, revenue or profits of land used for agricultural purposes, but does not include a Civil Court having original jurisdiction under this Code to try such suits or proceedings as being suits or proceedings of a civil nature. 6. Pecuniary jurisdiction- Save in so far as is otherwise expressly provided, nothing herein contained shall operate to give any Court jurisdiction over suits the amount or value of the subject-matter of which exceeds the pecuniary limits (if any) of its ordinary jurisdiction. 7.

Provincial Small Cause Courts- The following provisions shall not extend to Courts constituted under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act, 1887 (9 of 1887) or under the Berar Small Cause Courts Laws, 1905, or to Courts exercising the jurisdiction of a Court of Small Causes under the said Act or Law or to Courts in any part of India to which the said Act does not extend exercising a corresponding jurisdiction that is to say,(a) so much of the body of the Code as relates to(i) suits excepted from the cognizance of a Court of Small Causes; (ii) the execution of decrees in such suits; (iii) the execution of decrees against immovable property ;

Andb (b) the following sections, that is to say,section 9, sections 91 and 92, sections 94 and 95 so far as they authorize or relate to(i) orders for the attachment of immovable property; (ii) injunctions, (iii) the appointment of a receiver of immovable property, or (iv) the interlocutory orders referred to in clause (e) of section 94 and sections 96 to 112 and 115. 8. Presidency Small Cause Courts- Save as provided in sections 24, 38 to 41, 75, clauses (a), (b) and (c), 76 [5][77, 157 and 158], and by the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, 1882, (15 of 1882) the provisions in the body of this Code shall not extend to any suit or proceedings in any Court of Small.

Causes established in the towns of Calcutta, Madras and Bombay : Provided that (1) the High Courts of Judicature at Fort William Madras and Bombay, as the case may be, may from time to time, by notifications in the Official Gazette, direct that any such provisions not inconsistent with the express provisions of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, 1882, (15 of 1882) and with such modifications and adaptation as may be specified in the notification, shall extend to suits or proceedings or any class of suits or proceedings in such Court: (2) all rules heretofore made by any of the said High Courts under section 9 of the Presidency Small Cause Courts Act, 1882 ( 15 of 1882) shall be deemed to have been validly made. STATE AMENDMENTS.

Gujarat- After the words Calcutta, Madras and Bombay the words “and in the City of Ahmedabad” shall be inserted. [Gujarat Act No. XIX of 1961]. PART I-SUITS IN GENERAL Jurisdiction of the Courts and Res judicata 9. Courts to try all civil suits unless barred? The Courts shall (subject to the provisions herein contained) have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred. [6] [Explanation I].? A suit in which the right to property or to an office is contested is a suit of a civil nature, notwithstanding that such right may depend entirely on the decision of questions as to religious rites or ceremonies. [7] [Explanation II].

For the purposes of this section, it is immaterial whether or not any fees are attached to the office referred to in Explanation I or whether or not such office is attached to a particular place. ]. STATE AMENDMENTS Maharashtra? After section 9 insert the following section 9A. “9A. Where at the hearing of application relating to interim relief in a suit, objection to jurisdiction is taken such issue to be decided by the court as a preliminary issue:? (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in this code or any other law for the time being in force, if at the hearing of any application for granting or setting aside an order granting any interim relief, whether by way of stay, injunction, appointment of a receiver or otherwise, made in any suit.

On objection to jurisdiction of the court to entertain such suit is taken by any of the parties to the suit the court shall proceed to determine at the hearing of such application the issue as to the jurisdiction as a preliminary issue before granting for setting aside the order granting the interim relief. Any such application shall be heard and disposed of by the court as expeditiously as possible and shall not in any case be adjourned to the hearing of the suit. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), at the hearing of any such application the court may grant such interim relief as it may consider necessary, pending determination by it of the preliminary issue as to the jurisdiction”. [Maharashtra Act No. 65 of 1977]. 10. Stay of suit?

No Court shall proceed with the trial of any suit in which the matter in issue is also directly and substantially in issue in a previously instituted suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim litigating under the same title where such suit is pending in the same or any other Court in India having jurisdiction to grant the relief claimed, or in any Court beyond the limits of India established or continued by the Central Government and having like jurisdiction, or before the Supreme Court. Explanation? The pendency of a suit in a foreign Court does not preclude the Courts in India from trying a suit founded on the same cause of action. 11. Res judicata?

No Court shall try any suit or issue in which the matter directly and substantially in issue has been directly and substantially in issue in a former suit between the same parties, or between parties under whom they or any of them claim, litigating under the same title, in a Court competent to try such subsequent suit or the suit in which such issue has been subsequently raised, and has been heard and finally decided by such Court. Explanation I.?

The expression “former suit” shall denote a suit which has been decided prior to the suit in question whether or not it was instituted prior thereto. Explanation II.? For the purposes of this section, the competence of a Court shall be determined irrespective of any provisions as to a right of appeal from the decision of such Court. Explanation III.? The matter above referred to must in the former suit have been alleged by one party and either denied or admitted, expressly or impliedly, by the other. Explanation IV.?

Any matter which might and ought to have been made ground of defence or attack in such former suit shall be deemed to have been a matter directly and substantially in issue in such suit. Explanation V.? Any relief claimed in the plaint, which is not expressly granted by the decree, shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to have been refused. Explanation VI.? Where persons litigate bona fide in respect of public right or of a private right claimed in common for themselves and others, all persons interested in such right shall, for the purposes of this section, be deemed to claim under the persons so litigating. [8] [Explanation VII.?

The provisions of this section shall apply to a proceeding for the execution of a decree and reference in this section to any suit, issue or former suit shall be construed as references, respectively, to proceedings for the execution of the decree, question arising in such proceeding and a former proceeding for the execution of that decree. Explanation VIII.? An issue heard and finally decided by a Court of limited jurisdiction, competent to decide such issue, shall operate as res judicata in as subsequent suit, notwithstanding that such Court of limited jurisdiction was not competent to try such subsequent suit or the suit in which such issue has been subsequently raised. ]

12. Bar to further suit.? Where a plaintiff is precluded by rules from instituting a further suit in respect of any particular cause of action, he shall not be entitled to institute a suit in respect of such cause of action in any Court to which this Code applies. 13. When foreign judgment not conclusive? A foreign judgment shall be conclusive as to any matter thereby directly adjudicated upon between the same parties or between parties under whom they or any of them claim litigating under the same title except? (a) where it has not been pronounced by a Court of competent jurisdiction; (b) where it has not been given on the merits of the case;

(c) where it appears on the face of the proceedings to be founded on an incorrect view of international law or a refusal to recognise the law of India in cases in which such law is applicable; (d) where the proceedings in which the judgment was obtained are opposed to natural justice; (e) where it has been obtained by fraud; (f) where it sustains a claim founded on a breach of any law in force in India. 14. Presumption as to foreign judgments.? The Court shall presume upon the production of any document purporting to be a certified copy of a foreign judgment that such judgment was pronounced by a Court of competent jurisdiction, unless the contrary appears on the record; but such presumption may be displaced by proving want of jurisdiction. Place of suing 15. Court in which suits to be instituted?

Every suit shall be instituted in the Court of the lowest grade competent to try it. 16. Suits to be instituted where subject-matter situate? Subject to the pecuniary or other limitations prescribed by any law, suits? (a) for the recovery of immovable property with or without rent or profits, (b) for the partition of immovable property, (c) for foreclosure, sale or redemption in the case of a mortgage of or charge upon immovable property, (d) for the determination of any other right to or interest in immovable property, (e) for compensation for wrong to immovable property, (f) for the recovery of movable property actually under distraint or attachment, shall be instituted in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate:

Provided that a suit to obtain relief respecting, or compensation for wrong to, immovable property held by or on behalf of the defendant, may where the relief sought can be entirely obtained through his personal obedience be instituted either in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situate, or in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant actually and voluntarily resider, or carries on business, or personally works for gain. Explanation.? In this section “property” means property situate in India.

17. Suits for immovable property situate within jurisdiction of different Courts? Where a suit is to obtain relief respecting, or compensation for wrong to, immovable property situate within the jurisdiction of different Court, the suit my be instituted in any Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction any portion of the property is situate :

Provided that, in respect of the value of the subject matter of the suit, the entire claim is cognizable by such Court. 18. Place of institution of suit where local limits of jurisdiction of Courts are uncertain? (1) Where it is alleged to be uncertain within the local limits of the jurisdiction of which of two or more Courts any immovable property is situate, any one of those Courts may, if satisfied that there is ground for the alleged uncertainty, record a statement to that effect and thereupon proceed to entertain and dispose of any suit relating to that property, and its decree in the suit shall have the same effect as if the property were situate within the local limits of its jurisdiction :

Provided that the suit is one with respect to which the Court is competent as regards the nature and value of the suit to exercise jurisdiction. (2) Where a statement has not been recorded under sub-section (1), and objection is taken before an Appellate or Revisional Court that a decree or order in a suit relating to such property was made by a Court not having jurisdiction where the property is situate, the Appellate or Revisional Court shall not allow the objection unless in its opinion there was, at the time of the institution of the suit, no reasonable ground for uncertainty as to the Court having jurisdiction with respect thereto and there has been a consequent failure of justice. 19. Suits for compensation for wrongs to person or movable?

Where a suit is for compensation for wrong done to the person or to movable property, if the wrong was done within the local limits of the jurisdiction of one Court and the defendant resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, within the local limits of the jurisdiction of another Court, the suit may be instituted at the option of the plaintiff in either of the said Courts. Illustrations (a) A, residing in Delhi, beats B in Calcutta. B may sue A either in Calcutta or in Delhi. (b) A, residing in Delhi, publishes in Calcutta statements defamatory of B. B may sue A either in Calcutta or in Delhi. 20. Other suits to be instituted where defendants reside or cause of action arises? Subject to the limitations aforesaid, every suit shall be instituted in Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction?

(a) the defendant, or each of the defendants where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit, actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain; or (b) any of the defendants, where there are more than one, at the time of the commencement of the suit actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business, or personally works for gain, provided that in such case either the leave of the Court is given, or the defendants who do not reside, or carry on business, or personally work for gain, as aforesaid, acquiesce in such institution; or (c) the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.