Short notes on Pleading, its Object and Fundamental Rules (C.P.C 1908, India)
Written statement is the statement of defence in writing and filed by the defendant in whom he deals with every material fact alleged by the plaintiff in the plaint and also states any new facts which may be in his favour adding such legal objections as he wishes to take to the claim.
In some cases a plaintiff, having filed his plaint, may, with the leave of the court, file statement, or the court may require him to file a written statement. In such cases the written statement forms part of the plaintiff’s pleadings.
Similarly, there are cases in which the defendant having filed his written-statement may, with the leave of the court, file an additional written statement or the court may require him to do.
In such cases additional written statement also forms part of the defendant’s pleadings. The plaintiffs written and the defendant’s additional written statement are termed supplemental pleadings.
The whole object of the pleadings 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.
Rules regarding pleadings:
The rules regarding pleadings are as under:
1. A pleading must state facts and not law.
2. It must contain only material facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defence.
3. It must state only the facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defence, and not the evidence by which they are to be proved.
4. The facts must be in the form of a concise statement but in aiming at conciseness, precision should not be sacrificed. The pleadings, when necessary, shall be divided into paragraphs, numbered consecutively and each allegation being, so far as is convenient, contained in a separate paragraph. Dates, sums and figures shall be expressed in figures.
5. Allegations in anticipation of the opponent’s answer should not be made. The pleading should be confined to what is material at the present stage of the suit.
6. Facts necessary for the enforcement of a legal right or duty must be mentioned. Thus in a suit for breach of contract on account of the negligence of the defendant, it has to be stated specifically what kind of duty the defendant owed to the plaintiff and how was he negligent.
7. Performance of a condition precedent being implied in every pleading it need not be alleged; the opposite party must specify distinctly the conditions, the performance or occurrence of which he intends to contest.
8. Where the contents of any documents are material, it shall be sufficient in any pleading to state the effect thereof as briefly as possible, without setting out the whole or any part thereof, unless the precise words of the document or any part thereof, are material.
9. Facts which the law presumes in one’s favour or as to which the burden of proof lies upon the opponent need not be pleaded.
10. The party should not plead conclusions of law. The pious obligation of a Hindu son to pay his father’s debts need not be pleaded. But foreign law and certain customs and usages are not judicially taken notice by courts and must be pleaded as facts.
11. Legal pleas such as estoppel, limitation and res judicata may be pleaded.
12. In case where the party pleading relies on any misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust, willful default or undue influence, particulars shall be stated in the plaint.
The person verifying the pleading shall also furnish an affidavit in support of his pleadings. (O. VI, R. 15(4).