Section 26 of the Civil Procedure Code(hereinafter mentioned as CPC) speaks of the need of a plaint. Order 7 of CPC deals with the particulars to be needed in a plaint. Section 26 says that every suit shall be instituted by the presentation of a plaint. A plaint is the pleading of the party instituting the suit. It is the material facts which the party asserts for getting his relief.[Order 6 of CPC]
The ingredients of a plaint is stated in Order 7 Rule 1(a) to (i) of the CPC. These are to be entered in a series. They are described as follows:
(1)Name of the Court:- The plaint shall contain the name of the Court in which the suit is brought. This usually starts with "In the Court of" or "Before the Honourable____Court of". Space for writing the case number including the nomenclature is to be provided after this.
(2)Name, description and place of residence of plaintiff/s:- After the space for case number the name of the plaintiff and his address is to be stated. The plaintiff has also to state his/her age. There can be more than one plaintiff. Each plaintiff has to be serially numbered.
(3) Name, description and place of residence of the defendant:-After writing the plaintiffs name and description, the defendants' name and address including age has to be written in the plaint.
(4)Statement if the plaintiff/defendant is minor:- If the plaintiff or defendant is a minor or a person of unsound mind, a statement to that effect has to be stated. If the person is a minor, his age has to be entered. This rule is the result of substitution of older provision in 1959.
(5) Cause of action:- The cause of action can be described as the circumstances which led to the suit. This is actually elaborated throughout the body of the plaint. Besides a separate paragraph is usually needed showing the particular circumstances or dates where the cause of action arised.
(6) Jurisdiction:- The plaint shall contain a separate paragraph stating that the Court in which it is brought has jurisdiction. Jurisdiction is the power of the Court to try cases. The jurisdiction of a court depends on the type of the case and the relief sought. There are different kinds of jurisdiction provided in the CPC.
(7) Relief:- The plaint shall separately state the reliefs needed, separately numbered. The Court grants the reliefs asked. The Court also grants a lesser relief from the reliefs asked.
(8) Set-Off:- Where the plaintiff has allowed a set-off or relinquished a portion of his claim, the amount so allowed or relinquished has to be separately stated in paragraph in the body of the plaint.
(9) Valuation:- Each relief has a value. It is stated in the Court Fees Act. Before presenting the plaint the advocate has to look into the Court Fees Act the fees payable for the reliefs sought in the plaint. This has to be calculated and separately stated in the plaint.
(10) Verification:-Apart from the above as stated in Order 7, Order 6(15)of the CPC says that every pleading shall be verified at the foot by the party or by one of the parties. This verification shall be with reference to the number of paragraphs and some other conditions.
These are the necessary contents to be included in the plaint. These are actually guiding principles in the drafting of a plaint. The Civil Rules of Practise also provides certain guidelines regarding the form of the plaint, regarding the margin measurements. Entering of age of the parties is stipulated in Rules of Practise. The parties' status as plaintiff and defendant is also to be stated in the cause title of the plaint. This is discussed in Rules of Practice. In Appendix A of the CPC model forms of plaints are provided. Order 6 of CPC says that the pleadings has to be divided into separate numbered paragraphs and the pleading has to be signed by the parties.
A plaint has to be seriously and carefully drafted. Any omission might prevent the party from claiming it in another suit as it will be hit by Resjudicata. The plaint has to be so drafted as to prevent further litigation and with an object to end the whole dispute. Every material particulars are to be entered in the plaint. If there are any suit documents, that can be stated in the plaint under the heading 'List of Documents'. If the dispute is with regard to any property, the description of the property is to be clearly mentioned in a schedule in the plaint. There are also many stipulations in the CPC as to the detailing of the pleadings. The pleadings are always to be concise and clear. It shall state only facts, not evidence and law. As the plaint starts the suit/case, drafting of a plaint is to be with utmost care without any loopholes and omissions. Concluding this note it can be stated that a greatly drafted plaint shows the quality of a good lawyer.