Any suits that involve a dispute over money or any other rights to acquire are known as a civil suit. To file a civil suit some criteria, have to follow that must have a cause of action and the claim of compensation also the requirements as laid down under section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. There are some stages of civil proceedings that can be broadly categorized into three stages. These are –
(1) Pre-trial stage.
(2) Trial Stage.
(3) Post-trial stage.
In this paper, the following three stages will be discussed.
Firstly, the Pre-trial stage–
Presentation of the Plaint,
This is an initial step in a suit and is covered under Order 7 of Code of Civil Procedure 1908. Every suit commences when the plaintiff files a plaint to the court. The Plaint should consist of the following contents:
Name of the court where the suit is being brought, Name and place of residence of the plaintiff, Name and place of residence of the defendant, Whether the plaintiff or the defendant is a minor or of unsound mind, Facts constituting the cause of action and the time it arose, Facts showing the court has jurisdiction, Plaintiff’s claims, The damages in case of money suits, Proof of the defendant’s liability, List of the documents submitted with the plaint and others.
Issue and Service of Summons on the defendant,
This process is covered under Order 5 of the following Code. Once the suit is registered, a summons is sent by the court to call the person on a specific date whose name is written in the plaint. The summons is signed by the judge and sealed with the seal of the court. The court might require the party to appear in person.
The appearance of the parties and Ex-party Decree,
The next step is commenced with the appearance of the parties on a specified date before the court. The defendant can appear either personally or by his representative and if he fails to appear then the court may proceed with an ex parte decree. On the other hand, if the plaintiff is absent on the date, then the court may dismiss the suit. Where both the parties are not present, the will court dismisses the suit. It is to be mentioned that if the summons was for the final disposition, then the defendant is required to present evidence or documents to support his case.
Filing of the written statement by the defendant
The provision of a written statement is mentioned in Order 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure,1908. The defendant is required to file a written statement of his defence within thirty to ninety days, as specified by the court. In case the defendant fails to file a written statement, the court may take decisions according to the plaint. The written statements contain or point out all the allegations that the defendant is denying.
Production of documents and Examination of parties
After filling the written statement, the next requirement is to the production of documents, both of the parties are required to do this. Then the stage is an examination of the parties on appearance, during the first hearing of the suit the court will ask each party whether they agree to or deny the allegations that are made in the plaint and the written statement. Such agreements or denials are recorded by the judge in writing, these provisions are mentioned in Order 10 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Framing of issues
The stage after the examination of parties is the framing of issues and this step is exclusively dealt with by the judge. Issues are when a party denies some allegations which other party made and the judgment is delivered on these issues. Order 14 of the Code of Civil Procedure mentions the provisions regarding the framing of issues.
Secondly, Trial Stage-
Hearing of the Suit
After the issues are framed, the parties shall present the list of witnesses before the court. The list should carry whom they propose to call either to provide evidence or to produce documents. The list must be present on the specified date as the court decides and not later than fifteen days as the same is mentioned in Order 16 of the Code of Civil Procedure
Then a date will be fixed for hearing of the suit and the party having the right to begin should start with stating his case by producing the evidence to support the issue that he is bound to prove. The other party will then continue by stating his cases and producing evidence. At this stage, the examination of witnesses and cross-examination will be done.
After examination of the witness, there will be time for argument between the parties. In this stage, both the parties present a summary of the case and evidence in support of the issues and this is the final session to prove their issues.
Thirdly, Post Trial Stage
Usually, judgement is the statement passed by the judge in the court on the ground of which a decree is passed. After the hearing of the argument, the court will pronounce judgment at once or can reserve the judgment for a future date or within one month of the completion of the arguments. It is mentioned that every judgment contains a concise statement of the suit, points for determination, decision and reasons for the decision.
After the judgement is delivered the next step is the preparation of the decree. The decree shall agree with the judgement and contain the number of the suit, names and descriptions of the parties, their addresses, the claims and the reliefs that have been granted as per order 20 Rule 6,6A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Execution of Decree
This is the last stage and in this stage, a decree-holder compels the judgment-debtor to carry out the mandate of the decree or order. Also, the decree-holder can apply towards the court to take the necessary step to execute the decree. Execution will be considered to be complete if the decree-holder gets which he awarded in judgment, decree or order.