What is the procedure of a civil case?
By Swatee Shukla
Difference between civil and criminal procedure- Civil procedure captures the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts must follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits. These rules govern a vast array of procedures like how a civil lawsuit may be commenced, the types of pleadings, applications, and orders allowed in civil cases, the timing and manner of depositions and discovery of disclosure, the conduct of trials, the process of judgment, etc. a civil lawsuit pertains to private rights and as a contrast to the criminal lawsuit is always initiated by private individuals for their benefit, rather than to punish the individual. A criminal lawsuit on other hand is mostly initiated by the state against an individual in order to punish him. The institution of a civil suit starts with the filing of the plaint. Plaint is a statement of claim, a document, or a memorial that is pleading of the plaintiff.
The civil procedure in India is governed by the civil procedure code of 1908 (CPC or code). The code may be broadly divided into two parts, the first containing 158 sections called the body of the code and the second, containing 51 orders in schedule I, called the rules. The first part lays down the general principles and creates jurisdiction, while the second contains provisions that relate to procedure and indicate the mode in which jurisdiction created by the body of the code has to be exercised.
Various stages- the first stage of a civil case starts from the filing of a suit, presentation of the plaint in the court is the first step or starting point of all the pleadings in a case in India. one party files a suit in civil court then consideration of plaint by the case takes place, and if the court finds it reasonable, the second stage takes place i.e. issuance of summons. Every suit is instituted after the presentation of the plaint in a prescribed manner.
After summons are issued to the defended there are two possibilities, either defended appears or the defendant does not appear. If the defendant does not appear, the plaintiff requests an ex-parte decree. (Ex- parte is used to refer to motions for orders that can be granted without waiting for a response from the other side). Further, after recording evidence on the plaintiff and arguments of the plaintiff judgment are passed. Now let’s see what happens when the defendant appears. Defendant has to file a written statement (reply in defense within 30 to 90 days, along with supporting documents evidence. The next stage is the filing of a reply to the written statement of the defendant by the plaintiff, this is called replication by the plaintiff. Then the examination of parties by the court takes place to ascertain from each party or his pleader whether he admits or denies such allegations of facts as made in the plaint and written statement. Then the stages of admission of documents filed by both the parties, production of documents, and framing of issues by court take place. And these issues are the backbone of the suit. After the framing of issues parties shall present in the court a list of witnesses whom they propose to call. And then after the examination of witnesses and recording of witnesses and arguments by both parties, the judgment and decree by the court are passed. Now, the other party against whom the judgment is passed can appeal to a higher court within a specified time, if he does not file an appeal then the final stage takes place i.e. execution of the decree for enforcement of the decree/judgment of the court.