MEANING OF PLEADINGS
The present day system of pleadings in our country is based on the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 supplemented from time to time by rules in that behalf by High Courts of the States. There are rules of the Supreme Court and rules by special enactments as well. For one, words ‘plaints’ and ‘complaints’ are nearly synonymous. In both, the expression of grievance is predominant. Verily, when a suitor files a statement of grievance he is the plaintiff and he files a ‘complaint’ containing allegations and claims remedy. As days passed, we have taken up the word ‘Plaint’ for the Civil Court and the word ‘Complaint’ for the Criminal Court. Order 6, ...view middle of the document...
When so done, there would be hardly any scope left to beat about the bush or to take the other party by surprise. Pleadings should be read not by the piecemeal but as a whole and should be liberally construed. Every venial defect should not be allowed to defeat a pleading, for a plaintiffs case should not be defeated merely on the ground of some technical defect in his pleadings provided he succeeds on the real issues of the case. It has been held: “Rigid construction of the law of pleadings was inappropriate and not calculated to serve the cause of justice for which the law of procedure was largely designed (AIR 1969 Del. 120). This should, of course, not be taken as an excuse for pleadings extremely lax and irrelevant, argumentative and inaccurate.” In construing the plaint, the court has to look at the substance of the plaint rather that its mere form. If, on the whole and in substance, the suitor appears to ask for some relief as stated, the court can look at the substance of the relief. “Pleadings have to be interpreted not with formalistic rigour but with latitude of awareness of low legal literacy of poor people.”
Coming to construction of pleadings, Sarkaria, J held: “A pleading has to be read as a whole to ascertain its import. It is not permissible to cull out a sentence or a passage and to read it out of the context in isolation. Although it is the substance and not mere the form that has to be looked into, the pleading has to be construed as it stands without addition or subtraction of words, or change of its apparent grammatical sense. The intention of the party concerned is to be gathered, primarily, from the tenor and term of his pleading taken as a whole.
FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF PLEADINGS
The fundamental rule of pleadings is contained in provisions of O. 6, R. 2 of C.P.C. which enjoins
(1) “Every pleading shall contain only, a statement in a concise form of the material facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defence, as the case may be, but not the evidence by which they are to be proved.
(2) Every pleading shall, when necessary, be divided into paragraphs, numbered consecutively, each allegation being, so far as is conveniently, contained in a separate paragraph.
(3) Dates, sums and numbers shall be expressed in a pleading in figures as well as in words.”
To quote the Earl of Halsbury: “The sole object of it is that each may be fully alive to the questions that arc about to be argued in order that they may have an opportunity of bringing forward such evidence as may be appropriate to the issues.” The rules of pleading and other ancillary rules contained in the Code of Civil Procedure have one main object in view. It is to find out and narrow down controversy between the parties.
“The pleadings are not to be considered as constituting a game of skill between the advocates. The) ought to be so framed as not only to assist the party in the statement of his case but the court in its investigation...