Material facts

The second fundamental rule of pleading is that every pleading shall contain only a statement of material facts ion which the party pleading relies for his claim or defence. This rule has been enunciated in Order 6, ruke2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The rule that the material facts should be not a technically and that an omission to observe it may increase the difficulty in the Court‟s task of ascertaining the rights of the parties. Further, every pleading must state facts which are material at the present stage of the suit. Now, the question arises what is material fact? The fact which is essential to the Plaintiff‟s cause of action or to the defendant‟s defence which each prove or fail is material fact.

Now, the question that what facts are material, is not very easy to answer. However, it can be said that fact is material for the pleading of a party which he is bound to prove at the trial unless admitted by the other party before he can succeed in his claim or defence. If one is in reasonable doubt about a particular fact as a material fact it is better for him to plead that fact rather than omit it because unless a fact is pleaded he shall not be allowed to prove it at the hearing of the suit.

A plea of fraud and misrepresentation in a suit must set forth full particulars of fraud and misrepresentation, because these particulars constitute material facts unless raised by the plaintiff or the defendant in his pleading, he will not be allowed to prove at the trial. Of course, a material fact can be inserted in the pleading by amendment which is the right of the plaintiff and defendant; but when a pleading is amended one is likely to be saddled with the cost of other side.

When suit is brought under a particular statute, all facts which are necessary to bring the suit under the statue must be alleged. When a rule of law applicable to a case has an exception to a case has an exception to it, all facts are material which tend to take the case out of the rule or out of exception. For instance:  

(1)If a childless Mohammedan widow claims one-fourth share in the property of her husband as allowed by Shia law, she must allege that her husband was a Shia.  

(2)Where Plaintiff claims right of pre-emption u/s 15(2)(b) of Punjab pre-emption Act, he must plead the necessary facts in respect of his claim.  (3)Where a plaintiff claims an alternative relief, he must plead facts entitling him, for such relief.  

(4)Where the question of age or time affects the right of the parties, the facts should be specifically pleaded.  

(5)Every plea of facts must be specifically pleaded, and proved. Court cannot allow party to the suit to lead evidence inconsistent whit his plea inspite of object of objection by the other party is allowed to lead evidence in rebuttal does not cure the legal defect.  

(6)Where a plaintiff sues on the basis of a title he must state the nature of the deed from which he has derived title.  

(7)The plea that a woman claiming maintenance has lost her right due to continuous desertion or living in adultery should be specifically raised.  

(8)Where the plea is based on custom, it must be stated in the precise form what the custom is. For instance, if a childless Mohammedan widow claims one-fourth share in the property of her husband as allowed by Shia Law, she must allege that her husband was a Shia.


The following are exception to this fundamental rule of pleading.

(a)Content of documents: Whenever the content of document are material, it shall be sufficient in any pleading to state the effect thereof as briefly as possible without setting out whole or any part thereof unless any precise words thereof are material.   Foe instance, if plaintiff‟s claim is based on a sale-deed, it is sufficient to state that “defendant has sold the property to the property to the plaintiff by a sale-deed dated......”  (b)Matters of Inducement: it means introductory or prefatory facts which should be stated in the first and second paras in the body of the plaint or written statement. Though it is not necessary yet sometimes it is desirable to commence a plaint with some introductory allegations stating who the parties are, what business they carry on how they are related and connected and other surrounding circumstances leading up to the dispute. Though these are not material facts yet these are allowed in England and hence in India too. But the matter of inducement should be reduced to the minimum need.