Written Statement (Order VII) C.P.C.


Written Statement (Order VII) C.P.C.

A written statement is required to be filed by the defendant in answer to the claim made by the plaintiff in his plaintiff, which is delivered to the defendant along with the summons to attend at the first hearing of the suit. The number of the suit is noted in the summons. Before drafting a written statement, one should verify the provisions set out for drafting a plaint under order VI of CPC. 

Examine whether the suit is barred under order II Rule 2 CPC, carefully study the material facts and the documents referred to in the plaint, check whether the documents are duly stamped, see that the material facts are specifically denied. Study order VIII, CPC, make sure set-off or a counter-claim to be pleaded or not. 

Verify also whether the claim is barred under principles of res judicata. In the written statement, the defendant should mention at the top the name of the judge or court, trying the suit. Next, the name of the parties first named are mentioned, as it is not necessary to mention the names, description and place of residence of all the parties in the title of the written statement. The answering defendant thereupon replies to each Para of the plaint, unless there is some preliminary objection, the consideration of which is necessary in the first instance before the suit is tried on the merits of the case. Objections relating to the maintainability of the suit, locus standi of the plaintiff to file the suit, the non-joinder or mis-joinder of parties as to the jurisdiction of the court or as to limitation may: be included in the preliminary objection. Similarly, objections relating to court fees paid or valuation of the suit for process of jurisdiction are taken up in the first instance, 

The defendant may have additional facts to be stated which do not find and appropriate place in reply to the assertions made by the plaintiff in his plaint such additional facts or pleas maybe added in the written statement as additional pleas. The filing of a written statement by any defendant, whether it is a Government or not a Government, whether it is an ordinary person or a statutory body a corporation or any body else, is covered by the same provision, namely, order VIII, Rule 1.there is no other provision dealing with the filing of a written statement. It shall not be sufficient for a defendant in his written statement to deny generally the grounds alleged by the plaintiff, but the defendant must deal specifically with each allegation of fact of which he does not admit the truth except damages. Every allegation of fact in this plaint, if not denied specifically of by' necessary implication, or stated to be not admitted in the pleading of the defendant, shall be taken to be admitted. The pleading 'not know' is not tantamount to the pleading 'not admitted'. So also the plea of no knowledge' of fact pleaded in the plaint is not tantamount to a 'denial' of the existence of those facts and does not even amount to an implied denial according to order VIII, Rule 3 or Rule 5.

WRITTEN STATEMENTS Effect of non-filing of the Written Statement:

If a defendant did not file his written statement it could not be said that he admitted all the facts pleaded by the plaintiff. The position in law, in cases where the defendant has not filed written statement is that even without filing a written statement; the defendant can take part in the hearing of the suit. He may cross-examine the plaintiff's witness to demolish their version in examination in chief, without written statement. However, he cannot be permitted to crossexamine the witnesses on questions of fact with he himself has not pleaded nor can he be allowed to adduce evidence on question of facts which have not been pleaded by him by filing any written statement (Chunni Lal Chawdhary V. Bank of Baroda, 1981 Sri L. J. 411) Rules of proceedings are intended to be a hand-maid to the administration of justice and a party cannot be refused just relief merely because of some mistake negligence, inadvertence of even in fraction of the rules of procedure. 

The court always gives leave to amend the pleading of a party, unless it is satisfied that the party supplying was acting malafied or that by his blunder, he had caused injury to his opponent which may not be compensated for by an order of costs. A defendant can be allowed to amend the written statement to enable him to raise an additional ground of defence if the additional grounds not inconsistent with original case setup by him in the written statement and arises out of the case put forward by the plaintiff and does not change the nature of defendant's own sand. If the amendment is likely to resolve the real controversy between the parties it should be allowed and it is not open for court to decide at that stage whether person seeking amendment will ultimately succeed in the plea or not.  

Absence of Plea in Written Statement: Where a claim has never been made in the defence, no amount of evidence can be looked into upon a plea which was never put forward. In the case of Gita Rani Paul V, Dibyendra kumar (AIR 1991 SC 393) The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Calcutta High court and held that the High Court fell into an error in accepting the appeal on an issue which was neither raised nor ergued before the court below.

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