What is the Objective of This FAQ Article on Summary Procedure under Order 37 of the CPC?
The objective of this article is to demystify the legal provisions and practices surrounding Summary Procedure under Order 37 of the CPC. This article aims to serve as an extensive guide that answers common queries that legal practitioners, litigants, and interested parties may have regarding this specific aspect of civil procedure.
What is Summary Procedure?
What Does ‘Summary Procedure’ Mean in the Context of Civil Procedure Code, 1908?
Summary Procedure refers to a streamlined litigation process established under Order 37 of the CPC that facilitates quicker judgments in certain types of civil suits. Unlike ordinary civil suits that may require elaborate pleadings, evidence, and hearings, summary suits are designed to dispense expeditious justice, particularly in cases involving liquidated debts or specific performance.
How Does Summary Procedure Differ from Ordinary Procedure?
The principal difference lies in the elimination or reduction of certain stages typically involved in a civil suit. For instance, a defendant in a summary suit is not automatically entitled to defend the suit but must obtain ‘leave to defend’ from the court.
The Scope of Order 37 of the CPC
What Types of Suits Are Governed by Order 37?
Order 37 is applicable to suits related to bills of exchange, hundis, and promissory notes, as well as to suits for the recovery of debt or damages arising out of written contracts.
Can Order 37 be Invoked in Property Disputes?
Order 37 generally does not cover property disputes unless they involve specific performance or damages based on written contracts directly pertaining to property.
Commencement of a Suit Under Order 37
How Is a Suit under Order 37 Initiated?
A plaintiff initiates a summary suit by filing a plaint, accompanied by an affidavit. The court, upon scrutinizing the plaint and affidavit, may issue ‘Summons for Judgment’ to the defendant.
What Are the Pleadings Required in a Summary Suit?
The plaint should contain specific particulars such as the facts constituting the cause of action, the relief sought, and the total sum payable to the plaintiff.
Procedure for Appearance of Defendant
What is the Timeframe for the Defendant to Appear?
The defendant is generally required to enter an appearance within ten days of service of summons, although this period may vary depending on court directions.
What Happens if the Defendant Fails to Appear?
If the defendant fails to appear within the prescribed timeframe, the court may pass a judgment in favor of the plaintiff.
The Concept of ‘Leave to Defend’
What Does ‘Leave to Defend’ Mean in Summary Procedure?
‘Leave to Defend’ is a discretionary permission granted by the court to the defendant to contest the suit.
On What Grounds Can ‘Leave to Defend’ be Granted or Denied?
The court may grant leave if it is convinced that the defendant has a substantial defense or that a complex question of law or fact arises that merits detailed scrutiny.
Judgment and Decree in Summary Suits
How Is a Judgment Rendered in a Summary Suit?
If ‘Leave to Defend’ is not granted, the court may pass a decree in favor of the plaintiff. If leave is granted, the court proceeds to adjudicate the case much like an ordinary suit.
Can Summary Judgments Be Appealed?
Yes, summary judgments are subject to appeal, although the grounds may be limited depending on the circumstances.
Notable Judgments and Case Laws
What Are the Landmark Cases that Have Shaped Order 37?
Notable cases include Milkhiram (India) Pvt. Ltd. & Ors. vs. Chamanlal Bros., AIR 1965 SC 1698, which clarified several procedural aspects of summary suits.
Practical Considerations and Challenges
What Are the Practical Challenges in Pursuing a Summary Suit?
One major challenge is the stringent timelines and the possibility of denial of ‘Leave to Defend,’ which can limit the defendant’s opportunity for a full hearing.
How Can a Legal Practitioner Efficiently Handle a Summary Suit?
Efficiency in handling summary suits often comes from meticulous planning, thorough research, and proper drafting of pleadings and affidavits.
What Are the Key Takeaways About Summary Procedure under Order 37?
The summary procedure offers a quicker legal remedy for certain types of civil suits but demands precision and attention to detail from both plaintiffs and defendants.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can an NRI file a summary suit under Order 37?
Yes, NRIs can file summary suits under the same conditions as residents.
Is it Possible to Seek Interim Relief in Summary Suits?
Interim reliefs like temporary injunctions can be sought, subject to the discretion of the court.
How Do Courts Determine ‘Summons for Judgment’?
Courts rely on the plaint and accompanying affidavits to issue ‘Summons for Judgment,’ scrutinizing whether a prima facie case exists in favor of the plaintiff.
By integrating citations, legislative text, and precedent, this article endeavors to be a comprehensive guide to understanding Summary Procedure under Order 37 of the CPC.