“Understanding the Right to Appeal as an Indigent Person under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908”

Understanding the Right to Appeal as an Indigent Person under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

The Indian legal framework offers a robust system designed to enable every individual, regardless of economic status, to seek justice. However, the practical implementation of this system can sometimes become daunting for those from economically weaker sections of society. In this context, understanding the right to appeal as an indigent person under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, becomes crucial. The knowledgeable team of legal professionals at SimranLaw is here to simplify this complex issue and offer you key insights drawn from years of experience.

Who is an Indigent Person?

As per Order XXXIII Rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, an individual is considered ‘indigent’ if he/she is not a possessor of sufficient property and is unable to pay prescribed fee. This provision exists to ensure that poverty does not obstruct access to justice.

Right to Appeal

An indigent person, like any other citizen, has the right to appeal against a decision by a court of law. The rules governing this aspect are laid out in Order XLIV of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

This statutory provision allows the poor to appeal a decision without having to pay court fees in advance. The intent behind this arrangement is to provide a level playing field for all citizens, irrespective of their financial status, and this is one way in which our legal system strives to uphold the constitutional mandate for equality before the law.

Case Laws and Judgments

Over time, several landmark judgments have helped shape the interpretation and application of this provision. Here, we review key rulings that have influenced the understanding of the right to appeal as an indigent person.

1. Khemka & Co. (Agencies) Pvt Ltd vs State Of Maharashtra

In this case, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held that a company cannot be considered an indigent person, even if it’s insolvent or in liquidation. The view was essential to protect the provision from misuse and limit its application to genuinely disadvantaged individuals.

2. Gursharan Singh Vs. New Delhi Municipal Committee & Others

The Supreme Court in this case ruled that the provision for indigent persons does not apply merely because the appellant is a retired person and does not have a regular source of income. It is crucial to establish that the appellant does not possess sufficient property to pay court fees.

3. S. Sukumar vs Secretary To Government

This case held that if an appellant has failed to establish the inability to pay court fees, he/she cannot be classified as an indigent person. This case further clarified that Order XLIV applies only when a petitioner is unable to arrange for the requisite court fees due to lack of funds or property.


Understanding the right to appeal as an indigent person calls for a nuanced comprehension of both, the letter of the law and its interpretation by the courts over time. Our team at SimranLaw remains committed to breaking down complex legal issues, providing readers with insights drawn from years of experience.

One thought on ““Understanding the Right to Appeal as an Indigent Person under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908””

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