In the court of law, pleadings serve as the case's skeleton or its basis.
Pleadings are specifically covered in Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure,
1908 and it talks about Pleadings in General.
Order VI contains 18 rules
altogether. According to the provision of this act, pleading means a plaint or
In the case of Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes v. Erasmo Jack De Squeria
was stated that- Pleading being the foundation of litigation must contain only
relevant material by excluding irrelevant and unnecessary information.
- Rule 1 talks about Pleading.
- Rule 2 outlines the basic principle of Pleading.
- Rule 3- 13 mandates the parties to provide with the required documents.
- Rule 14-15 covers the signing and verification of pleading respectively.
- Rule 16 grants the power to the court to strike out pleadings at any
stage of proceedings.
- Rule 17-18 talk about the amendment of pleadings.
According to P.C. Mogha
- pleading is a statement in writing drawn up and
file by each party in any suit. It includes all those things upon which the suit
is a frame and the defendant submit his own written statement. The initial
stage of a lawsuit called pleading, parties formally present their claims and
In this, a plaintiff submits a complaint, or plaint, outlining their cause of
action and the issues at hand. The defendant provides a written statement in
response outlining his or her defences and denies. A counterclaim naming a cause
of action against the plaintiff may also be submitted by the defendant. An
essential purpose of pleadings is to inform the defendant that a lawsuit has
been filed against him. Additionally, it informs the plaintiff of the
defendant's plans in relation to the lawsuit.
Pleading helps the parties understand the details of the claim made against them
by the adverse party, saving time and money. In the past, when pleadings were
not common and parties used to argue their case in court, it occasionally
happened that parties took a long time to respond to claims because of the
sudden and new arguments of the opposing party. The main goal of pleading is to
focus on the key issues and paint a precise picture of the case, which improves
and speeds up the court process.
The pleadings assist both parties in understanding their points of contention
and where they diverge so that they can present the most pertinent arguments and
evidence in court. In the case of Throp v. Holdsworth
it was held that:
The whole object of pleading is to bring parties to an issue and the meaning of
the rules relating to pleadings was to prevent the issues bring enlarged, which
would prevent other parties from knowing when the cause came on for trial, what
the real point to be discussed and decided.
Fundamentals Of Pleading
Sub-rule (1) of Rule 2 (order VI) states the fundamentals of pleadings:
Facts and not law
- The first fundamental of rule of pleading is that it should only state
facts and not the law.
- The facts that are stated in the pleading must be material facts.
- It should never state or disclose the evidence.
- The facts stated in the pleading must be in a concise form.
In the case of Kedar Lal v. Hari Lal
 the Supreme Court ruled that in a
civil lawsuit, the parties are only required to describe the events that
occurred and the basis for their claims in their pleadings; it is the
judiciary's responsibility to apply the law. It implies that the parties should
outline their claims and the reasons why they should be accepted.
The term "material fact" is not specifically defined in the CPC, 1908 or any
other law. In Udhav Singh v. Madhav Rao Scindia
, the Supreme Court
provided the following definition of "material fact": According to the court,
"material facts" are all those important details that the parties rely on to
support their claims and establish their causes of action or to make a strong
defence or counterclaim against the party making the initial claim.
The courts have noted that determining what facts or information qualifies as a
material fact is a subjective matter that will be decided by the court on an
individual basis depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.
Facts and not evidence
This rule mandates that the evidence in the pleadings be excluded. In other
words, the party is not required to mention the witnesses or documentary
evidence that it intends to present to the court in order to use against the
opposing party. This is done to guarantee the safety of the evidence and the
fairness of a trial. According to jurisprudence, there are two different types
of facts: facta probanda and facta probantia.
- Facts probanda: material facts
- Facts probantia: evidence
The last and most important fundamental rule, also known as the "rule of
brevity," calls for the pleadings to be concise, clear, and limited to the
interpretation that the pleader wishes to convey. Not only should the pleading
be brief, but it also needs to be precise. Even though the pleading must be
concise, it must also be accurate and certain. For the sake of brevity,
pleadings shouldn't be compromised in terms of clarity and specificity. However,
this does not imply that the facts that must be stated are so brief as to lose
their significance in the pleadings.
The very goal and objectives of pleading are to discover the true source of
controversy and it would be defeated if there is a lack of precision in the
arguments. The Golden Rule of pleading states that the facts must be presented
in such a way that neither important nor irrelevant information is left out or
The Supreme Court made the following observation in the case of Virendra
Kashinath v. Vinayak N. Joshi[
"Pleadings must be brief and niggling [i.e. causing slight but persistent
annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety should be avoided.]" However, this does not
imply that crucial information must be left out or overlooked in an effort to
achieve brevity. According to the court, if syntax errors and drafting style are
avoided, pleadings can be clear and legible.
Other Rules Of Pleading
Rule 3 to Rule 16 (Order VI) talks about other rules of pleading:
- Specific details with regard to dates and items should be mentioned in
the pleadings in a case for misrepresentation, criminal breach of trust,
fraud, or willful default in payment of due.
- It is not necessary to mention a condition precedent to filing a lawsuit
if it has been satisfied. If it is not, it is crucial to mention the fact
and provide justifications. For instance, no legal action against the
government may be brought without two months' notice under Section 80 of the
CPC. Therefore, the plaintiff must mention this as well as the reason for
non-adherence if the notice is not served.
- If no new allegations or grounds for a claim are added to the initial
pleadings, a pleading may be amended at a later stage of the proceeding.
- Each pleading must be signed by the party whose pleading it is, must be
verified by the party whose pleading it is, and must be accompanied by a
sworn affidavit that serves as the party's deposition.
- Documents need not be fully described in the pleadings unless their
content is crucial.
- When a person's malice, fraudulent intention, knowledge, or other mental
state is relevant, it may be alleged in the pleading only as a fact without
stating the specific circumstances from which it is to be inferred. Such
circumstances actually serve as material fact evidence.
- When giving notice to a person is required or a condition precedent,
pleadings should only mention giving the notice; they shouldn't specify its
exact form or duration, or the circumstances from which it should be
inferred, unless those details are crucial.
- Implied agreements or relationships between people may be stated as a
fact, and a general plea should be made based on correspondence, a
conversation, or other evidence.
- It is not necessary to plead facts that the court presumes to be true or
that the other side must prove. Every claim must be signed by the claimant,
one of the claimants, or his or her pleader.
- A party to the action must provide his address. He should also include
the other party's address.
- Each pleading must be verified on an affidavit by the party, one of the
parties, or a third party who is familiar with the case's facts.
- If a pleading is unneeded, scandalous, frivolous, vexatious, or has the
potential to jeopardise, embarrass, or delay a fair trial of the case, the
court may order that it be struck out.
- Where appropriate, forms from Appendix A of the Code should be used.
Forms of a similar nature should be used in cases where they are not
- Each pleading should be divided into paragraphs that are serially
numbered. A separate paragraph should be used to state each allegation or
assertion. Dates, totals, and numbers should be written both in words and in
Amendment Of Pleading
Amendment of a pleading is covered by Rules 17 and 18 of Order VI of the Code of
Civil Procedure, 1908. These rules work to bring about justice in society.
According to Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, either party may be
required to amend or alter his pleading at any point during the proceeding in a
fair and just manner, allowing amendment when necessary to settle the precise
contentious issue between the parties.
Rule 18 deals with the problem of the pleading not being amended. It deals with
the law that states if a party is ordered by the court to make a necessary
change and fails to do so within the time limit specified in the order, or if no
time limit is specified, then within 14 days of the order's date, he will not be
allowed to amend after the time limit specified above, or after such 14 days, as
the case may be, unless the time is extended by the court.
Any legal case's foundation is made up of pleadings. The pleading lays out the
case. It directs the parties to develop their arguments and understand the other
party's claims in order to frame claims or defences for either party, as
appropriate. It serves as direction for the entire suit journey.
They also specify what types of admissible evidence the parties may present
during the trial. The fundamental guidelines for pleadings are set forth in the
Code of Civil Procedure, along with any modifications. These rules are intended
to achieve justice's highest goals while maintaining social harmony.
- AIR 2012 SC 1727: (2012) 5 SCC 370: JT 2012 (3) SC 457: (2012) 3 SCALE
- Mogha's Law of Pleadings(1983) at p.1.
- AIR 1876 LR 3 Ch D 637
- AIR 1952 SC 47
- (1977) 1 SCC 511: AIR 1976 SC 744
- AIR 2007 SC 581