Order 37 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provides for a summary suit or
summary procedure for negotiable instruments. A summary suit is a special and
fast way of exercising a claim efficiently because, in this procedure, judges
pronounce decisions without listening to the defence. Though this appears to be
a violation of the basic principle of natural justice, 'audi alteram part, that
no one should be convicted without a hearing, this method is only applied in
circumstances in which the defendant has no defence.
The advantage of this ruling is dependent on the defendant. If the defendant
does not have a proper substantive defence to defend his case, then the
plaintiff is entitled to get the judgement immediately. Summary proceedings are
a legal remedy for recovering money, resolving business transactions, and
resolving contractual disputes. The scope of its applicability is very narrow.
It's a highly technical procedure. One should understand the proceedings of a
case under Order 37 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC).
The word 'suit' has a wider application. There is little difference between the
suits under the CPC 1908 and the other civil suits. Under the CPC the suit is
instituted by the presentation of the plaintiff which has a particular format
and in other suits like the suit for divorce, the same is instituted by mere
presentation of the petition by or on behalf of either spouse. It should be
mentioned that 'suit' is different from 'writs'. The suit is instituted to
enforce the legal rights (not the political and religious) only, but the 'writs'
are concerned with the enforcement of the Fundamental Rights guaranteed by Part
III of the Indian Constitution. Only the High Courts and the Supreme Court have
the Writ jurisdiction governed by the Indian Constitution.
While this prima facie would appear to be violative of the cardinal principle of
natural justice, Audi Alteram Partem, nobody should be condemned unheard, this
procedure is only used in cases where the defendant has no defence and applies
to only limited subject matters.
Order 37 engineers an appropriate mechanism that ensures that the defendant does
not prolong the litigation, especially in commercial matters time is of the
essence and helps further the cause of Justice.
A summary trial suit is a procedure where courts pass judgment without hearing
The summary suit is elucidated in Order XXXVII of the Code of Civil Procedure
The objective of this provision under CPC is to avoid unnecessarily extending
the litigation process by the defendant in the class of cases where speedy
judgments are desirable, which could help the complainants to save monetary
expenses as well. The summary suit is a unique legal procedure used for
enforcing a right in an efficacious manner as the courts pass judgement without
hearing the defence.
Civil Procedure Code Order 37 provides for the summary procedure. The provision
has been made keeping in view certain suits, to prevent the unreasonable
obstruction laid down by the defendant, who has no defence. Unlike other civil
suits, the trial in summary suits begins after the court grants leave to the
defendant to contest the suit.
The litigation must be brought within three years of the emergence of the cause
of action. The aforementioned limited time cannot be condoned. In a summary
suit, the defendant has 10 days to prove his case. The main advantage of an
Order 37 suit is that the plaintiff is eligible for a judgement quickly, except
if the defendant establishes that he has a significant defence in his case.
All that a plaintiff needs to prove is that the matter comes under the purview
of Order XXXVII. Rules 2 and 3 provide the procedure of summary suits. Under
rule 2 after the summons of the suit has been issued to the defendant. The
defendant is not entitled to defend the Summary suit unless he enters an
Order 37 of the CPC establishes the summary procedure. The order was created by
keeping in mind some specific suits to avoid the undue hindrance imposed by the
defendant, who has no defence. In contrast to other civil claims, the trials in
summary procedure begin after the judge grants leave to the defendant to
challenge the case.
The judge dealing with summary suits can pass judgement in favour of the
- The defendant has not tried to apply for leave to defend, or if such a
request has been made but rejected, or
- The defendant who is allowed to defend fails to abide by the terms and
conditions upon which leave to defend has been conferred.
NATURE, OBJECT, SCOPE
A summary suit under order 37 of the Code of Civil Procedure is a legal
procedure used for enforcing a right that takes effect faster than ordinary
suits as unlike in ordinary suits the courts do not hear the defence. However it
does not violate the principles of Audi Alteram Partem, nobody should be
condemned unheard as it is used only in certain limited cases (elaborated below
under scope) where the defendant has no tenable defence, which is a complex
question of law and fact and has been elaborately analyzed subsequently.
The object underlying the summary procedure is to ensure an expeditious hearing
and disposal of the suit to prevent unreasonable obstruction by the defendant
who has no defence or a frivolous and vexatious defence and to assist in
expeditious disposal of cases. The Gujarat High Court in outlining the object of
summary suits opined that the sheer purpose of enacting Summary Suits is to give
impetus to commerce and industry by inspiring confidence in the commercial
population that their causes in respect of money claims of liquidating amounts
(ascertained amount) would be expeditiously decided and their claims will not
hang on for years blocking their money for a long period.
Scope and extent of applicability
A summary suit can be instituted in High Courts, City Civil Courts, Courts of
Small Causes and any other court notified by the High Court. High Courts can
restrict, enlarge or vary the categories of suits to be brought under this
order. As explained above that the object of Summary suits is to aid commercial
transactions by a swift redressal mechanism these suits can be instituted only
in case of certain specified documents.
The documents such as a bill of exchange, hundies, and promissory notes and
suits in which the plaintiff seeks only to recover a debt or liquidated demand
in money payable by the defendant, with or without interest, arising on a
written contract; or on an enactment, where the sum sought to be recovered is a
fixed sum of money or like a debt other than a penalty; or on a guarantee, where
the claim against the principal is in respect of a debt or liquidated demand
KEY FEATURES AND CLASS OF SUITS
Key features of summary suits:
A summary suit is a legal action that can be taken in cases where the plaintiff
has a clear and undisputed claim against the defendant.
The following are the key features of summary suits:
Class of Suits
- Quick disposal: A summary suit is a fast-track legal proceeding, and is
designed to dispose of cases quickly and efficiently.
- Expedited hearing: The court is required to expedite the hearing of the
case, and must conclude the trial within a limited time.
- No trial: In a summary suit, there is no full-fledged trial. Instead,
the case is decided based on the pleadings and evidence submitted by the
- No appeals: The decision of the court in a summary suit is final, and
there is no right of appeal. However, the defendant may apply for a review
of the judgment if there is an error apparent on the face of the record.
Order XXXVII applies to the following class of suits. Suits about bills of
exchange, hundies, and promissory notes Suits where the plaintiff seeks only to
recover a debt or liquidated demand in money payable by the defendant, with or
without interest, arising:
- On a written contract, or
- On an enactment, where the sum sought to be recovered is a fixed sum of
money or like a debt other than a penalty; or
- On a guarantee, where the claim against the principal is in respect of a
debt or liquidated demand only.
JURISDICTION, TIME LIMITATION, APPLICABILITY
Jurisdiction of Summary suits
Claims can be brought in the following cases:
- Where the defendant resides;
- The defendant runs a business or works for a living, or
- The action's cause originates entirely or partially.
Pecuniary jurisdiction might be determined according to the value of the
lawsuit. A claim can be brought in either the high court or the district court,
depending on the pecuniary jurisdiction. If anybody brings a claim in court
under Order 37 of CPC, the court has a legal responsibility to inquire into the
details of the situation and to analyse the documents submitted in addition to
the plant to ensure that it meets the requirements of Order 37 of CPC. If the
hon'ble judge believes that the claim cannot be heard under the summary process,
he may issue an order treating the plaint as a regular civil complaint.
Time Limitation to initiate a Summary Suit
The suit can be proposed within 3 years from the date of the cause of action.
The period of limitation cannot be neglected.
Applicability and Extent
The provisions of Order XXXVII of CPC apply to the following class of courts:
- High Courts,
- City Civil Courts,
- Courts of Small Causes
- Other Courts.
CONSTITUENTS OF ORDER 37 CPC
Rule 1: Application of Order
Rule 1 of Order 37 talks about the courts and types of lawsuits to which Order
37 applies. It states that a matter filed under summary process may be brought
before a civil judge, an additional district judge, a judge of the high court,
or any other court with financial authority.
Rule 1(2) applies to all suits based on bills of exchange, hundies, and
promissory notes, or those in which a claimant aims only to revive a debt or
liquidated demand in funds payable on a written agreement, an enactment, in
which the amount to be retrieved is a fixed amount of money or in the essence of
any debt apart from fines, and a guarantee concerning a debt or liquidated
Rule 2: Institution of summary suits upon bills of exchange, etc.
Rule 2(1) deals with the plaintiff and the plaint. The plaintiff must provide
all the relevant details to the court in his plaint. The plaintiff must provide
a particular averment that the complaint is being filed following this Order.
Rule 2(2) provides that the summons should be in the format as prescribed in
Form No. 4 in Appendix B or in any other form as prescribed from time to time.
Rule 2(3) specifies that if the defendant fails to appear within ten days of the
summons being served upon him, the claim is presumed acknowledged, and the
plaintiff is entitled to a decision in an amount not exceeding the sum specified
in the summons.
Rule 3: Defendant showing defence on merits to have leave to appear
Rule 3(1) provides that in a claim in which this Order applies, the plaintiff
must provide the defendant with the notice to appear and a copy of the plaint.
The defendant's appearance must take place within ten days of the summons being
served upon him.
Rule 3(2) provides that all summons, notifications, and other legal proceedings
must be delivered to the defendant at the address provided by him.
Rule 3(3) states that on the day when the defendant appears in court, he must
notify such attendance to the plaintiff's pleader or the plaintiff personally
either by notice delivered or by prepaid letter.
Rule 3(4) says that if the defendant appears, the plaintiff must then issue a
summons for judgement in Form number 4A in Appendix B on the defendant. It must
contain an affidavit certifying the basis of action and the sum claimed and
indicating that there is no defence to the suit in his opinion.
Rule 3(5) says that the defendant may apply for leave to defend within ten days
of the delivery of such notice to appear for judgement by affidavit or otherwise
reveal such factual information as may be deemed sufficient to enable him to
justify, and it might be given to him unquestioningly or on such conditions as
the court deems fit. Furthermore, the provision states that permission to defend
will not be denied unless the court is convinced that the facts revealed do not
suggest a significant defence or that the defence is absurd or unreasonable.
Rule 3(6) provides that if the defendant does not ask for permission to
- The plaintiff has the right to judgement immediately, or
- The court may order the defendant to provide such assurance as it deems
Rule 3(7) provides that if sufficient cause is proven, the postponement of
entering an appearance or seeking permission to defend the action may also be
Rule 4: Power to set aside the decree
The court has the authority to set aside the ex-parte decree entered in summary
litigation under Rule 4 of Order 37. If it is fair to the court, the court may
set aside the decree, give a stay of execution, or give any other permit to the
defendant to attend to the summons and defend the claim.
Rule 13 of Order IX of the CPC deals with setting aside ex parte rulings. The
defendant must show that the summons was not properly served or that he was
prohibited from attending the hearing for whatever reason.
Rule 5: Power to order bills, etc., to be deposited with the officer of the
Under Rule 5 of Order 37, the court may direct that the disputed negotiable
instrument be submitted by a court official.
The court may also ask the plaintiff or defendant to pay some security in the
form of expenses to assure the plaintiff or defendant's good faith.
Rule 6: Recovery of the cost of noting non-acceptance of dishonoured bills or
Rule 6 of the Order 37 provides that the possessor of any dishonoured bills of
exchange or promissory note may have the rights under this Order for the
restitution of the costs incurred in the recovery of the value of such bill or
Rule 7: Procedure in suits
Rule 7 of Order 37 says that, except as provided in the order, the procedure for
an ordinary civil suit also applies to summary procedures.
PROCEDURE IN SUMMARY SUITS
There is a proper procedure that has to be followed while bringing a suit under
Order 37 of the CPC.
The procedure followed in a summary suit is as follows:
- The plaintiff files a complaint.
- Summons are given to the defendant to be present in court. Summons must
include the sum of money that is claimed in the litigation as well as a copy
of the plaint.
- The defendant must appear within 10 days of receiving the summons.
- If the defendant fails to attend, the claim is presumed acknowledged, and
the plaintiff is entitled to a decision in an amount not exceeding the sum
specified in the summons.
- If the defendant appears within 10 days, he must provide notice of his
attendance to the plaintiff's counsel or the plaintiff himself, and he must
also submit in court an address for service of notices on him.
- After receiving the defendant's notification of presence, the plaintiff
issues him with a summons for judgement.
- The defendant should ask for permission to defend within 10 days of
receiving the summons, and such permission will be given only if the
defendant's declaration reveals information that the court thinks is
adequate to allow him to defend.
PROCEDURE FOR THE APPEARANCE OF A DEFENDANT
The defendant does not have any right to defend his or her case under summary
procedure. The defendant must produce his presence by himself or through
pleaders, within 10 days of receiving the summons. The defendant must notify
such attendance to the plaintiff's pleader or the plaintiff personally on the
day of making the presentation. If the defendant makes an appearance, the
plaintiff must then issue a summons for judgement on the defendant.
The defendant may apply for notice to defend such a suit by affidavit or
disclose such factual information as may be deemed fit to enable him to protect
at any time within 10 days of the delivery of such summons; such defence shall
not be denied unless the court believes that the facts revealed by the defendant
Rules 2 and 3 provide the procedure of summary suits. Under rule 2 after the
summons of the suit has been issued to the defendant. The defendant is not
entitled to defend the Summary suit unless he enters an appearance.
In default of this, the plaintiff will be entitled to an ex parte decree which
is on a different footing to an Ex Parte decree passed in ordinary suits(the
differences have been analyzed subsequently).
In the case that the defendant appears, the defendant must apply for leave to
defend within ten days from the date of service of summons upon him and such
leave will be granted only if the affidavit filed by the defendant discloses
such facts as may be deemed to entitle him to defend.
The plaintiff files a summary suit petition in the appropriate court. The
petition must contain all the necessary details of the claim, including the
nature of the claim, the amount claimed, and the grounds for the claim. The
court will then examine the petition and decide whether the claim is a debt or a
liquidated demand that arises out of a written contract, an enactment, or a
guarantee. If the court is satisfied that the claim falls within this category,
it will issue a summons to the defendant.
The defendant must file a written
statement within ten days from the date of service of the summons. The defendant
must raise all their defences in the written statement, failing which they will
be deemed to have admitted the plaintiff's claim. After the written statement is
filed, the court will proceed to examine the case and decide whether to grant or
dismiss the summary suit. If the court finds that there is a genuine dispute, it
will dismiss the summary suit and order the plaintiff to file a regular suit. If
the court finds that there is no genuine dispute, it will pass a summary decree
in favour of the plaintiff.
SETTING ASIDE A DECREE IN SUMMARY SUITS
Rule 4 of Order XXXVII explains the court has the power to set aside an ex-parte
decree under special circumstances in a summary suit.
The court is entrusted to grant a stay on the execution of the such decree. The
defendant in such a case should not only reveal the unique circumstances, which
stopped him from appearing but also the facts, which would gain him leave to
Setting aside of ex-parte decree under Order XXXVII Rule 4 of the Code cannot be
allowed in routine and special circumstances are required to be established.
However, the expression "special circumstances" has to be construed having
regard to the individual fact situations. In the present appeal, the question
raised for consideration was whether the courts below rightly declined the
prayer to set aside the ex-parte decree and to grant leave to appeal to defend
the summary suit.
The Respondent in the present appeal had filed a suit under Order XXXVII of the
Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) alleging that the Appellant's cheques given
towards the purchase price of Plot were dishonoured despite the execution of
requisite documents and possession of the plot in question having been handed
over. The summons was duly served on the wife of the Appellant but, the
Appellant failed to enter appearance within ten days which lead to the passing
of the ex-parte decree.
Application thereafter was filed for setting aside of the decree stating that
the power of attorney in favour of the alleged owner of the plot in question,
did not specify the plot number and the Appellant found no such plot in
existence in the records of the concerned Authority due to which Appellant could
not get possession of the plot and the cheques in question could not be taken to
be in discharge of any liability. The transaction was thus stated to be without
any lawful consideration and hence void.
The Courts below held that the suit was for recovery on account of dishonour of
cheques and was not in respect of the transaction of property. The Appellant had
failed to enter appearance without any justification despite service and hence
there was no ground to set aside the ex parte decree.
The Apex Court held that it would be fair and just to allow the Appellant to
contest the suit subject to the Appellant depositing the entire amount claimed
in the suit but without interest or costs and on depositing of the said amount,
the decree will stand set aside and the Appellant would be entitled to leave to
It was observed by the Court that setting aside of ex-parte decree under Order
XXXVII Rule 4 of the Code cannot be allowed in routine and special circumstances
are required to be established. However, the expression "special circumstances"
has to be construed having regard to the individual fact situations. The Court
has to balance the equities while safeguarding the interest of the plaintiff,
appropriate conditions can be laid down if the defendant makes out a debatable
case which may prime facie show injustice if the ex-parte decree was not set
aside. [Mahesh Kumar Joshi vs. Madan Singh Negi]
CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF ORDER 37 CPC
The Supreme Court ruled in Neebha Kapoor v. Jayantilal Khandwal
"summary cases are an instrument of speedy remedy". However, it is also a
well-known fact that "justice hurried is justice buried". Also, in reality, it
is difficult to differentiate between frivolous and significant defence.
Therefore, the power provided by the aforementioned order must be used with care
Furthermore, the idea of "audi alteram partem" is a key notion in natural
justice and a fundamental aspect of the Constitution. However, under the summary
procedure, the presentation of the defendant's case is omitted, favouring the
plaintiff over the defendant. Also, in summary, suit, the right to defend in a
case is not a right; rather, it must be claimed to the satisfaction of the
As the purpose of summary suits is to act as a welfare mechanism to achieve
justice expediently, the language under Order 37 is to be interpreted liberally,
which has been reflected in numerous judgments.
Civil litigation, especially recovery suits generally termed to be a long-drawn
battle and regarded as something best avoided, is not so. The general belief
that filing a recovery Suit against a Debtor will go on for years at large, is
not so if one knows the real scope of Order 37 of the Civil Procedure Code,
This in layman's language means that the stages of filing a WS within 30 days
and not later than 90 days, a rejoinder thereafter, admission/denial of
documents, framing of issues by Court, leading evidence, cross-examination by
parties, final arguments and then finally the judgment/decree, in an ordinary
Civil Suit gets eliminated. So all that a Plaintiff has to show is that it is a
case which falls within the ambit of Order 37. Once the summons is issued, the
ball is in the Court of the Defendant to show that he is entitled to leave to
defend, on grant of which the Order 37 Suit becomes an ordinary Civil Suit and
the Defendant is then directed to file his WS within 30 days.
GETTING OUT OF ORDER 37
The idea behind a summary suit as stated in Neebha Kapoor's case is the speedy
remedy. But one must not forget - "justice hurried is justice buried". A grant
of leave to defend no doubt delays the trial but it will be a travesty of
justice where a Plaintiff on basis of some photocopied documents, reproducing
only the relevant extracts of an agreement and without the evidence and cross of
key witnesses gets a decree solely on the basis that he has been able to make
out a prima facie case, that too in most cases before a Trial Court.
of making out a prima facie case exists in Indian jurisprudence in certain
limited cases only, under Article 136 before Supreme Court, under Article 226,
227 before High Courts, etc. This jurisdiction cannot and should not be
entrusted to a Trial Court which is a Court of First Record. A few years of
Trial is better than a scenario where a decree has been passed without giving a
proper opportunity to Defendant to put forth their case. "Audi Alteram Partem"
is one of the basic features of our Constitution and a fair hearing should be
given to all concerned. In any case, if the case of Plaintiff is genuine, along
with the final judgment and decree he will also be entitled to not only to
pendent elite interest but also the cost of the Suit, for causing delay and also
for compensatory costs. Therefore no prejudice is caused to a Plaintiff as it is
only a matter of time before he gets a decree in his favour.
However, even for a bonafide Defendant, sometimes it may become a horrifying
experience to get even a conditional leave to defend granted.
Order 37 CPC is best suited for cases in which a Defendant does not have a case
at all and the Suit is prolonged for years. Also, in cases in which loans are
taken from Banks and borrowers disappear with no trace, Order 37 is useful as
based on loan documents, it is easier to get a decree from Court within a short
time and then all that is left for a Bank to do is, to find the Defendant and
get the decree executed. Most borrowers, who otherwise are not scared of
recovery agents, often offer settlement once they receive a summons and are
reprimanded by the Courts.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SUMMARY SUIT AND AN ORIGINAL SUIT
Order 37 of CPC provides for summary litigation. An ordinary suit is registered
under Section 26, Order VI, Rule 1 of the CPC.
The major difference between ordinary suits and summary suits is that later the
defendant will get a chance to defend himself only if leave to defend is
Unlike ordinary suits, summary suits are restricted to matters related to bills
of exchange, promissory notes and contracts, enactments, and guarantees of
specified nature. Interestingly Res Judicata does not apply to summary suits,
i.e. summary suits can be filed on the matter directly and substantially in
issue in a previous ordinary suit.
Summary suits can only be brought in two types of cases: Suits based on bills of
exchange, hundies, promissory notes, and promissory notes, and to recover a
debt, liquidated demand payable in money by the defendant on a written contract
and on a guarantee whereas ordinary suits can be brought for any reason and are
not confined to any specific type of suit.
In summary suits in the case of non-appearance of the defendant, a decree in
favour of the plaintiff is passed easily, whilst in ordinary suits usually,
multiple summonses are served and only then an ex parte order is passed.
The defendant does not have any right to defend the summary suit unless the
court gives conditional or unconditional authorization to defend. In ordinary
litigation, the defendant has the right to defend the claim and no leave to
defend is required.
Therefore, in Summary, suits setting aside an ex parte decree are stricter and
more stringent and special circumstances for the non-appearance need to be set
out, while in ordinary suits only sufficient cause needs to be shown.
ADVANTAGES, DISADVANTAGES AND MECHANISMS
The main advantage of an Order 37 suit is that the plaintiff is entitled to a
judgement immediately if the defendant fails to establish that he has a
significant defence in his case. Summary proceedings are legal remedies for
recovering money, resolving business transactions, and resolving contractual
disputes. In comparison to a regular suit, such proceedings are often easier to
establish the plaintiff's case and more difficult for the defendant's side.
Limited scope: Summary suits are only applicable in cases where the plaintiff
has a clear and undisputed claim against the defendant.
No full-fledged trial: In a summary suit, there is no full-fledged trial, and
the case is decided based on the pleadings and evidence submitted by the
The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 provides for various mechanisms for the speedy
disposal of cases. One such mechanism is the Summary Suit. Summary Suit is a
legal proceeding in which the plaintiff seeks to recover the debt or liquidated
demand in a swift and expedited manner. Order XXXVII of the Code of Civil
Procedure, 1908, lays down the procedure for filing and adjudication of summary
- Neebha Kapoor v Jayantilal Khandwala, Supreme Court said the underlying
public policy behind Order 37 is expeditious disposal of suits of commercial
nature. It provides for such disposal as expeditiously as possible by
prescribing a time frame, therefore. Where, however, the applicability of Order
37 of the Code itself is in question which appears to be the principal reason
behind the impugned judgement, in our opinion, the grant of leave may be
permissible. The court before passing a decree was entitled to take into
consideration the consequences, therefore.
- Southern Sales and Services and Ors. v. Sauermilch Design and Handels GMBH,
it has been held that "Unconditional leave to defend a suit shall not be granted
unless the amount as admitted to be due by the Defendant is deposited in Court."Generally, the Courts are usually reluctant to grant leave to defend
especially an unconditional one. This is perhaps because, in an Order 37 suit,
the balance of convenience is usually in favour of Plaintiff and the Courts are
also aware of the delay caused in deciding a Civil Suit which takes about three
to four years, to be finally decided with an option of Appeal to a higher forum
- S.S. Steel Industry v. Guru Hargobind Steels (2019)- the Delhi High Court
stated that Order 37 Rule 2(3) CPC expressly states that the defendant shall not
defend the civil case unless he makes his appearance, and in the absence of his
presence, the assertions in the plant will be deemed admitted, and the plaintiff
is entitled to a declaration for the total amount not exceeding the amount noted
in the summons.
Given the precise restrictions of Order 37 Rule 2(3) CPC, it is not within the
trial court's jurisdiction to determine whether the suit fulfils the
requirements of Order 37 CPC or not. Once a summons in the specified format has
been issued and formally delivered, the defendant is required to enter an
appearance within the time limit; if the defendant fails to appear within the
time frame, the averments in the plaint are deemed accepted, and the plaintiff
is granted a decree immediately.
- Inderjeet Kaur vs Nirpal Singh, Supreme Court warned that a cautious and
judicious approach plus a balanced view in respect of competing claims is
necessary. It further stated that at a stage when leave to defend is sought, it
is enough if he prima facie makes out a case by disclosing such facts as would
disentitle the other side from claiming an order. It would not be the right
approach to say that unless Defendant at that stage itself establishes a strong
case, he should be granted leave. It further cautioned that leave to defend
sought for cannot also be granted for mere asking or in a routine manner which
will defeat the very object of the special provisions contained in Chapter III-A
of the Act.
- Precision Steel & Engg. Works vs Prem Deva Niranjan Deva Tayal, where it was
held that mere disclosure of facts, not a substantial defence is the sine qua
non. What is a substantial defence depends upon the facts and circumstances of
each case. Even if the defendant raises triable issues, if doubt is left with
the trial judge about the defendant's good faith or the genuineness of the
triable issues, or if they are plausible but not probable, the trial judge may
impose conditions both as to time or mode of trial, as well as payment into
court or furnishing security.
Order 37 CPC guarantees that the defendant does not drag out the proceedings.
The defendant in these instances can seek permission to defend if he possesses
the necessary defence to demonstrate that his position is substantive in
character; otherwise, the plaintiff has a stronger hand in the case.
Care should be taken to see that the object of the rule to assist the
expeditious disposal of commercial cases should not be defeated. But it also
must be ensured that genuine triable issues are not shut out by unduly severe
orders as to deposit.
Wherever defence raises triable issues, leave should be granted unconditionally.
If it is not done, leave may become illusory.
However, it is important to engage a competent and experienced lawyer who can
guide the parties through the process and ensure a fair and just outcome.
It is humbly opined that summary suits act like an ingenious solution to help
prevent unreasonable obstructions by a defendant who has no tenable defence.
Summary suits would be beneficial to businesses as unless the defendant can
demonstrate that he has a substantial defence, the plaintiff is entitled to a
Order 37 engineers an appropriate mechanism that ensures that the defendant does
not prolong the litigation especially as in commercial matters time is of the
essence and helps further the cause of Justice.
To conclude, summary suits are a one-of-a-kind method for preventing undue
impediments by the defendant. Summary cases are advantageous to commercial
enterprises because the claimant is eligible for a judgement if the defendant
lacks a strong defence. Order 37 CPC guarantees that the defendant does not drag
out the proceedings. The defendant in these instances can seek permission to
defend if he possesses the necessary defence to demonstrate that his position is
substantive in character; otherwise, the plaintiff has a stronger hand in the
case. It also creates a suitable mechanism to guarantee that the defendant does
not extend the lawsuit, especially as time is of the essence in business
situations, and furthers the goal of justice.
In conclusion, the summary suit procedure is a speedy and efficient mechanism
for the recovery of debts and liquidated demands. It provides an opportunity for
the plaintiff to obtain a quick remedy and for the defendant to defend the claim
without being subjected to protracted and time-consuming litigation. However, it
is important to engage a competent and experienced lawyer who can guide the
parties through the process and ensure a fair and just outcome. Century Law Firm
has a team of experienced lawyers who are well-versed in the summary suit
procedure and can assist clients in achieving a successful outcome in their
- Anil Nandwani, Law of Civil Procedure in India, 1st Ed. 2006, Allahabad Law
- C.K. Takwani, Civil Procedure, 6th Ed. 2003, Eastern Book Company, Lucknow.
- M.P. Jain, The Code of Civil Procedure, 1st Ed. 2004, Wadhwa Company,
- Sarkar, Code of Civil Procedure, 10th Ed. 2002, Vol. 2, Wadhwa Company,
- Civil Procedure Code, 1908.
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