In legal or formal communications, a notice is a written document or
notification that is used to convey important information, demands, or
instructions from one party to another. Notices are commonly utilized in various
legal matters, contractual disputes, or compliance issues. These documents play
a pivotal role in establishing clear communication and ensuring that all parties
are fully aware of their rights, obligations, and the potential consequences
Notices can come in various forms, depending on their purpose and the specific
legal requirements of a particular jurisdiction. They can range from
cease-and-desist letters used to stop unauthorized actions, demand letters sent
to collect debts or seek compensation, eviction notices issued to resolve
landlord-tenant conflicts, or notices of breach of contract utilized to address
violations of contractual terms. Regardless of their type, notices serve a
crucial role in the legal process by offering a structured and formal way to
address issues, protect legal rights, and even initiate legal actions when
During different stages notice can be issued throughout the pendency of a legal
matter. Firstly, there exists a preliminary notice, which serves to apprise the
other party that unless they resolve the dispute or settle outstanding dues, the
sender will initiate legal action. Secondly, notice may be issued at the
initiation of legal proceedings, mandating that the other party appear and
defend themselves in court; failure to do so could result in the proceedings
continuing in their absence.
Contents of Notice
Typically, notices are sent by a lawyer, although this is not obligatory.
notice should typically include the following particulars:
Service of Notice
- The sender's name and complete postal address.
- The date of sending the notice.
- The name of the recipient along with their complete address.
- The content of the notice, elucidating the reason for sending it and offering a concise history of the dispute. It should also explicitly delineate the desired claim and the repercussions of non-compliance.
The crux of the matter in legal practice concerning notices lies in the proper
service of the notice. This entails ensuring that the notice reaches the correct
address when sent and that the intended recipient duly receives it.
Alternatively, a notice can be hand-delivered in person, or if contacting the
respondent is not feasible, publication in a newspaper may suffice.
Section 27 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, stipulates that when service by
post is mandated by any Act or Rule, such service is deemed to be fulfilled by
appropriately addressing, prepaying, and sending the letter containing the
document via registered post. If the addressee refuses to accept the letter, it
is still regarded as having been served. Similarly, if a notice sent via
registered post is returned with an endorsement indicating 'left,' it is also
considered as served. The same principle applies if the notice is returned with
the endorsement 'refused.'
Other Significant Points about Notice
The process of sending a Legal Notice through Registered Post or Courier
typically takes about 5-7 working days. In India, English is the universally
accepted language for sending Legal Notices. There is no mandatory requirement
to include additional documents or annexures with the Legal Notice when
communicating with the other party. Although responding to a Legal Notice is not
obligatory, it is advisable to provide a suitable response after consulting with
a legal professional. The advocate's proficiency in drafting and knowledge of
legal terminology can significantly impact the recipient.
The Supreme Court of India has recognized the validity of Legal Notices sent via
digital platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, E-mail, or Fax. The presence of two
blue ticks on WhatsApp serves as confirmation of the notice being received. The
Bombay High Court, in the case of SBI Cards (P) Ltd. Vs. Rohit Jadhav, has ruled
that if an individual receives a Legal Notice on WhatsApp and opens it, it will
be considered as the Legal Notice being properly served.
If you have the alternative address of the recipient, it is advisable to send
the notice to that address for accurate delivery. There is no specific template
for a Legal Notice as its format depends on the drafting skills and legal
expertise of the advocating lawyer handling the case. In case of a breach of
contract, the address mentioned in the contract's "Notice" section should be
used to send the notice. The method of delivery, whether electronic or physical,
should be according to the mutually agreed contractual terms. The fees charged
by an advocate for drafting a Legal Notice can vary widely depending on the
complexity of the case, starting from Rs. 500 and potentially reaching several
Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC)
Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) in India is a significant legal
provision that institutes a compulsory prerequisite for issuing a notice before
initiating legal proceedings against the government or public officers for
actions carried out in their official capacity. This provision functions as a
fundamental procedural safeguard, guaranteeing that government entities and
public officers receive proper notice regarding imminent legal actions targeting
them. Now, let's explore the intricate aspects of Section 80 CPC:
Obligatory Notice Mandate:
Section 80 CPC mandates that a plaintiff, intending
to sue the government or a public officer, must serve a formal written notice.
This notice should encompass specific details concerning the grievance,
including the grounds for legal action, the relief sought, and other pertinent
particulars. Essentially, it serves as an initial intimation of the planned
Timeframe for Notice:
The notice must be delivered at least two months prior to
the actual filing of the lawsuit. This prescribed timeframe is designed to
afford the government or the concerned public officer an adequate period to
review the claims, assess the situation, and potentially take remedial measures
to address the issue through non-litigious means.
Notice's Primary Objective:
Section 80 CPC primarily aims to foster amicable
settlements and provide an opportunity for dispute resolution before resorting
to formal litigation. By serving the notice, it encourages pre-litigation
communication, negotiation, and the potential for mutually agreeable
Exceptions - Urgent Cases:
Recognizing that certain circumstances may
necessitate immediate legal action, Section 80 CPC includes provisions for
exceptions. In situations requiring urgent relief, where prompt action is
imperative, the plaintiff may petition the court for permission to initiate the
lawsuit without serving the mandatory notice. However, such cases must genuinely
involve urgency and compelling reasons.
Ramifications of Non-compliance:
Failure to adhere to the notice requirement as
outlined in Section 80 CPC can entail substantial legal consequences. If a
lawsuit is initiated without first serving the requisite notice, the court may
dismiss it on the grounds of non-compliance with this statutory provision.
Therefore, strict adherence to Section 80 is imperative to validate a legal
action against the government or public officers.
In summary, Section 80 of the CPC holds a crucial position within India's legal
framework, emphasizing the importance of prior notification to government
entities and public officers regarding imminent legal proceedings. Its core
objective is to promote settlements, minimize unnecessary litigation, and ensure
that the government has an opportunity to address grievances before resorting to
formal legal proceedings. While exceptions exist for urgent cases, compliance
with Section 80 CPC remains an indispensable aspect when commencing legal
actions against the government and public officers in India.
Action required on receipt of Notice
When you receive a legal notice, it's important to follow these key steps:
Court Judgments on Notice
- Thoroughly review the notice: Take the time to carefully read and understand all of the information in the legal notice. This will help you grasp the concerns and issues raised by the sender. If there is potential for a resolution through discussion, consider initiating that conversation.
- Seek legal counsel: It's highly recommended to consult with a qualified lawyer who can provide guidance throughout the process. They have expertise in navigating legal matters and can offer valuable advice specific to your situation.
- Provide information to your lawyer: The next crucial step is to share your side of the story with your lawyer. Provide them with details about timelines, facts, and events related to the matter at hand. By doing this, you enable your lawyer to develop an appropriate response that accurately reflects your perspective.
- Dispatch the response: Once your advocate has drafted a reply to the notice, it
should be sent via registered post or courier, with the receipt of delivery
retained for reference. Both the legal notice and the response should be
retained by the advocate for any future correspondence.
In the context of court judgments, it has been firmly established that a notice
rejected by the addressee can be presumed to have been served on them. Jagdish
Singh v. Natthu Singh
, AIR 1992 SC1604
Additionally, it is considered that a person has "received" a notice when it is
diligently delivered to them or to their place of business.
It is crucial to underscore that the court should not adopt an interpretation
that aids a dishonest evader or a deceitful cheque issuer at the expense of an
honest payee, as doing so would run counter to the legislative intent.
Section 27 establishes a presumption that the service of notice has been duly
completed when it is sent to the correct address via registered post.
The court has previously ruled that when a notice is dispatched via registered
post and is returned with a postal endorsement indicating refusal,
unavailability at the residence, a locked house or closed shop, or the addressee
being away from the station, it is presumed to have been appropriately served.
Nevertheless, this presumption does not preclude the drawer's right to
demonstrate that they had no knowledge of the notice being delivered to their
address. V. Raja Kumari v. Subbarama Naiduand Anr
, AIR 2005 SC 109
In the case of State of A.P v. Gundugola Venkata
, AIR 1965 SC 11, it was
determined that a notice issued under section 80 (3) of Civil Procedure Code
cannot be deemed invalid, and no lawsuit can be dismissed due to minor technical
defects or errors in the notice's delivery. Similarly, a suit cannot be
dismissed on the basis that the notice was served in an improper manner.
In the case of Himachal Steel Rerollers and Fabrication v. Union of India
(AIR 1988 All 191), it was held that a plaintiff who wishes to take legal action
against the government has two options. Firstly, they can file a lawsuit after
giving a two-month notice as required by Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code.
Alternatively, they may choose to file the suit without serving prior notice,
but in such circumstances, they must convince the court that there is an urgent
and immediate need for relief and obtain prior permission from the court.
In a court case known as Chief Conservator of Forests, Government of A.P. v.
, the Supreme Court has emphasized the importance of Section 79 of
the Civil Procedure Code. This section is not just a procedural formality but
carries significant weight. It provides clear guidelines on how the Central
Government or a State Government can initiate or defend lawsuits. According to
In suits involving the Central Government, the plaintiff or defendant shall be
the Union of India.
In suits involving a State Government, the plaintiff or defendant shall be the
The practice of exchanging legal notices holds paramount importance within the
realm of law and has garnered increasing significance over time. The primary
objective of this practice is clear-cut: it is in place to guarantee that the
opposing party, who may potentially face legal actions, receives proper
This notification is of utmost importance as it empowers them to exercise their
right to formulate a defence and present their case in a court of law. The
central intent of a notice is to apprise the other party that legal proceedings
are in motion and that they should stay informed of this progress to safeguard
their interests before a final judgment is issued.
- Advance Legal drafting, Abhinav gaur, Prakash Pandey, Shabdita Singh
Written By: Md.Imran Wahab
, IPS, IGP, Provisioning, West Bengal
Email: [email protected]
, Ph no: 9836576565