Civil Litigation
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This article is written by Yash Gupta who is pursuing a Certificate Course in Advanced Civil Litigation: Practice Procedure and Drafting from LawSikho.


The Civil Procedure Code is a Procedural Law that prescribes the practice, procedure, and machinery for the enforcement of the rights and liabilities determined by Substantive Law. Procedure Law is an addition to Substantive Law or in simple words, it is an accessory to substantive law. The Procedural Law defines the procedure by which the Substantive Law is applied in a particular case. In short, Substantive Law is concerned with the ends which the administration of justice seeks, while procedural law is concerned with the means and instruments by which these ends are to be attained. The Code of Civil Procedure neither creates nor takes away any right.

It regulates the functioning of Civil Courts. It generally lays down the Procedure of filing the Civil Case, Powers of courts for passing various orders, court fees and stamps involved in filing a case, Rights of the parties to the case, named plaintiff and defendant, jurisdiction and parameters within which civil courts must function, Specific rules for proceedings of a case, Rights of Appeals, Review and References. It can be termed as a guide to Civil Courts conducting the Civil Trials. It emphasizes on the maxim Ubi jus ibi remedium which means “where there is right, there is a remedy”. A party cannot be refused his relief or claim merely on the ground of technical flaws as the Civil Procedural Code is made for aid in justice and not to defeat the very object of the law which is sought to be achieved by the mechanism of Courts and Judicature. 

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Types of cases that fall within the ambit of CPC

The suits of Civil nature pertain to the private rights and remedies of a citizen distinguished from criminal, constitutional, or public law rights and remedies. According to Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the civil courts shall have the jurisdiction to try all the suits of civil nature except the suits for which their cognizance is either expressly barred or impliedly barred (like suits barred by general principles of Law or sometimes barred on the grounds of Public Policy).

Some Examples of Suits of Civil Nature

Suit for rent; Suit for Administration; Suit for Declaration; Suit for Damages; Suit related to Property; Suit related to Contract; Suit related to Specific relief; suit for dissolution of marriage, etc. 

Jurisdiction of court to entertain different types of Suits

  • Suit in Respect of Immovable Property- All wrongs of Civil nature affecting the immovable property such as Trespass, nuisance, infringement of an easement, etc. Such suits must be instituted in the Court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property is situated {Section 16(e)}.
  • Suit in Respect of Movable Property- A suit in respect of movable property actually under restraint or attachment is to be filed in the Court under whose jurisdiction the said Movable Property is attached as it constitutes an exception to the general rule that movable follow the person {Section 16(f)}.
  • Suit for Mesne Profit- Mesne Profits mesne profits are those profits to which a person is entitled but from which he has been kept out by the defendant. Mesne profits can be claimed only regarding immovable property and not concerning such property which cannot be deemed to be immovable. Mesne profits of the property also include those profits which the person in wrongful possession of such property received or might with ordinary diligence have received therefrom, together with interest on such profits. A suit for mesne profits is covered by Section 16 of CPC and may be instituted in the court within whose jurisdiction the property is situated or in the court within whose local limits of whose jurisdiction the defendant actually and voluntarily resides, or carries on business or personally works for gain.
  • Suits on Contract- A Contract is an Agreement enforceable by law. In suits related to breach of Contracts, the cause of action arises at any of the places where the contract was made or performed or the place where any money under the contract was payable. A suit for breach of a contract can be instituted at the place where the contract was made or is to be performed at the place where the breach was committed.
  • Suits against agents– In suits for accounts against agents the cause of action arises at the place where the contract of agency was made or the place where the accounts are to be rendered and payment is to be made by the agent.
  • Suits on negotiable instruments– The cause of action arises at any place where any fact occurs, the proof of which is essential to the plaintiff’s case. Thus, a suit may be filed at any place where a bill was drawn or where it was accepted or dishonoured or payable.
  • Suit between Debtor and Creditor- A suit between Debtor and Creditor is to be instituted at the place where the payment of the debt is to be made if there it is specified in the contract otherwise the suit can be instituted at the place where the Creditor resides or where the creditor works.

Examples of Claims 

Contract Claims – Civil Claims persists on the breach of contract. When one party fails to fulfil his part of obligation out of the concerning census the Civil claims arise. For example, if you’ve paid for goods and then the company you paid did not deliver your goods, this would be a failure to perform.

Equitable Claims– In Equitable Claims generally courts take action directing a party to do or to abstain from doing an act. The Monetary damages cannot play a pivot role in Equitable Claims. For example, if the subject of a contract is unique and irreplaceable, or in a situation where irreversible harm may occur, then equitable relief may be considered by a court to be the only fair legal remedy.

Eviction Claims – The Court concerned with Civil cases plays a mammoth etiquette in the midst of the Landlord and the tenant. Such cases lay the different character where Landlord focuses to evict a tenant from the rental property and sometimes the tenant claims his security that was deposited at the time of the Rental Agreement.

Tort Claims – Tort is an infringement of a right in rem of a private individual giving a right of compensation at the suit of the injured party. Tortious Claims arise from the breach of a duty primarily rooted by the law. This duty is in concern with persons generally and its breach is redressable by an action for unliquidated damages. Tort claims are a preferred option in the aftermath of an accident because you can claim and receive damages that compensate the real loss you have suffered.

Kinds of reliefs and remedies available to parties 

The reliefs and remedies available under the Civil Law are either in the form of Monetary terms or non-monetary terms or both. The foremost objective of any kind of relief is to compensate the aggrieved party and put the aggrieved party in the front seat as compared to the other party who is at fault. Such relief and remedies are provided to the aggrieved party by the Civil courts or the various forums and tribunals especially enacted for the specific statute. Declaration of relief is always discretionary. If the discretion is not exercised by the lower court “in the spirit of the statute or fairly or honestly or according to the rules of reason and justice”, the order passed by the lower court can be reversed by the superior court (Mysore State Road Transport Corporation V. Mirja Khasim Ali Beg & Anr., AIR 1977 SC 747).


An action in which a litigant requests a court’s assistance not because any rights have been violated but because those rights are uncertain. Declaration as a relief and remedy is sought to be achieved by the mechanism of Civil Suit. It is concerned with the Declaration of right which is doubtful. A Declaration can be sought by a person having a legal character or a right as to property which is denied. As per Section 34 of the Specific relief act, no court shall make any such declaration in a case where the plaintiff being able to seek further relief than a declaration of title, omits to do so. The Declaration is not in the purview of specific performance as it is merely a declaration of the right of parties to the suit. 

Example – In a case, the owner of the property entered into a contract for sale of that property with the plaintiff and induced the plaintiff into possession thereof. The plaintiff made part payment of the consideration and agreed to pay the remaining amount at the time of registration. At this stage, a third party, not having a better right than plaintiff, started construction work on that property. The plaintiff immediately filed a Suit and the Court stayed the third party from proceeding with the construction work but that third party ignored the order. In such circumstances, the supreme court held that the plaintiff is entitled to a declaration of his possessory title and necessary injunctions but not entitled to the declaration that he was the owner of the property (Ramesh Chand Ardawatiya v Anil Panjawani AIR 2003 SC 2508).


An injunction is defined as a judicial process whereby a party requires to do or refrain from doing any particular act. A permanent injunction restrains a party forever from doing the specified act and can be granted only on merits at the conclusion of the trial after hearing both the parties in the suit. A temporary injunction or interim injunction refrains a party temporarily from doing the specified act. It is regulated under and may be granted at any stage of the suit. The primary purpose of granting interim relief is the preservation of property in dispute till legal rights and conflicting claims of the parties before the court are Adjudicated (Shiv Kumar v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi 1993 3 SCC 161). It is in the nature of preventive relief granted to a litigant because he fears future possible injury. An injunction may be issued only against a party to the suit or proceeding and not against a stranger or a third party. It cannot be granted against a court or judicial officer.

Specific Performance 

Specific performance is an equitable relief granted by the Court to enforce contractual obligations between the parties. It is a remedy in performance as opposed to a claim sounding in damages for breach of contract where pecuniary compensation is granted as a relief for failure to carry out the terms of the contract. It is a well settled principle that a court will not order specific performance of a contract unless there is mutuality in the sense that the plaintiff could also be compelled to specifically perform his part of obligation. No person can sue for specific performance if he cannot be sued for it. This doctrine of mutuality means that the contract must be mutually enforceable by each party against the other. It means each party to the contract must have the freedom to enforce his right under the contract against the other (Dasarath Gayan v Satyanarain Ghose AIR 1963 Cal 325).

Monetary Relief

An aggrieved party is entitled to claim monetary damages against the other party for the breach of contract or any other loss that occurred to the aggrieved party due to him. The monetary damages can be classified under various heads such as Compensatory Damages or Nominal Damages. Also, many times the damages are already pre-decided by the parties in the foreseeable nature of breach which is termed as Liquidated Damages, and where the Damages are not pre-decided then it shall be decided based on facts and circumstance of the particular case. The monetary damages and awards are also common in Arbitration proceedings.


Civil law works on the nature of rights in personam. Personal and individual interests are the parameters of civil law. For the cases to lie within the ambit of civil jurisdiction it has to operate against the nature of criminal law which lays its emphasis on public wrong i.e. wrong against the society. The civil claims, remedies, and reliefs are most in the compensatory nature rather than the punitive nature. As the suits in civil law are not precarious for society it, therefore, to be construed liberally as compared to the criminal law. The remedies under civil law have their strong nexus with the personal relief of what exactly the aggrieved party is looking for. The Declaration of title, temporary or permanent injunction, Specific performance, Monetary Damages all work on a different footing as compared to imprisonment or death sentence.


  • Black’s law Dictionary 8th edition
  • Civil Procedure with Limitation,1963 C.K. Tatwani 8th Edition.
  • Mulla: The Code of Civil Procedure, 18th Edition
  • ipleaders 

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