1.1 MEANING & IMPORTANCE
In layman terms, ‘pleading’ refers to making an emotional appeal to someone. In legal
terms, pleading is a plaint or a written statement containing facts, claims and
defenses, filed by the parties to a suit or a case.
The art of pleading can be traced back to the time when pleadings were orally made in
the court of kings and ministers. The pleader used to claim something against the
other person through his eloquent oratory skills. In ancient India, the pleaders were
regarded as individuals who were well-versed with religious books of Dharma
Shastras, whereas in the English speaking countries, they were regarded as narrator or
In the case of Mohan Rawale v. Damodar Tatyaba, the Hon’ble court highlighted the
importance of pleading as being a primary mode of trial of preliminary issues of law
or of facts. Pleadings point out upon whom the burden of proof lays and who has the
right to open the case.
1.2 ORDER VI OF CPC, 1908
Order VI of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 primarily deals with pleadings, its
ingredients, forms etc. Rule 1 defines pleading as being a plaint or a written
statement. The party seeking some legal right or remedy, also known as the plaintiff,
files plaint. The party against whom a legal right or a remedy is sought, also known as
the respondent, files written statement.
Rule 2 states that a pleading should contain only a statement of facts on which the
plaintiff relies for proving his/her claim. It should not contain any evidence which can
help the plaintiff in proving the claim. It further elucidates on the intricacies of
pleading and states that it should be divided into paragraphs, which should be
numbered. Also, each allegation against the respondent should be mentioned in a
separate paragraph. Also, dates and numbers should be provided in both figures as
well as in words.
In the pleadings where the party relies on misrepresentation, fraud, breach of trust,
willful default or undue influence, the particulars related to such events should
necessarily be mentioned.
1.3 ESSENTIALS OF PLEADING
The pleading should always be drawn up and conducted in such manner so as to
evolve some clear and definite issues i.e., some definite propositions of law and/or
fact, asserted by one party and denied by the other. But both the parties must agree on
the points sought to be adjudicated upon in action.
When this has been fairy and properly ascertained then following advantages flow
(i) It is a beneficial for both the parties to know exactly what matters are left
in dispute. They may discover that they are fighting about nothing at all;
e.g. when a plaintiff in an action of libel finds that the defendant does not
assert that the words are true, he is often willing to accept an apology and
costs, and so put an end to the action.
(ii) It is also a boon to the parties to know precisely what facts they must
prove at the trial, otherwise, they may need to undergo great trouble and
expense in procuring evidence of facts which their opponent does not
actually dispute. On the other hand, if they assume that their opponent will
not raise a particular point, they may be taken suddenly by surprise at the
(iii) Moreover, it is necessary to ascertain the nature of the controversy in order
to determine the most appropriate mode of trial. It may turn out to be a
pure point of law, which should be decided by the judge.
1.4. AMENDMENT IN PLEADINGS
Rules 17 and 18 of Order VI of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, deals with amendment
of pleading. These provisions aim towards achieving justice in the society. Rule 17
mentions that the court can allow either of the party, at any stage, to amend or alter
his pleadings as may be just for the purpose of determining the real question in issue.
On the other hand, rule 18 deals with the issue of failure of amending the pleading
which states that if a party has been ordered to amend its pleadings and it does not
amend the same within the time period stipulated in that order, or if no time period
has been stupulated, then on expiry of 14 days from the date of the order, the court
may not allow the party to amend the pleadings. Therefore, it is purely at the
discretion of the court to allow such amendment after the expiry period.
1.5. SIGNING AND VERIFICATION
Rule 14 further states that it is mandatory that every pleading must be signed by the
party making such claim/defense and his pleader (if any). A proviso this rule also
mentions that if, by any good cause, the party is unable to sign the pleading, it can be
signed by any person duly authorized by the party for this purpose, on his behalf.
Rule 15 of the CPC talks about verification of the pleading by the party. The
verification should contain, with reference to the numbered paragraphs, the
statements, which he verifies of his own knowledge, and the statements, which he
verifies upon the information received by him and which he believes to be true. Also,
the person verifying the contents of the pleading should also provide an affidavit in
support of the pleadings.