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This article is written by Ab Wahid Lone of 10th Semester of Central University of Kashmir


Pleadings are statements in writing drawn up by parties to the Suit; pleadings are the foundation of litigation. Pleading is the backbone of the legal profession. The paramount requirement of the legal profession is that a lawyer must have proficient pleading skills. Several jurists have pointed out that the pleading must be concise and to the point. A lawyer is considered successful only when he clearly understands pleading. This paper delves into the important role of pleadings in the Indian legal system under the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC). Pleadings serve as the foundation for any civil litigation, guiding the entire judicial process. The study comprehensively analyses the various aspects of pleadings under CPC, including their historical evolution, legal framework, and practical implications.

The research explores the historical development of pleadings. It emphasises the importance of precision, clarity, and fairness in framing pleadings and investigates the underlying principles that govern them.

In addition, the paper scrutinizes the statutory provisions and procedural requirements governing pleadings, offering a detailed analysis of Order VI of the CPC.

The research also examines the practical implications of pleadings under CPC, including their impact on the determination of issues, framing of charges, and the formulation of legal strategies by litigants. The paper provides valuable insights into pleadings in the CPC through doctrinal research analysis.

In conclusion, the research paper highlights the critical role that pleadings play in India’s legal system,

KEYWORDS: Pleadings, Code of Civil Procedure, Litigation, plaint, written statement, Indian Legal System.


The research methodology adopted for this paper’s purpose is the doctrinal research method. The data has been collected from various sources such as academic journals, books, reports, and websites. This paper is descriptive, and the research is mainly based on secondary sources for deep analysis of pleadings under the Code Of Civil Procedure.


Resolving issues through alternate allegations has existed in civilized societies since ancient times. The art of pleading is an equally ancient aspect of procedural law. In ancient India, the practice existed differently than it does today. Similarly, the art of pleading in England dates back to the days of Henry II and is still recognizable today. The concept of “issue” appeared in the first year of Edward II’s reign, indicating that this method of resolving disputes was prevalent even before his time. Pleadings were initially conducted orally, with parties appearing in court and engaging in verbal arguments in front of judges. Parties were either represented by themselves or by an eloquent orator well-versed in legal texts like Dharma Sastras and Koran in ancient and medieval India, respectively. In England, such individuals were called narrators and advocates before the current legal system was established. These individuals assisted Kings and Judges in administering justice at the time.

The role of the King and judge was to moderate the verbal arguments and to arrive at a specific point or matter that both parties agreed was the question requiring a decision. Once this was done, the parties were said to be “at issue”, and the pleading was over. In England, parties were ready to go before a jury if necessary. Judges in those times were strict and only allowed one issue per cause of action. If a defendant had more than one defence to the plaintiff’s claim, they had to choose one.

Since Queen Victoria’s reign, parties have been allowed to raise more than one issue, either of law or fact. During the verbal altercation, an officer of the court would record the parties’ allegations and the court’s actions on a parchment roll, which was then preserved as a perpetual judicial record. With the advent of print and paper, pleadings were drawn up on plain paper and exchanged between parties, probably during the reign of Edward IV. The Judicature Act of 1873 in England brought in many reforms to pleading, which are still in force today. The Indian law of pleading is based on the English system and is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, which lawyers must master to understand civil litigation practice and procedure thoroughly.


Order 6 deals with pleadings in general. Rule I clearly defines what pleading means, while Rule 2 outlines the basic principles for pleadings. Rules 3 to 13 require the parties involved to provide all necessary information. Rules 14 and 15 describe the procedures for signing and verifying pleadings. Rule 16 gives the court the authority to remove any unnecessary pleadings. Rules 17 and 18 include provisions relating to the amendment of pleadings.

pleading is defined as a “Plaint” or a “written statement.”[1] A Plaint is a written claim filed by the plaintiff that outlines their cause of action along with all relevant details. On the other hand, a written statement is a written defence filed by the defendant that addresses all of the material facts alleged by the plaintiff in the plaint. It includes any new information that may be in their favour and any legal objections they may have to the claim.”

Various Jurists have defined pleadings as the formal allegations of parties regarding their respective claims and defences for the court’s judgement. Essentially, pleadings are legal statements that request the court to either grant relief or pass a verdict in a dispute. The plaintiff initiates a lawsuit by filing a plaint, while the defendant files a written statement as an answer or defence to the plaintiff’s claims. Therefore, pleadings are the first documents that parties file before the court and can also be filed in response to an opposing party’s

According to PC Mogha, pleadings are statements in writing drawn up and filed by each party to the case, stating what his contentions will be at trial and giving all such details as his opponent needs to know for his defence[2].

The entire law of pleadings is covered under orders 6, 7 and 8 of Schedule I of the CPC. Order VI contains the general rule of pleadings to be adhered to while drafting. According to Order VI, pleadings mean plaint or a written statement.

Order VII: It provides a procedure for drafting a plaint.

Order VIII: It contains a procedure for drafting a written statement.

Therefore, the pleading is the plaintiff’s plaint and the defendant’s written statement. Accordingly, the stage of pleading would mean the institution of the plaint until the written statement is submitted. This is the primary process in the Civil Procedure.


The fundamental object of pleading is to provide both parties with a fair opportunity to understand each other’s case and to allow them to know the points of agreement and disagreement.

According to Odgers, the Defendant has the right to know the allegations made against them by the plaintiff, and vice versa. Pleadings include statements and responses that may introduce new information to the case.

The object of pleadings is to assist the Court and the parties to the dispute in adjudication. Its function is multi-dimensional and is in various ways. Stable J., in Pinston v. Lloyds Bank Ltd[3]., has expressed the object of pleading in the following words: “The function of a pleading is not simply for the benefit of the parties but also and perhaps primarily for the assistance of a Court by defining with precision the area beyond which without the leave of the court, and consequential amendment of a pleading, conflict must not be allowed to extend”. The following are the objects of pleading:

1. The whole object of pleading is to give each party fair notice of the opponent’s case.

2. In legal proceedings, the pleadings reveal the actual issues in dispute between the parties. Both sides must be aware of each other’s positions and which facts are accepted or disputed to prepare for the trial adequately.

3. During a trial, pleadings prevent surprises and remove irrelevant matters already admitted as true. This means that any facts that both parties have admitted don’t need to be proven or explored further. As a result, pleadings save the parties time, money, and effort by allowing them to focus on presenting evidence that supports the issues framed by the Court based on the facts alleged by one party and denied by the other.

In the case of Prakash Chand v. Comm & Secy of Govt of India[4] , the court affirmed that the purpose of pleading is to limit the disagreement between the parties to specific issues. The primary goal of pleadings is to ensure that each side is fully aware of the questions that will be debated so that they can present relevant evidence. The court has no authority to disregard the pleadings and arrive at judgments that they believe to be reasonable and fair.

In the leading case of Throp v. Holdsworth[5], Jessel, M.R. stated: “The purpose of pleadings is to help parties reach an agreement, and the rules related to pleadings are intended to prevent the issue from expanding unnecessarily. This ensures both parties understand the true point to be debated and decided at trial. The system’s goal is to narrow the focus to specific issues, which reduces costs and delays, especially regarding the amount of testimony required from each side during the hearing.”

In the case of Meenakshi Sundaram Pillai v. Sthanutha 1953, the court observed that if the pleadings were unclear and the parties did not get the opportunity to meet the opponent’s case, then it would be a miscarriage of justice.

In the case of Ganesh Trading Co. v. Moji Ram[6], the court observed that the pleading is the following objects:

1. To give each side intimation of the case so they are not surprised.

2. To enable the court to determine issues between parties.

3. To diminish expenses and delay in the conduct of the suit.


A party’s whole case depends on how skillfully the pleadings are drafted. If the pleadings are not properly drafted, it is the biggest disadvantage for that party. Further, it is essential to note that the relief is to be claimed on the grounds mentioned in the pleading. The pleading must contain only material facts, and immaterial and vague facts should be excluded. In the case of Mishri Lal Sunderlal v State of MP, 1986, the Court observed that the case depicted in the pleadings has to be proved, and a party cannot move beyond what has been depicted in the pleadings. Further, it held that the Court’s decision cannot be on the grounds not mentioned in the pleadings.


In England, pleading is based on customary law, while in India, it is codified. Sub-rule (I) of Rule 2 of order 6 lays down the fundamental principles of pleadings. It reads as follows:

2(1). Every pleading shall contain and contain only a statement in a concise form of the material facts on which the party pleading relies for his claim or defence, as the case may be, but not the evidence by which they are to be proved.

On the analysis, the following fundamental principles emerge:

  1. Plead facts, not law.
  2. Plead facts, not evidence.
  3. Plead facts, and only material facts.
  4. The facts should be stated in a concise form.
  5. Pleadings should state facts and not law: Facts should be pleaded upon and not the law. The four words which can crisply summaries this rule of pleading is “Plead facts, not law”. Both parties’ counsel should only project the facts in their respective case rather than suggesting the laws applicable in the particular case. This rule was established in the case of Kedar Lal v. Hari Lal[7], where it was decided that it is the responsibility of the parties to present the facts supporting their claims. The court will apply the law to the case, so the parties should not attempt to do so themselves. If a case involves a combination of factual and legal issues, it may be appropriate to include this information in the pleadings, as stated in the case of Ram Prasad v. State of MP[8] .
  6. The facts stated in pleadings should be material facts: It is the second fundamental rule of pleadings. It says that pleadings should contain a statement of material facts only, i.e., unnecessary facts should not be pleaded. The question arose in the court of law: what is the actual scope of “material facts”? In the case Union of India v. Sita Ram Jaiswal[9],  the court said that material facts will include all those facts upon which the plaintiff’s counsel will claim damages or rights as the case may be or the defendant will put forth his defence. In a nutshell, “material facts” means all facts upon which the plaintiff’s cause of action or the defendant’s defence depends.
  7. Pleadings should not state the evidence: The third fundamental rule of pleadings states that statements should include the material facts relied upon by the party but not the evidence used to prove those facts. This means only Facta probanda (material facts) should be stated, while Facta probantia (particulars or evidence) should be avoided. The material facts on which the plaintiff relies for his claim or the defendant relies on his defence are called facta probanda, and they must be stated in the plaint or in the written statement, as the case may be.
  8. Facts in a concise manner should be presented: The fourth and last general principle of pleadings is that the pleadings should be drafted with sufficient brevity and precision. The material facts should be stated precisely, succinctly, and coherently. At the same time, it must be kept in mind that in order to maintain the brevity of facts, one should not miss out on important facts in the pleadings. Pleadings can be saved from superfluity if one takes care in syntax. In [10], The words “in a concise form” definitely suggest that briefness should be adhered to while drafting pleadings. However, necessary facts should not be excluded. Every pleading should be divided into paragraphs and sub-paragraphs. Each statement should be written as a separate paragraph, including any relevant dates, numbers or totals in numerical and written format[11]. It is important to state the facts with certainty, avoiding vague or ambiguous language. Only include necessary information in a concise summary form while omitting immaterial and unnecessary details. Ensure that all material allegations and necessary particulars are included in the document.


Over and above the aforesaid basic rules, there are other rules of pleadings dealing with cases of a special nature. They have been laid down in Rules 4 to 18 of Order 6. They may be summarised thus:

  1. Particulars with dates and items should be stated wherever fraud, misrepresentation, breach of trust, undue influence or wilful default are pleaded in the pleadings[12].
  2.  Non-performance of a condition precedent should be mentioned in the pleadings. Performance of the same shall not form a part of the pleadings since it is already implied[13].
  3.  Usually, a party can only deviate from their original pleadings through amendment. This means they must refrain from introducing new claims or facts contradicting their previous pleadings.[14]
  4. If the opposite party denies a contract, it will be held as a denial of the facts of the contract and not its validity, enforceability and legality[15].
  5. Wherever malice, fraudulent intention, knowledge or other condition of a person’s mind is material, it may be alleged in the pleading only as a fact without setting out the circumstances from which it is to be inferred[16].
  6. The facts must be stated verbatim if the facts are material.
  7. Pleadings should only state the giving of notice when it is required to give a notice or condition precedent, without disclosing the form or manner of such notice or giving details of any circumstances from which the form of notice can be determined unless the same is material[17].
  8. Implied relations between persons or contracts can be alleged as facts, and the series of conversations, letters, and the circumstances from which they are to be inferred should be pleaded generally[18].
  9. The facts which deal with the onus of proof or which favour a party shall not be pleaded[19].
  10.  Every pleading should be signed by the party or one of the parties or his pleader.[20]
  11. A party to the suit shall provide his and the opposite party” ‘s address[21].
  12. Each pleading should be verified on the affidavit by the party or a person acquainted with the facts stated in the pleading[22].
  13. A pleading may be ordered to be struck out by a court of law if it feels the same is scandalous, frivolous, unnecessary or intended to embarrass, prejudice or delay a fair trial in the court.[23]


The amendment is the formal revision, addition, alteration or modification of the pleadings. Provisions for the amendment of pleadings are intended to promote the ends of justice and not to defeat them. Rules 17 and 18 of Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 deal with provisions regarding amendment of pleadings and failure to

amend after order, respectively. Rule 17 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 provides that “The Court may at any stage of the proceedings allow either party to alter or amend his pleadings in such manner and on such terms as may be just, and all such amendments shall be made as may be necessary for determining the fundamental questions in controversy between the parties. Proviso to the Rule 17 of Order VI of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, as inserted by the Code of Civil Procedure (Amendment) Act, 2002, restricts and curtails the power of the Court to allow amendment in pleadings by enacting that no application for amendment should be allowed after the trial has commenced unless the Court concludes that despite due diligence, the party could not have raised the matter before the commencement of trial. Amendment of pleadings when granted: Amendment of pleadings can be granted by the Court in two situations, namely,

  • where the amendment is necessary to determine the real question in controversy and
  •  can the amendment be allowed without injustice to the other side?

Amendment of pleadings when refused:-

Amendment of pleadings can be rejected in many circumstances. Following are the situations or circumstances when the Court can refuse the amendment of pleadings:

(1) When the proposed amendment is unnecessary;

(2) When the proposed amendment causes an injury to the opposite party which cannot be compensated for by costs;

(3) When the proposed amendment changes the nature of the case;

(4) When the application for amendment is not made in good faith;

(5) When there has been an excessive delay in filing the amendment application. Rule 18 of Order VI of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

The court has the authority to dismiss any pleading that is unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous, vexatious, or potentially harms the fair trial of the case. Such pleadings can also be seen as an abuse of the court’s process.

This rule is based on ex-debito justice (in the interest of justice)[24].

In Sathi Vijay Kumar v. Tota Singh[25], the Supreme Court observed that bare reading of Rule 16 of Order 6 of the Code makes it clear that a court may order striking of pleadings in the following cases:

(r) where such pleading is unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous or vexatious; Or

(21) where such pleading tends to prejudice, embarrass or delay the fair trial of the suit or

(m) where such pleading is otherwise an abuse of the process of the



Understanding the concept of pleadings in the Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) is important in the legal field. Pleadings are the foundation of a legal case and bring order, equity, and clarity to the legal process. Throughout the entire litigation process, pleadings play a vital role in defining the issues between parties for the final court decision. They also guide proper trial procedures, indicating the burden of proof, who can open the case, and the admissible evidence. Additionally, pleadings set limits on the relief that can be granted by the court, making them the foundation of litigation. It’s a legal requirement for parties to plead their case and support it with adequate evidence. Incomplete pleadings can result in the court dismissing the case. In court, litigants must present truthful information in their pleadings, affidavits, and evidence. Dishonesty and unscrupulous behaviour have no place in legal proceedings, and false claims can affect the case outcome.


  1. Civil Procedure Code, 1908
  2. C.K. Takwani, Civil Procedure- Limitation and Commercial Courts (9th ed. 2022)
  3. What is Pleadings? – TheLawmatics. https://thelawmatics.in/what-is-pleadings/  (Last visited 0ct. 6 2023)
  4. Pleading And Amendment Of Pleadings: A Critical Study Along With Case Laws. https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-9945-pleading-and-amendment-of-pleadings-a-critical-study-along-with-case-laws.html (Last visited 0ct. 7 2023)
  5. Fundamentals of Pleading: Order-VI. https://legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-10181-fundamentals-of-pleading-order-vi.html (Last visited 0ct. 8 2023)
  6. PLEADING. https://hi.lawtool.net/drafting/pleading (Last visited 0ct. 8 2023)

[1] Order 6, R. 1; see also Bharat Singh v. State of Haryana, (1988) 4 SCC 534

[2] Mogha’s Law of Pleadings (1983) at P. I.

[3] Pinston v. Lloyds Bank Ltd., (1941) 2 K.B

[4] Prakash Chand v. Comm & Secy of Govt of India 1986 AIR 687, 1985 SCR (3) 697

[5] Throp v. Holdswort, (1876) 3 Ch D 637

[6]Ganesh Trading Co. v. Moji Ram (1972) 2 SCC 91

[7]Kedar Lal v. Hari Lal Seal , AIR 1952 SC 47 AT P. 51

[8]Ram Prasad v. State of MP., (1969) 3 SCC 24

[9]Union of India v. Sita Ram Jaiswal, (1976) 4 SCC 505

[10] Virendra Kashinath v. Vinayak N. Joshi , (2007) 3 SCC 617

[11] R.2(2).

[12] R.4.

[13] R.6

[14] R.7.

[15] R.8.

[16] R.10.

[17] R.11.

[18] R.12.

[19] R.13.

[20] R.14.

[21] R.14-A.

[22] R.15.

[23] R.16.

[24] S. Malla Reddy v. Future Builders coop. Housing Society, (2003) 9 SCC 349: (2013) 4 SCC (CIV) 329

[25]Sathi Vijay Kumar v. Tota Singh, (2006) 13 SCC 353 at p. 365


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