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This article is written by Tanisha Mohanty of 7th Semester of BBA.LLB of SOA National Institute of Law, an intern under Legal Vidhiya.


Here in this research the author has given the proper introduction about the topic which includes the definition of plaint and written statement. This article further describes about the particulars of the plaint, procedures of the plaint, the return of the plaint, the rejection of the plaint, specific denial, the claims and set off etc.

 The administration of civil proceedings is governed under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The present article provides the comprehensive study of the provisions of the plaint and written statement under order VII and VIII CPC, 1908.


Plaint, written statement, particulars of plaint, return of plaint, rejection of plaint, order, rule, pleading new fact, denying facts, set off, counter claim, summons to defendant, law suit, pleading.


Order VII and order VIII of CPC, 1908 deals with plaint and written statement respectively.

Every lawsuit is started by the filing of the plaint. The party who files a plaint is known as plaintiff. Plaint is a type of petition which carries certain type of allegations against defendant i.e., the defendant has obstructed the rights of the plaintiff.

 Whereas, the written statement is submitted by the defendant to the court subject to the allegations made by the plaintiff whether it is true or not.


Order 7 of the CPC defines a plaint. A plaint is a statement of claim that the plaintiff files in which he sets forth the material facts on which he bases his arguments, demands, and requests for relief. The purpose of the plaint is to introduce the plaintiff’s case to the court and the opposing party (the defendant). The plaint is the foundation of the lawsuit. The whole plaint must be examined considering the evidence supporting the claim in order to determine the true substance of the lawsuit.

Order 7 Rule 1: Particulars of a plaint:

The plaint shall contain:

  1. the name of the specific court where the lawsuit is first brought.
  2. Name, location, and details of the plaintiff’s house
  3. Name, location, and particulars of the defendant’s house.
  4. a declaration of unsoundness of mind or minority if the plaintiff or defendant falls under any of those criteria.
  5. the facts that gave rise to the cause of action and when it did.
  6. the circumstances that demonstrate the court’s jurisdiction.
  7. The relief claimed by the plaintiff.
  8. The sum, if any, permitted or forfeited by the plaintiff
  9. a declaration outlining the amount the case’s acknowledged value for the object of the lawsuit.

Order 7 Rule 2: In money lawsuits:

When the plaintiff sues the defendant for recovery of money, then he shall state the precise amount which is to be claimed, in the plaint.

However, the approximate sum may be asserted in the plaint where the plaintiff sues for menes profits, unpaid accounts, or movables whose worth cannot be determined by due diligence.

Order 7 Rule 5: The defendant’s liability and interest needs to be shown:

The plaint shall contain the defendant’s interest and liability in the subject matter of the lawsuit.

Order 7 Rule 6: Grounds for exemption from limitation law

If the plaint is filed after the limitations stipulated for its institution has passed, it must additionally state the grounds for any exemptions the plaintiff may be claiming. If the court deems it appropriate, it may grant exemption on certain grounds. The court may, however, allow this exemption on any other grounds claimed by the plaintiff that are not specified in the plaint as long as they do not invalidate the grounds in the plaint.

Order 7 Rule 7: The relief must be specifically stated in the plaint by the plaintiff:

This Rule specifies how the plaintiff may express their request for relief, or their plea. According to the law, the plaintiff must provide a particular request for remedy in their complaint, as well as any general requests or alternatives that the court could make at its discretion.

Order 7 Rule 9: Procedure for admitting a plaint:

 According to this regulation, if the defendant receives a summons from the court, the plaintiff is required to file as many copies of the plaint with the court as there are defendants within seven days of the summons order being issued. Additionally, the plaintiff is required to pay the summons-issuing fees. In addition, Rule 11(f) stipulates that failure to follow Rule 9’s requirements might result in the plaint being rejected.

Order 7 Rule 10: Return of the plaint:

The return of a plaint is covered under Order VII Rule 10-10 B. Rule 10 states that the court shall return the plaint to be presented in the appropriate court where the complaint should have been initiated if it determines at any point in the proceeding that it lacks jurisdiction, whether territorial, financial, or as to the subject matter.

When the defendant has appeared, the court must inform the plaintiff of its judgement before returning the plaint. The court of appeal or revision may return the plaint in accordance with this regulation after setting aside the decree.

When returning the plaint, the judge must sign the date of presentation and return, the name of the party who presented it, and also state the reasons of the return.

The endorsement according to Sub-Rule 2 shall be subject to Section 14 of the Limitation Act, 1963, i.e., that period shall not be subject to limitation if the plaintiff prosecutes in good faith but in the wrong court.

The Supreme Court ruled in ONGC v. Modern Construction Co., [1]that a plaint that has been returned to the relevant court after being filed in the incorrect court cannot be considered to constitute a continuation of the lawsuit. When the complaint is submitted to the appropriate court, the lawsuit is deemed to have started.

Order 7 Rule 11: Rejection of a plaint:

According to rule 11 of order VII, the plaint shall be rejected in the following cases:

  1. Where the cause of action is not disclosed- The court will dismiss a plaint if it does not state a cause of action. The plaintiff would not be entitled to remedy, even if the claims made in the plaint were proven, the court must determine.

In Roop Lal Sathi v. Nachhattter Singh Gill[2], the Supreme Court ruled that a part of the complaint cannot be rejected and that the entire complaint should be rejected if no cause of action is presented.

2. when the plaintiff fails to update the valuation after being instructed by the court to do so within a certain time frame and the remedy sought is undervalued;

3. When the remedy sought is appropriately valued but the plaint is insufficiently stamped, and the plaintiff is asked by the court to furnish the requisite stamp paper within a time set by the Court but fails to do so.

4. where it is implied from the plaint’s language that the lawsuit is illegal under any applicable law;

5. If a duplicate filing is not made;

6. when the plaintiff disregards Rule 9 requirements.  It indicates that the plaintiff has seven days to submit copies of the complaint for each defendant and the required summons fees.

On these grounds, the court does not reject the plaint prima facie; instead, it gives the plaintiff time to rectify such faults, and if those shortcomings are not addressed, the court will proceed with such rejection.

This rejection of the plaint can be made at any time before the conclusion of the trial, and the grounds for rejection must be determined solely by a simple reading of the plaint, not on the basis of accusations put forward by the defendant in his written declaration or on the basis of the application for rejection.

The grounds specified in the regulation are not exhaustive; the court may discover more defects in the plaint that will result in its rejection. For example, one such flaw is the failure to serve a notice under Section 80 of the CPC and the subsequent filing of a plaint. In Mayar H.K. Ltd. v. Owner and Parties, Vessel M.V. Fortune Express[3], the Supreme Court ruled that the reasons for dismissing a plaint provided in Rule 11 are not exhaustive. Other relevant grounds can also be used to dismiss a complaint. If the plaint is determined to be vexatious or meritless, with no clear right to sue, the court may dismiss it.

Part rejection of a plaint: In Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v. Axis Bank[4], the Supreme Court pronounced that a plaint can be rejected in part or not at all. It is not acceptable to reject a plaint qua any specific portion of a plaint, even against some of the defendant(s), The proviso also states that once the time set by the court for the removal of mistakes under clauses (b) or (c) has elapsed, no additional time shall be granted unless the court is satisfied that the plaintiff was hindered by an exceptional cause.  According to Section 2(2) of the CPC, an order rejecting a plaint is deemed to be a decree.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court stated in R.K. Roja v. U.S.Rayadu & Anr.[5] that an application under Order VII Rule 11 may be brought at any stage, but once the application gets filed, the court must dispose of the same before continuing with the trial.”

Order 7 Rule 12: The procedure for the rejection of plaint:

When a plaint is rejected, the Judge should record an order stating the reasons for such rejection.

Order 7 Rule 13:

According to the rule, the plaintiff is permitted to file a new complaint in the appropriate court for the same cause of action, subject to time restrictions, as a result of the order of rejection. Res-Judicata isn’t applicable to such orders despite being a decree. Due to the fact that the rejection of the plaint is a deemed decree, the plaintiff has the following two legal remedies:

a) Because it is a decree, Order 41 applies.

b) The plaintiff may file a new lawsuit for the same cause of action.

Order 7 Rule 14: Production of documents upon which the plaintiff files suit or pleads :

 This rule lays forth requirements for the documents that the plaintiff must attach to the complaint they file and which must be in his or her possession in order to prove the claim.

If the document is not in the possession or power of the plaintiff then he must state in whose possession or power the document is.

All the document relied by the plaintiff must be submitted to the court in which the case is instituted and a copy shall be filed.

It is mandatory for the plaintiff to prepare the list of the documents on which he relies along with that he must produce copies, if he fails to produce it during the presentation of the plaint then he’s not allowed to produce or present it further at the time of hearing, unless the court allows him to do so.

He must also specify the reason why he is not able to produce the documents during the presentation of the plaint.

Also, any document which is required to be used at the time of defendant’s witness, then it should ne produced during the cross-examination of defendant’s witness or at the time of hearing, such documents can be produced to refresh his memory.

Written statement

 Order 8 of cpc,1908 defines a written statement. It is a term with a specific meaning that typically denotes a response to the complaint made by the plaintiff. In other words, it is the defendant’s pleading in which he addresses the major allegations made by the plaintiff in the lawsuit and adds any fresh evidence in his favour or raises legal challenges to the plaintiff’s assertions.

Pleading of new facts

According to Order VIII Rule 2, the defendant may provide additional facts in a Written Statement in the CPC if they show that the case should be dismissed despite what the plaintiff failed to state in their complaint.

However, these facts must be expressed precisely and concisely, not in generic or ambiguous language. They must be brought up at the beginning and cannot be brought up afterwards, as during the appeal process.

Denying the facts

The defendant has the choice of accepting or denying the claims made by the plaintiff in the Written Statement. An allegation is deemed accepted if it is not refuted. The Code of Civil Procedure’s Order VIII Rule 3 highlights the significance of a concise and precise denial. The defendant must respond to each charge specifically; they cannot simply offer a blanket denial.

An evasive denial or one that does not specifically address the substance of the claim is not considered a proper denial, according to Order VIII Rule 4.

Order 8 Rule 1: Written Statement:

A written statement is also known as statement of defense.

The defendant must file the written statement within 30 days from the date of service of summons. If the defendant is unable to present his written statement within 30 days from the date of service of summons, then it can take the permission of the court and has to give specific reason of why he was unable to submit the written statement and then, can submit the written statement within 90 days from the date of service of summons, if the court permits.

Order 8 Rule 1A:

If the defendant relies on a document, then that document must be produced along with the written statement.

Order 8 Rule 2:

The defendant is required to raise in his pleading any defences that, if raised, would be likely to surprise the other party or raise factual issues unrelated to the plaint, such as, for example, fraud, limitations, releases, payments, performances, or facts demonstrating illegality. The defendant is also required to raise any grounds for challenge that show that the lawsuit cannot be maintained or that the payment is illegal or unenforceable under the law. He can also plead that the transaction is void or voidable when plaintiff sues on a contract.

Order 8 Rule 3:

When the plaintiff makes allegations against the defendant, then the defendant must deny it specifically. General denial is not permissible.

Order 8 Rule 4:

Evasive denial is not specific as it has no meaning at all. The defendant must answer the point of substance rather than denying it evasively.

Order 8 Rule 5:

Except for claims made against individuals with disabilities, every factual allegation in the plaint shall be presumed to be admitted unless specifically or necessarily impliedly denied or stated in the defendant’s pleading to the contrary. However, the court may, in its discretion, order that any fact so stated be proven in another manner.

Except where a person with a handicap is involved, it is legal for the court to grant judgement based solely on the facts stated in the plaint when the defendant has not filed a pleading. However, the court reserves the right to, at its discretion, demand proof of any such truth.

The Court must take into consideration whether the defendant could have or has engaged a pleader when deciding how to proceed under the proviso to subrule (1) or under subrule (2).

When a decision is made in accordance with this rule, an order must be created in support of that decision and include the date the decision was made.

Order 8 Rule 6:

A claim added by the defendant against the plaintiff in a written statement is known as a set-off. In a cross-claim between the plaintiff and the defendant, known as a set-off, the plaintiff is contractually required to pay the defendant that sum of money.

Set-Off Essentials

  • The plaintiff’s lawsuit must be intended to recover money.
  • The amount of the defendant’s set-off demand must be specified.
  • The defendant’s written declaration includes money that must be retrieved through the legal system. For instance, the defendant is not permitted to claim any winnings from a wager with the plaintiff.
  • The defendant’s claim cannot be for more money than the court will allow. It simply implies that each court has a financial threshold above which it can only hear matters involving that amount of money. The defendant is not permitted to assert his set-off because it is outside the court’s pecuniary jurisdiction. For instance, if a defendant seeks a set-off of 1 lakh but the court only has pecuniary jurisdiction over 50 thousand, the court’s pecuniary authority is exceeded. In that instance, the defendant cannot assert that set off.
  • Both the plaintiff and the defendant must fill out the same fields in the plaintiff’s claim. Therefore, the defendant is not permitted to assert a set-off in which the plaintiff was not the primary party. Money that is recoverable from someone who is a relative of the plaintiff cannot be claimed by the defendant.

 Objective of set-off in a Written Statement

  • to stop the filing of a new lawsuit before the court.
  • Multiple suits between the plaintiff and the defendant can be avoided.
  • It saves the court’s crucial time.

Order 8 Rule 6A:

The Counter-claim is covered in Order VIII Rule 6A. It indicates that the defendant may join any claim or right resulting from the plaintiff’s cause of action. This cause of action may have arisen before the plaintiff’s lawsuit was instituted or may have done so subsequently. The claim made here is known as a counterclaim. Because the defendant could have filed a new lawsuit for this cause of action, the counter-claim was placed in the written statement to avoid several lawsuits from being filed, which would have forced both the court and the parties to waste their time.

 Order 8 Rule 6B:

According to this, the defendant should have explained the basis for the counterclaim he is relying on in the lawsuit.

Order 8 Rule 6C:

In accordance with this rule, the plaintiff may ask the court to keep the counterclaim separate from the lawsuit and to resolve it separately. The court may, at the plaintiff’s request, order the counterclaim excluded, if it finds it proper to do so.

Order 8 Rule 6D:

If the suit filed by the plaintiff is withdrawn or dismissed then also the counterclaim can proceed and the defendant shall be treated as plaintiff and the plaintiff shall be treated as defendant.

Order 8 Rule 6E:

If the plaintiff fails or does not reply to the counter claim made by the defendant then the court can presume that the plaintiff has admitted it and can pronounce the judgement against the plaintiff.

Order 8 Rule 6F:

The court may issue the judgement to settle any outstanding amounts owed to the plaintiff or defendant after resolving the set-off and counterclaim in the lawsuit.

Order 8 Rule 6G:

All requirements for the written statement must be included in the written statement that the plaintiff files in response to the counterclaim.

Order 8 Rule 7:

If the defendant’s set-off is based on different grounds then it shall be stated distinctively and separately.

Order 8 Rule 8:

After filling the written statement if any new fact arises then the defendant and plaintiff can plead the court to add it.

Order 8 Rule 9:

Unless the court specifically forbids them under certain terms and conditions, neither the plaintiff nor the defendant may bring any further proceedings for a written declaration to assert the defence of counterclaim or set-off. The court may set a deadline of 30 days for them to submit the additional written statement.

Order 8 Rule 10:

If the parties don’t submit their written statements by the deadline, the court has the authority to issue a judgement under Order VIII Rule 10.  If a party fails, the court will issue a ruling against them and may potentially issue a decree to end the conflict. The ruling further stated that no court could order an extension of the deadline for submitting a written statement.

Section 27: Summons to the defendant:

Once a suit is instituted, within 30 days of the institution of that suit the plaintiff must take steps to issue the summons to the defendant.


A plaint is significant since it is the initial and most important step in starting a lawsuit. As a result, care must be taken to ensure that the process necessary for the filing of a complaint has been properly acknowledged.

To ensure that the plaintiff receives the proper benefit, it is required to follow protocol by expressing the pertinent facts, the necessary information, refraining from offering evidence, and mentioning the type of remedy contemplated.

A written Statement is nothing more than the defendant’s response to the plaintiff’s complaint. It is the defendant’s pleading in which he addresses the crucial facts raised by the plaintiff in the plaint, clarifies any new information that favours him, and raises legal challenges to the allegations made by the plaintiff. Defendant has the right to refute the claims made in the complaint against him in writing. In addition, as a counter-argument, he may assert the right to set off any sums of money that the plaintiff owes him (Order 8 Rule 6).

The defendant, on the other hand, may file a counterclaim alongside his written statement if he has any claims against the plaintiff relating to any of the issues stated in the plaint (Order 8 Rule 6A to 6G).


[1] ONGC v. Modern Construction Co. (2014) 1 SCC 648

[2] Roop Lal Sathi v. Nachhattter Singh Gill AIR 1982 SC 1559

[3] In Mayar H.K. Ltd. v. Owner and Parties, Vessel M.V. Fortune Express, AIR 2006 SC 1828

[4] Madhav Prasad Aggarwal v. Axis Bank, 2019 7 SCC 158

[5] R.K. Roja v. U.S.Rayadu & Anr. (2016) 14 SCC 275


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