The Procedure of a Civil Suit in India in 9 Steps


The procedure for a civil suit in India typically involves several steps, from filing the suit to the final judgment.

In India, a civil case is initiated when an individual (also known as the plaintiff) claims to have suffered due to the action of another individual (also known as the defendant) thereafter filing a complaint. The majority of the suits follow the principles laid down in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

There are 2 types of legal cases:-

  1. Civil Case
  2. Criminal Case

Civil Suit – Civil suits are disputes that happen between people or businesses. It is usually over money. A civil case usually begins when one person or business (called the “plaintiff”) claims to have been harmed by the actions of another person or business (called the “defendant”).  Listed below are the protocols that courts usually follow in resolving a civil dispute.

The procedure of a Civil Suit in India in 9 steps

  1. First and foremost, a formal complaint is filed in the court against the accused.
  2. The court usually informs all concerned parties after a complaint is filed.
  3. The court proceeds and summons are sent to all the concerned parties to appear in the court, either by themself or through an advocate.
  4. A hearing will take place when the plaintiff will present evidence to the court to show the accused guilty.
  5. Another hearing occurs where the defendants object to the evidence produced and present counter-evidence.
  6. Witnesses are put on the stand from both sides and give statements. After which either counsel can cross-examine them and determine their credibility.
  7. After all the evidence and witnesses are presented, the case concludes and the Judge reserves a verdict.
  8. The judge rules either in the favour of the plaintiff or in the favour of the defendant, either way, the suit is dismissed.
  9. If no defendant appears on the day of the verdict, judgment will be decreed ex parte.

After the judgment is passed and the defendant is found guilty, he is provided 30 days to appeal.


Presentation of the Plaint

Presentation of the plaint in a court is the initial step of the pleadings in a case. Every suit commences when the plaintiff files a plaint to the court. The entire judicial system under civil law is set in motion by filing the plaint. The Plaint should consist of the following contents:

  • Name of the court where the suit is being brought
  • Name and place of residence of the plaintiff
  • Name and place of residence of the defendant
  • Whether the plaintiff or the defendant is a minor or of unsound mind
  • Facts constituting the cause of action and the time it arose
  • Facts showing the court has Jurisdiction
  • Plaintiff’s claims
  • The damages in case of money suits
  • Proof of the defendant’s liability
  • List of the documents submitted with the plaint

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