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civil_laws:important-definitions

Important Definitions in the Code of Civil Procedure

Section 2 of the code of civil procedure 1908 defines many legal terms. Important terms among are discussed below.

Decree Holder

Section 2 (3) of the code defines Decree Holder. ‘Decree Holder’, means any person in whose favor a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made.

From the definition, it is clear that a decree-holder need not be the plaintiff. A person who is not a party to the suit but an order capable of execution has been passed in his favour is also a decree-holder.

A decree for specific performance is passed. Such a decree is capable of execution by the plaintiff as well as the defendant. Therefore either of them can be decree-holder.1)

Decree Holders must enjoy the fruits of the decree obtained by them in an expeditious manner.

Judge

Section 2 (8) of the Code defines Judge. ‘Judge’ means the presiding officer of a Civil Court.

According to the definition, it has defined the meaning of judge but it has not defined the term ‘court’. A court means an assembly or judges or other persons acting as a tribunal in civil and criminal cases. It is a place where justice is judicially administered. When a statute provides that a particular matter will be determined by a court the presiding officer over the said court will be deemed to exercise jurisdiction as a court and not as a personal designate.

Judgment Debtor

Section 2 (10) of the Code defines the term Judgment Debtor. ‘Judgment Debtor’ means any person against whom a decree has been passed or an order capable of execution has been made.

A party against which a court decision is awarded, he is the judgment debtor. He is a person who is obligated to satisfy the court decision. The term judgment debtor describes a party against which a court has made a monetary award. A court renders a judgment involving money damages. The losing party must satisfy the amount of the award. The mount is called the Judgment debt. The losing party is called the Judgment Debtor. The losing defendant in a lawsuit who owes the amount of the judgment to the winning party is Judgment Debtor.

Foreign Court

Section 2 (5) of the code is substituted by Act 2 of 1951. It defines the term Foreign Court. ‘Foreign Court’ means a Court situated outside India and not established or continued by the authority of the Central Government.

The essentials of a Foreign Court are

  1. It must be situated outside India.
  2. It must not have been established or continued by the Central Government.
  3. Thus courts in England, Scotland, Burma and Pakistan etc. are foreign courts.

The court which is not regulated by the Indian Government and Indian government or court does not exercise its jurisdiction over there are Foreign Courts. In Lalji Raja vs. Firm Hansraj Nathuram2) it is held that the Bankura Court cannot be considered as a ‘foreign court’ within the meaning of the expression in the Code.

Foreign Judgment

Section 2 (6) of the Code defines the term Foreign Judgment:‘Foreign Judgment’ means the judgment of a foreign Court. The essentials are:

  1. A suit is filed in a foreign court.
  2. The foreign court has jurisdiction to trial the suit
  3. The judgment rendered by foreign court is termed as Foreign Judgment.
  4. The judgment by a foreign court is binding on the parties. They cannot deny it unless the grounds stated in Section 13 are established.

Section 2 (11) of the Code defines the term Legal Representative. ‘Legal Representative’ means a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person, and includes any person who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased and where a party sues or is sued in a representative character or the person on whom the estate devolves on the death of the party so suing or sued.

The essentials of Legal Representative are:

  1. a person who in law represents the estate of a deceased person or
  2. Any person who intermeddles with the estate of the deceased. Or
  3. A party sues or is sued in a representative character or
  4. The person on whom the estate devolves on the death of the party so suing or sued.

Thus when a person against whom a legal proceeding is going on dies in the middle of the proceeding. His legal representative represents him in the court. It is only to that extent for which he is accountable or that portion of the property which has come in his hand. In United India Insurance Co Ltd vs. Shyam Rao Metre and others3), it was held that section 2(11) of the code is nowhere described that a legal representative can only be that person who is dependent on the deceased. Any person related to the deceased can be a legal representative.

Mesne Profits

Section 2 (12) of the Code defines the term mesne profits. ‘Mesne Profits’ of property means those profits which the person in wrongful possession of such property actually received or might with ordinary diligence have received therefrom, together with interest on such profits, but shall not include profits due to improvements made by the person in wrongful possession.

The ‘mesne profits’ means:

  1. The profits which the person in wrongful possession of such property actually received or
  2. The profits which the person in wrongful possession of such property might with ordinary diligence have received therefrom.
  3. It includes the interest on such profits.
  4. It shall not include profits due to improvements made by the person in wrongful possession.

Thus the mesne profits are nothing but a compensation that a person in unlawful possession of others property has to pay for such possession to the owner of the property. In Phiraya Lal alias Piara lal vs. Jia Rani4), it is held that when damages are claimed in respect of wrongful possession of immovable property on the basis of the loss caused by the wrongful possession of the trespasser to the person entitled to the possession of immovable property; these damages are called as mesne profits.

Public Officer

Section 2 (17) of the Code define the term Public Officer. The ‘Public Officer’ means a person falling under any of the following descriptions, namely:-
a. Every judge; b. Every member of an All India Services;
c. Every commissioned or gazette officer in the military, naval or air forces of the Union while serving under the Government;
d. Every officer of a Court of Justice whose duty it is, as such officer, to investigate or report on any matter of law or fact, or to make, authenticate or keep any document, or to take charge or dispose of any property, or to execute any judicial process, or to administer any oath, or to interpret, or to preserve order, in the Court and every person especially authorized by a Court of Justice to perform any of such duties;
e. Every person who holds any office by virtue of which he is empowered to place or keep any person in confinement;
f. Every officer of the government whose duty it is, as such officer, to prevent offences, to give information of offences, to bring offenders to justice, or to protect the public health, safety or convenience;
g. Every officer whose duty it is, as such officer, to take, receive, keep or expend any property on behalf of the Government, or to make any survey, assessment or contract on behalf of the government, or to execute any revenue process, or to investigate, or to report on, any matter affecting the pecuniary interests of the Government, or to make, authenticate or keep any document relating to the pecuniary interests of the Government, or to prevent the infraction of any law for the protection of the pecuniary interests of the Government; and
h. Every officer in the service or pay of the Government or remunerated by fees or commission for the performance of any public duty.

About the Author

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1)
Satyawati v. Rajinder Singh and Anr. (2013) 9 SCC 491
2)
AIR 1971 SC 974
3)
M.A.C.M.A. No. 2420 of 2012
4)
AIR 1973 DEL 186

Created on 2021/04/05 00:33 by LawPage • Last modified on 2021/04/09 22:10 (external edit)