(Suits by indigent person)
Provisions are made in C.P.C. to enable a pauper to file a suit subject to certain conditions. 0.33rr. 1 to 16 provide for this.
A person is a pauper when he is not possessed of sufficient means to pay the court fee to institute a suit. Where no such fee is prescribed, the person is a pauper when his entire property is below Rs.1000/- value excluding his necessary wearing apparel and of course the matter of the suit.
0.33 provides for the procedure to file a suit informa pauperis. Every application for leave (permission) to sue informa pauperis must contain the particulars as required in a plaint. Also a schedule of any movable or immovable property with estimated value should be annexed. The plaint should be duly signed and verified.
The application should be presented to the Court by the appli-cant or agent capable of answering material questions put to him by the court.
The applicant is examined, if the application is proper and duly presented and if the court thinks fit to examine. The examination relates to the merits of the claim and property of the applicant.
The court rejects the application:
i) If it is not framed and presented in the prescribed manner. ii) If the applicant is newfound to be a pauper. iii) If the applicant has fraudulently disposed of his property within two months next before instituting the suit. iv) If there is no cause of action. v) If there is a transfer of interest in the subject matter of the proposed suit, to some other person.
If there is no reason to reject the application, the court shall fix a day for receiving the evidence by the applicant to prove his pauper-ism. Evidence to disprove pauperism may be allowed. (Notice to the opposite party and Govt. pleader necessary). On the day fixed the court shall examine the witnesses produced by either party and may examine the applicant and make a memorandum thereof. Thereupon the court may give its decision allowing the application or its refusal.
Admission of application: If the application is granted it should be numbered and registered. It shall be deemed to be a plaint and the suit shall proceed of course without payment of Court fees.
i) If the plaintiff is guilty of vexatious or improper conduct in the course of the suit.
ii) If his means are more than a pauper.
iii) If the plaintiff transfers his interest in the subject matter,
The court may dis-pauper him. Under the new C.P.C. the court is empowered to assign a pleader to an indigent person who is not represented by a pleader Order 33, Rule 18 also provides for free legal services to such persons.
Where the plaintiff succeeds, the court shall calculate the amount of court fees and recover the same from the plaintiff.
A pauper who is entitled to go for an appeal but who is unable to pay the fees is allowed to appeal as a pauper subject to the same provisions as provided above.
The court entertains the appeal if, the lower court's decision is contrary to law usage or is erroneous or unjust.