Notes and Articles for Law students

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  1. Pleadings are statements in writing drawn up and filed by each party to a case, stating what his contentions will be at the trial, and giving all such details as his opponent to know, in order to prepare his case in answer (P.C. Mogha).
    There are two pleadings : The ‘Plaint’ & the ‘Written Statement’.
    The C.P.C. defines pleadings (O.VI R.2) 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 defense, as the case may be, but not the evidence by which they are to be proved.
    According to Sri. P.C Mogha :
    Drafting of pleading is an art, it requires a good knowledge of law and the skill of sorting out material facts from the whole bundle of facts and circumstances brought to the knowledge of the Advocate.
  2. Essentials :
    1. Every pleading must state facts and not law :
      Eg : The deft, is in possession of the mortgaged property and ‘is liable to render accounts of income and expenditure’. (There is a statutory duty and hence, need not be pleaded)
    2. Pleadings should have only material facts
      The party must plead all material facts on which he intends to rely and must plead material facts only. These are ‘facta probenda’ (Facts to be proved).
      1. In a claim on a Promissory note, it is unnecessary to plead, that money was given because of the honesty of the promisor.
      2. In denying, the receipt of any money taken as a loan, it is unnecessary to plead that the defendant is a very rich man and that he had never taken any loan from any body.
  3. Pleadings should not contain the evidence, but only facts :
    Eg: An Insurance company was defending the claims made by a party. The term of the policy was that it would become void if the insurer-died by his own hand’.

In the written statement the Company had stated that policy holder was a moody fellow, that he had bought a pistol from a shop a few days before his death and that he had also written to his wife that he would kill himself. The court held that all this was evidence and hence should not be included in the pleadings (Written Statement). It was sufficient to say that “the policy holder died by his own hand”.

  1. Facts must be pleaded with simplicity, brevity and precision.

    This rule is more easily said than done. As P.C. Mogha, points out, precision and brevity can be attained by experience and careful observation.
    1. Simple words and short sentences should be used. Facts must be stated plainly and with precision. Use of pronouns must be avoided. The said defendant or the said plaintiff may be used often to avoid ambiguity. Similarly ‘the said deed’, the First-schedule property’ etc may be used.
    2. Dates, sums, numbers must be expressed in figures.
    3. Chronological order must be followed.
    4. Legal effects of documents must be briefly stated, without reproducing the document or quoting from it.
    5. Intention, malice, knowledge etc., must be stated as a fact without setting out the circumstances.
    6. The pleading should be signed by the parties and his advocates. It shall be verified at the foot to testify the sanctity of the fact stated.