Suits by the Indigent Persons under Order 33 CPC
In this article, we will discuss the Suits by Indigent Person under Order 33 of the CPC. Let’s discuss it in detail.
In India, there are so many people, who are poor and not able to get two-time food. So in these situations, how can we expect that they are able to get the justice from the court without money. Indian law provides an equal opportunity before the law and equality before the law all the citizens of India. It is the duty of the law to provide free Legal Aid to the persons who are needed. For providing equal justice to all the people of the India CPC has provided the provision regarding the indigent person under order 33.
Order 33 provides the procedure for filing of suit by an indigent person. It empowers the persons who are not able to pay Court fees to institutes suits without payment of requisite Court fees.
Meaning of indigent person:-
An indigent person means any person who fulfills the conditions provided under Order 33 Rule 1 which is as follows:-
1. Any person who has no means to pay the Court fees prescribed by the law for the plaint in suit; and,
2. He has not entitled to any property worth 1000 rupees where no fees is prescribed.
Order 33 provides the provisions which are intended to enable an indigent person to institute and prosecute suits without payment of the court fees under the Court Fees Act plaintiff showing in the court of law is bound to pay Court fees prescribed presentation of the plaint. Under this Order, the person is exempted from paying the court fee at the first instant and allow him to prosecute his suit provided certain conditions laid down in this order 33 has been enacted to server triple purpose
I. to protect Bonafide cleans of an indigent person
II. to safeguard the interest of revenue and
III. to protect the defendant from harassment
The world sufficient means express the ability or capacity of a person in ordinary course to raise money by available lawful means to pay the court fee.
Contents of application:-
Every application should contain the following particulars:
a). the particulars required in regard to Plains in suit
b). of any movable or immovable property belonging to the applicant with estimate value thereof, and
c). signature and verification as provided in order 6 rule 14 and 15
Applicant should present the application to the court in person unless exempted by court Rule 3.
In case of more than one applicant, it can be presented by any of the proviso to rule 3.
Rejection of application rule 5:-
In the following cases an application for permission to show as an indigent person will be rejected by the court:-
1. if the application is not framed and presented prescribed manner; or
2. if the applicant is not an indigent person; or
3. if the applicant has disposed of any property fraudulently in order to get permission to sue as an indigent person within two months before the presentation of the application; or
4. if there is no cause of action; or
5. if the applicant has entered into an agreement with reference to the subject matter of the shoot under which another person has obtained interest; or
6. if the suit appears to be barred by law
7. if any other person has entered into an agreement with the applicant to finance costs of litigation
Inquiry Rule 1A:-
According to Rule 1, at the first stage, an inquiry into the means of the applicant should be made by the Chief Ministerial Officer of the court. The court may adopt report submitted by such officer or may itself make an inquiry.
Where the application submitted by the applicant is in proper form and is duly represented, the court may examine the applicant regarding the merits of the claim and the property of the applicant. R.4.
After that, the court shall issue a notice to the opposite party and to the Government Pleader and fixed a day for receiving evidence as the applicant may adduce in proof of his indigency or in disproof thereof by the opposite party or by the Government Pleader. On the day fixed, the court shall examine the witnesses (if any), produced by either party, hear their arguments and either allow or reject the application. Rule 6,7.
Revocation of permission: Rule 9:-
On the application by the dependent or by the Government Pleader, the court may revoke permission granted to the plaintiff to sue as an indigent person in the following cases:-
1. If he is guilty of vexatious or improper conduct in the course of the suit; or
2. If his means are such that he ought not to continue to sue as an indigent person; or
3. If he has entered into an agreement on which another person has obtained an interest in the subject matter of the suit.
Recovery of the court fees and costs:-
Where indigent person succeeds in the suit, the court shall calculate the amount of court fees and costs and recover from the party as per the direction in the decree and it will be the first charge on the subject matter of the suit.
Where an indigent person fails or abates, the court fees shall be paid by him. Where the suit abates due to the death of the plaintiff, such court fee would be recovered from the estate of the deceased plaintiff.
Set off and Counterclaim:-
An indigent person may also plead set off or file counterclaim without paying Court fees.
An order rejecting an application to sue as an indigent person is appealable.
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