Civil Suit In India? Here’s What You Need To Know

Civil cases are those that involve conflict between people or institutions, usually over money. A civil suit starts when a legal person says that he has been hurt by the actions of another person or business and requests relief from the court by filing a “complaint.” Maximum civil suits are directed by the well-settled principles of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Stages of a Civil Case

Usually, there are 6 main stages included in a civil lawsuit. These stages are mentioned below:

1.Pre-filing: The pre-filing stage is when the conflict takes place and the parties make requests to try to solve the issue between them without taking any legal action. But if they cannot think of a solution, then the parties get ready for a court action.

2. Initial Pleading: In this stage, one party files documents or a complaint to begin the legal action, and the other party files their counter to these kinds of complaints, which can be a motion or an answer.

3. Discovery: At this stage, both parties share documents with each other and responses filed by them in court and get aware of the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents.

4. Pre-Trial: At this stage, both parties begin getting ready for trial; they get their proofs and eyewitnesses in order. Even at this stage, they might be involved in some out-of-court settlement conference; after this, the parties may file motions with the court to solve the case or to stop the issues for trial.

5. Trial: At this level, the case is actually transferred to court and heard by the judge or a jury; witnesses are tested; proof is presented; a final decision is taken; and a judgment is announced.

6. Post-Trial: At this stage, one or both of the parties might file a plea against the judgment passed.

Steps to File a Civil Case in India

There is a process in detail mentioned in the Code of Civil Procedure for filing a civil case. But if the procedure is not obeyed, then the “registry” has a right to refuse the suit. “Registry here refers to an office that every court has that gives data about any court matter and court forms.”

The steps for filing a civil suit are mentioned below:

Filing of Suit/Plaint

The initial step to begin a suit is to file a complaint. A complaint is a written complaint or allegation. The party who files it is called the “plaintiff,” and the party against whom it is filed is called the “defendant.”

A plaint consists of:

1. Name of the Court

2. Names and addresses of the parties between whom the conflict took place

3. Subject (a short statement informing about the sections and orders under which the jurisdiction of the court is evoked)Main content or submissions done by the plaintiff

4. Verification from the plaintiff saying that the contents of the complaint are true and accurate.


Vakalatnama is a written document in which the parties to the suit allow an advocate to present them before the Hon’ble Court. But if the party is personally presenting its own case, then they don’t need to file a Vakalatnama.

A few common terms and conditions that a Vakalatnama may include are:

1.That the client will not blame the advocate for any judgment

2.The client has to pay all the costs and expenses during the legal action.

3.The advocate will have the power to keep the documents unless fees are paid.

4.That the client has the power to remove the advocate already selected at any stage of the proceeding

5.That the advocate shall have all the rights to decide on his own during the hearing in the court of law, in the best interest of his client.

How to file a plaint?

The next step is to file a complaint before the Chief Ministerial Officer (Sherestedar) at the filing counter with the required court fee and procedure fee. ( a person has to pay different amounts of court fees, if the documents are different)

Court Fees

Court fees are a small percentage of the total amount of the claim or the total value of the suit. The required amount of court fees and stamp duty can vary for each suit, and the same is written in the “Court Fees Stamp Act.”

Some of them are, as mentioned below:

1.In the case of a plaint or written document, Rs. 10 if the value of the suit surpasses Rs. 5,000 up to Rs. 10,000If the plaintiff filed a suit for possession, Rs. 5On a copy of a decree or order, 50 paise

2. Court fees according to the amount of the suit

3. If the amount of the suit exceeds Rs. 1,50,000-1,55,000, Rs. 1700/-If the amount of the suit exceeds Rs. 3,00,000–3,05,000, Rs. 2450/-If the amount of the suit exceeds Rs. 4,00,000–4,05,000, Rs. 2950/-

How does civil suit proceeding occur?

1. Hearing-

If the court decides that the issue is worthy on the first day of the hearing, it will inform the opponents to give their side of documents and decide a day for the hearing.

2. Written Document-

The defendant must be present on the fixed date mentioned in the notice. Before the notice date, the defendant must provide a written statement challenging the claim or complaints submitted by their opponents. The defendant must submit the written document within 1 month of the notice.

3. Replication by Plaintiff-

A replication is a response given by the plaintiff to the respondent’s “written statement,” and it should prove that all the claims are wrong or reject the claims in that statement. If the plaintiff does not reject or deny the claims made by the defendant, the court shall consider that the plaintiff has accepted the statement.

4. Filing Other Documents-

Once the pleadings are completed, the court offers both parties an opportunity to provide any other documents to prove their allegations.

5. Framing of Issues-

In a civil case, framing issues is the next step. The court frames the issues on the basis of which it organizes arguments and witness tests. Issues can be either through statements or law. The court will treat every issue equally and separately and announce the final order.

6. Final Hearing-

The arguments should be accurate and related to the issues only that were raised on the day of the final hearing. The court must announce a “final order” after hearing both parties’ closing arguments, either on the day of the final judgments or on a different day fixed by the court.

7. Appeal, Reference, and Review-

When a party is not happy with the court’s final decision, it can go through further steps like an appeal, reference, or review.

Why Do We Require a Lawyer for Filing a Civil Suit?

Filing a civil suit is a time-consuming procedure. If you do not receive the right advice on how to file a civil suit, it could get you in trouble while keeping track of the dates and processes for completing and submitting legal papers in the right order. When you take advice from a lawyer, then you will get assistance or guidance from them with the options and reduce the chances of penalties before the pleadings start.


The above process is a theoretical procedure in the Civil Procedure Code of 1908 on how to file a civil suit in India. A cause of action is needed before filing a civil suit, and it must have breached a civil right, and there shall be damage recovery or compensation in the document or complaint. The plaintiff will mention all statements, which is the initial phase in the civil litigation process.

A civil case in India is a very time-consuming process, starting with filing the complaint and completing it with the final hearing. However, with the assistance of a lawyer, clients can take their time throughout the procedure.”

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About the Author: Meera Verma