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Report No. 54

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

Chapter 1


1.1. This Report deals with some aspects of revision of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The subject was considered at length by one of the previous Commissions, which duly forwarded to Government a detailed Report on the code.1 In that Report,2 the Commission considered the Code at length, and the mass of case-law that had accumulated around the previous Code during half a century of its life, the local amendments made in various provisions of the Code, as well as the reforms introduced in other Countries,-including, in particular, the changes made in England in 1962 by way of revision of the Rules of the Supreme Court. It also took into account the recommendations relevant to the Code made in the Report on the Reforms of Judicial Administration.3

1. 27the Report of the Law Commission.

2. It is hereafter referred to as the earlier Report.

3. 14th Report of the Law Commission.

1.2. A Bill intended to implement this Report was duly introduced in Parliament but the Bill lapsed. When the question of re-introduction of the Bill arose, the Government of India considered it proper to request the present Commission to examine the Code afresh from the "basic angle of minimising costs and avoiding delays in litigation and taking into account its revised terms of reference."1

1. Law Minister's letter No. F. 40(9)/72-J, dated 14-2-1972 to the Chairman of the Law Commission.

Scope of the Report

1.3. Accordingly, in this Report, we propose to examine the Code from the angle of-

(1) minimising costs;

(2) avoiding delays in litigation; and

(3) the revised terms of reference of this Commission, the most important of such terms being the implementation of the directive principles.

1.4. In this Report, we have not considered it necessary to deal again with the matters dealt with in the earlier Report, except where we disagreed with the recommendations in the earlier Report or considered it necessary to reiterate and emphasise particular recommendations made therein. As a matter of fact, even the question of costs and delay was considered by the Commission at that time also; however, as that Report was given long ago,1 we shall-as we have been specifically requested-consider what amendments are needed to avoid delay and to minimise costs in civil proceedings.

1. In 1964.

Radical amendments needed

1.5. At the outset, we should make it clear that in our View, at least in certain respects, radical changes are required in the Code in principle. In the earlier Report,1 it has been mentioned that, on the whole, the Code has worked smoothly and satisfactorily, and the Commission there had added that it had been 'very cautious' in proposing radical changes. No doubt, caution has to be exercised before disturbing statutory provisions of long standing. But we think that caution should not act as a constraint where the expenses of procedure and the necessities of the times require radical changes.

1. 27the Report, para. 6.

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