Report No. 77
5. Pleadings and issues: pre-trial procedure
(18) Many causes of delay would be eliminated if proper attention is paid in ensuring compliance with provisions of Order 10, Code of Civil Procedures.1
1. Para. 5.1.
(19) Judicial Officers should normally insist upon the filing of the written statement on the date immediately after service of summons on the defendant. Repeated adjournments for this purpose should be avoided2.
1. Paras. 5.2 to 5.4.
(20) The requirement of the defendant filing copy of the written statement and of the defendant producing all documents in his possession or power should be enforced. If necessary, local amendment may be made for the purpose1.
1. Para. 5.5.
(21) Laxity in enforcing the provisions of Order 8, rule 1, C.P.C. is the main reason for omission of the defendants in many States to file the written statement on the first date of hearing1.
1. Para. 5.6.
(22) Proper use of the provisions of Order 10, C.P.C. relating to examination of parties before framing issues would go a long way in curtailing the evidence and circumscribing the area of controversy. Experience shows that in the course of such examination, many admissions including admissions as to documents, are made which narrow down the scope of controversy. This would obviate the necessity of producing evidence in respect of matters which stand admitted as a result of such examination.1
1. Para. 5.7.
(23) In order to be in a position to make affective see of the provisions of Order 10, C.P.C., it is essential that the trial judge should have read the pleadings of the parties and should know the case of each party as set out therein.1
1. Para. 5.8.
(24) The practice prevailing in subordinate courts in some States of depending upon draft issues supplied by counsel, without the trial judge himself applying his mind, is extremely undesirable.
(25) A judicious use of the provisions of Order 11, C.P.C. (discovery and inspection of documents) and Order 12, C.P.0 (admissions) can considerably narrow down the area of controversy and curtail the volume of evidence1.
1. Para. 5.12.
(26) In the U.S.A., the pre-trial procedure has been stated to have produced beneficial results. The provisions of Orders 10, 11 and 12, C.P.C. are sufficient to deal with the situation in India, and it is not necessary to transplant the pre-trial system with all its amplitude on the Indian soil .1
1. Para. 5.14.
(27) In appropriate cases, the trial judge himself can act as a conciliator.1 The Bar also can play a significant part in bringing about compromise.
1. Para. 5.15.