What Is Plaint Under the Civil Procedure Code

The word plaint is not exactly defined under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. But it can be defined as claims made by the plaintiff through an official legal document that is presented in the court.

In other words, plaint can be defined as a statement of claim by presentation of which the suit is instituted.

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Particulars of Plaint

The particulars of the plaint as provided under Order 7 Rule 1 of the CPC are:

  1. Name of the court in which the suit is brought.
  2. The name, description and place of residence of the plaintiff.
  3. The name, description and place of residence of the defendant.
  4. If the plaintiff or defendant is a minor or a person of unsound mind, a description of such minority or unsoundness.
  5. The facts constituting the cause of action and when it arose.
  6. Facts showing that the court has jurisdiction.
  7. Statement of the value of the subject matter of the suit for jurisdiction and court fees.
  8. The relief claimed by the plaintiff, simply or in alternative.
  9. If the plaintiff has relinquished or set off a portion of his claim, the amount so relinquished or allowed must be stated.
  10. If the suit is for the recovery of money, the precise amount is claimed.
  11. If the subject matter is an immovable property, a description of the property is sufficient to identify it.

Procedure for Admitting Plaint

According to Order 7 Rule 9 of the CPC, as soon as the plaint is admitted by the court, it is the duty of the plaintiff to supply copies of the plaint to all the defendants, if there is more than one defendant, it should be done within seven days from the date of the court order.

Return of Plaint and Its Effect

Return of plaint simply means the returning of plaint from the court to the plaintiff. Order 7 Rule 10 of the CPC is invoked when the court finds that there is no jurisdiction or subject matter to entertain the suit. At any stage of the suit, the court can return the plaint to be presented to the other court, which means to the proper court to which the jurisdiction actually lies.

The power to return of plaint can be exercised by revisional as well as appellate courts after setting aside the decree.

Before returning the plaint, the court must intimate its decision to the plaintiff. The plaintiff can, thereafter, file an application before the court to specify the proper court to present the plaint and to fix a date of appearance of the parties in such court. If such an application of the plaintiff is allowed, he cannot file an appeal against the order returning the plaint.

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The court may accept the plaintiff’s application and fix a date for appearance before a proper court and issue notice to the plaintiff and defendant of such date for appearance.

The judge returning the plaint should make an endorsement regarding:

  1. The date of return,
  2. Name of the party presenting it,
  3. Reasons for returning the plaint.

In ONGC vs Modern Construction Company (2014) 1 SCC 648, the Supreme Court held that where a plaint is filed in a proper court after getting returned from a wrong court, it cannot be said to be in continuation of the suit. The suit must be deemed to commence when the paint is filed in the proper court.

Rejection of Plaint and Its Effect

Order 7 Rule 11 of the CPC deals with the rejection of plaint. It simply means to reject the plaint on the grounds provided under the Code of Civil Procedure.

According to Order 7 Rule 11, at any stage of the suit, if the court finds any of the following grounds, the court must reject the plaint:

  • Non-disclosure of cause of action
  • Relief claimed is undervalued
  • Plaint is insufficiently stamped
  • Plaint is barred by any law
  • Plaint is not filed in duplicate
  • Non-compliance of Order 11 Rule 9

It is mandatory for the court to record the reasons for rejecting the plaint.

Note: “At any stage of the suit” means before registering the plaint, after issuing summons, or at any time before the conclusion of the trial.

In Madhav Prasad Agrawal vs Axis Bank (2019), 7 SCC 158, the court held that the plaint can either be rejected as whole or in part.

The rejection of the plaint is considered a deemed decree under section 2(2) of the CPC. However, the rejection of the plaint does not prevent the plaintiff from presenting a fresh plaint.


A plaint is simply a statement of claim made by the plaintiff in a court of law. It is essential that the plaint be submitted in a proper format with proper particulars, as discussed under Order 7 Rule 1. Further, it is also important that it is presented in a court having competent jurisdiction; otherwise, it might be returned or rejected.

Ankita Soni
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