WHO IS AN INDIGENT PERSON?
Poor, Penniless, Pauper
Order XXXIII of Civil Procedure Code provides remedy to those who need to institute a suit for enforcement of their rights but are so poor that they cannot afford expenses on court fee etc.
The object behind this order is that poverty should not come in way of getting justice.
A person is an indigent person who is not having sufficient means to pay the fee for the plaint or where no such fee is prescribed he is not entitled to property worth rupees 1,000.
APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO SUE AS INDIGENT
A person may sue as indigent person only when he is so permitted by the court. When application is made for permission to sue as indigent person, every inquiry shall be made in the first instance.
An application for permission to sue as an indigent person shall contain the following particulars-
1. Particulars received in regard to plaint in suit.
2. List of movable / immovable property belonging to the applicant with the estimated value.
3. Signature and Verification.
PRESENTATION OF APPLICATION
The application shall be presented to the court by the applicant in person (NOT BY ANY THIRD PARTY) but if he is exempted from personal appearance, application may be presented by an authorised agent. But the agent must be able to answer the questions regarding the application.
EXAMINATION OF APPLICANT
Where the application is in proper form and duly presented, the court may examine the applicant or his agent regarding the merits of the claims and property of the applicant.
To sue as an indigent person, 7 days before notice in writing shall be given to the plaintiff and if the court is satisfied the court may withdraw the permission.
WHO MAY APPEAL AS AN INDIGENT PERSON?
Any person who is entitled to file an appeal but unable to pay the necessary court fee, may obtain permission of the court to appeal as an indigent person.
For this purpose, he may present an application to the court along with a memorandum of appeal. The court may allow the applicant to appeal as an indigent person, subject to the provisions relating to suits by indigent person.
PERIOD OF LIMITATION
The application for leave to appeal as indigent person must be filed within 30 days. But in case of appeal before High Court, such period is 60 days from the date of decree when passed.
If there is no reason to reject the application, the court shall fix a day for receiving evidence in proof or disproof of the indigence of the applicant. At least 10 days clear notice shall be given to opposite party and the government pleader.
PROCEDURE IF APPLICATION ADMITTED
Where the application for permission to sue as indigent person is granted, it shall be numbered and registered. It shall be deemed the plaint in the suit and suit shall proceed as a suit instituted in the ordinary manner.
But the plaintiff shall not be liable to pay any court fee or process fee. The plaintiff shall also not be liable for any fee for appointment of pleader.
If a person has been allowed to sue as an indigent person, but he is not represented by a pleader, the court may assign a pleader to him.
WITHDRAWAL OF PERMISSION TO SUE AS AN INDIGENT PERSON
The defendant or government pleader may apply to court for withdrawal of permission granted to the plaintiff.