Written Statement under Civil Procedure Code

The word written statement is not exactly defined under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. However, written statement can be defined as the pleadings of defendants where the defendant deals with the fact alleged in the plaint (pleadings of plaintiff). In a written statement, the defendant also pleads with new facts and, sets up the counter claim and set off.

Who May File Written Statement

According to Order 8 Rule 1 of the CPC, the written statement must be filed by the defendant or his duly authorised agent. If there are several defendants, all of them can file a common written statement. In such a case, all of them must sign and verify it.

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Further, according to Order 8 Rule 1A, it is the duty of the defendant to produce documents upon which he claims relief or relies upon.

Time Limit for Filing Written Statement

According to Order 8 Rule 1 of CPC, the defendant must file the written statement within 30 days from the date of service of summons to the defendant.

The Amendment Act of 2002 inserted a proviso to Order 8 Rule 1 stating that if the defendant fails to file a written statement within 30 days from the date of service of summons, he can be allowed to file it within 90 days from the date of service of summons.

Thus, the maximum limit for filing the written statement is 90 days from the date of service of summons.

Kailash vs Nankhu, AIR 2005 SC 2441: In this case, the court held that the outer time limit, i.e., 90 days for filing a written statement, is not mandatory but a discretionary power of the court.

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Whether a Period Beyond 90 Days Can Be Extended

In a landmark case of Salem Bar Association vs Union of India (2005) 6 SCC 344the Supreme Court held that the court could extend the timing for filing written statements beyond 90 days. Still, it should be exercised in exceptional circumstances only. The court further said it should make harmonious construction between Order 8 Rule 1, Order 8 Rule 9, and Order 8 Rule 10.

Rules Regarding Written Statement

The rules governing the written statement submitted by the defendant are provided under Order 8 Rules 3 to 5.

Order 8 Rule 3: Denial to be specific. It provides that the denial by the defendants must be specific. It is not sufficient for the defendant to generally deny the ground alleged by the plaintiff, but he must deal with each allegation of fact that he does not admit except damages.

Order 8 Rule 4: No evasive denial. It provides that the denials submitted by the defendant should not be vague or evasive. This means that the defendants should not deny the allegations evasively but answer the point in substance.

Order 8 Rule 5: Specific denial. It provides that every allegation in the plaint, if not specifically denied, shall be taken to be admitted except as against a person under disability. It is also called the theory of deemed admission, which means that if an allegation is not specifically denied, it is deemed to be admitted by the party.

When the defendant has not filed the written statement, the court is free to pronounce judgment based on facts contained in the plaint except as against a person under disability.

Badat & Co. vs East India Trading Co. (1963): In this case, the Supreme Court held that if all Rules 3, 4, and 5 of Order 8 are read together, then every allegation in the complaint should be answered. A written statement should answer the point in substance. If the denial is evasive, the fact shall be taken to be admitted.


Order 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, states every essential that a defendant must fulfil to defend himself easily. The statements answered in the form of written statements are the pleadings made by the defendant.

In Balraj Taneja vs Sunil Madan (1999) 8 SCC 396, the Supreme Court held:

  1. The courts should act cautiously on the admission made in a written statement.
  2. The courts should not proceed to pass judgment merely because a written statement has not been filed.
  3. The courts should see that even if the facts set out in the plaint are admitted, a judgment could be passed in favour of the plaintiff without requiring him to prove any fact mentioned in the plaint.
  4. If the court is satisfied that no fact needs to be proved on account of deemed admission, the court can pass judgment where the written statement has not been filed.
  5. If the plaint contains certain disputed questions of facts that depict two different versions, the court should require the plaintiff to prove the case. Such a situation would be covered under ‘court may in its discretion require any such fact to be proved’ used in Order 8 Rule 5(2) or ‘make such order in relation to suit as it thinks fit’ used in Order 8 Rule 10.
Ankita Soni
WritingLaw » Law Notes » Who May File Written Statement (With Its Time Limit and Rules) Law Study Material
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