Explain the idea of a friendly suit under CPC.
According to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, generally, one person files a suit against another person only when the latter person violates the rights of former person and by filing the suit, former person claims compensation from the wrongdoer. It is an ordinary procedure in which one person claims that he has a particular right but on the other hand another person denies the claim of former person. Besides these suits, there are a different kind of suits named “Friendly suits”.
According to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a “friendly suit’ is a suit where the parties do not approach the court by presentation of a plaint as is done in ordinary civil litigation. They are, however, interested in the decision of any question of fact or law. For the said purpose, they enter into an agreement in writing stating such question in the form of a case for the purpose of obtaining the opinion of the court. The court may decide the question if it is satisfied that such question is fit to be decided.
Order 36 and Section 90 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, deals with the provisions of friendly suits. In an ordinary suit, one party claims a particular right and opposite party denies the right of former person but in friendly suit, parties do not claim adversely. If two or more parties are interested in the decision of any question of fact or law, then they file a friendly suit in the court just to take the opinion of the court and the opinion given by the court is considered as a ‘decree’.
According to Order 36 Rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if any of the parties are interested in the decision of any question of fact or law then they enter into an agreement and decide that they will present the question in the form of case before the court of law for its opinion and according to the opinion of court one party will give sum of money fixed by them or determined by the court to another party or deliver any property whether movable or immovable specified in the agreement to the another party or will ask the another party to do a particular act or refrain from doing a particular act specified in the agreement. According to the provisions of Order 36 and Rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if the parties decide to present the question in form of case before the court, then it is necessary for them to state the facts precisely and provide all the relevant documents to the court so that the court may become able to decide the question properly.
In the leading case of Port of Bombay v. Municipal Corpn. Bombay (Bom 1930), the Hon’ble court stated that where parties agree to state a case for the opinion of the court, the court would try and determine such question by registering it as a suit. Upon the judgment so pronounced, a decree will follow. Such decree could be a compromise decree.
According to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if the parties enter into an agreement and file the application in the competent court for obtaining the opinion of that court then it is necessary for them to mention the estimated amount of property where the agreement is for the delivery of any property and that application will be registered as a suit between the parties and they will be considered as plaintiff and defendant. After the registration of application, notice is given to all the parties except the parties by whom the application is filed.
According to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if the application is registered as a suit then a date is fixed by the court for hearing and on the date of hearing, after examining all the parties if the court is satisfied that the agreement is duly executed by the parties and the parties have a bona fide interest in the question of law or fact and the case is fit to be decided then only the court will pronounce the judgment and after pronouncing the judgment decree will be passed by the court.
According to Order 36 Rule 6 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a decree passed in a friendly suit is in the nature of compromise decree. That is why, no appeal can be filed by the parties against that decree.