Indian legal system is based upon the principle of ‘Ubi jus, ibi remedium’ which means that where there is a right, there is a remedy. This system allows every person to enjoy his basic rights and if any other person infringes his rights then to file a suit against the wrongdoer and claim remedy from him. Every suit is based upon bundle of rights and their violation. In every suit, an aggrieved party has to prove that he has a right and this right has been violated by the opposite party.
Now the question arises, “what does a suit mean”?
The term ‘suit’ has not been defined in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. But generally suit is a legal proceeding which is initiated by a person against another person for violating the rights of former person.
According to dictionary meaning, “suit” is a generic term refers to any proceeding by one person or persons against another or others in a court of law wherein the plaintiff pursues the remedy which the law affords him for the redress of any injury or the enforcement of a right whether at law or in equity.
In the leading case of Hansraj Gupta v. Official Liquidators of the Dehra Dun- Mussoorie Electric Tramway Co. Ltd., AIR 1993 PC 63, the hon’ble court held that a suit is a civil proceeding instituted by the presentation of a plaint.
If right of any person has been violated by another person and the former person wants to file a suit against wrongdoer and claim remedy then he has to prove main essentials of a suit and in the leading case of Uma Shanker v. Shalig Ram, AIR 1975 All 36, the hon’ble court stated four essentials of a suit and these are:-
- These must be opposing parties
- There must be subject matter
- There must be a cause of action
- Some relief has been claimed by parties
• Opposing parties:- In every suit two or more parties are involved and out of these parties, one or more parties asset that there rights have been violated by opposing parties and opposing parties deny that they have violated any right of former parties. In every suit, there are two kinds of parties i.e. Necessary parties and proper parties. According to Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, necessary parties are those parties in whose absence a decree cannot be passed by any court. They are essential for a suit and in their presence only, a suitable decree can be passed by a court whereas proper parties are those parties in whose absence a decree can be passed by court but in their presence rights can be determined properly and a suitable decree can be passed.
In the leading case of Udit Narain Singh v. Board of Revenue, AIR 1963 SC 786, the hon’ble court held that a necessary party is one whose presence is indispensable to the constitution of the suit, against whom the relief is sought and without whom no effective order can be passed whereas a proper party is one in whose absence an effective order can be passed but whose presence is necessary for a complete and final decision on the question involved in the proceedings.
• Subject- matter of a suit:- According to Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a subject matter of a suit is a basic foundation of a suit and it is a that particular thing in respect of which a suit has been filed by any person in a court of law. Subject- matter of a suit may be based upon proprietary right of a person or a personal right of a person. Basically, it means that it can either be some property upon which the plaintiff exercises his legal right or it can be a personal right of the plaintiff not related to any property. For eg.- If an owner of a property has been dispossessed from his property by any person then in this case the subject matter of a suit is that he has been dispossessed from his property. So, subject matter of a suit can be said the real dispute between the parties. If a wife is entitled to get maintenance from her husband and her husband refuses her to give maintenance then in this case, the subject matter of a suit is entitlement of maintenance and its refusal.
According to Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, subject matter of a suit is helpful in determining the parties of a suit. Parties in a suit can be determined by finding the real dispute between them. If there is any dispute between two persons then only it can be said that they are opposing parties in a suit. If there is no dispute between persons, they cannot be said parties to a suit.
• Cause of action:- According to Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a cause of action is a bundle of facts which together establishes right of a plaintiff to claim relief from court of law. It consists substantive law rights existing in plaintiff and violation of that rights by defendant. A cause of action is very important for a suit and the entire suit revolves around cause of action. On the basis of cause of action, the issues between the parties are settled by the court and a judgment is delivered upon that cause of action. So, it is essential for the plaintiff to disclose cause of action in his pleading and the burden of proof lies upon the plaintiff to prove that cause of action. If a plaintiff fails to disclose the cause of action in his pleading then the court has right to reject the plaint filed by the plaintiff or if the plaintiff discloses the cause of action in his plaint but he fails to prove that cause of action then in such case, the suit will be dismissed upon merits and if suit is dismissed upon merits then the doctrine of res- judicata will be applied upon that suit.
• Relief:- According to Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, whenever a right of any person has been violated and he files a suit, it is mandatory for him to claim any relief from the court of law. Relief may be specific relief or alternative relief. If a person does not claim relief in his pleading then in such a case, the court will not try the suit.