CPC Mains Questions

Q. Who is an indigent person ? On what grounds an application for permission to sue as an indigent person can be rejected ? [MPCJ 2011]

Ans. Order 33-rule 1 CPC along with its explanation declares the following persons as an indigent:-

If he is not possessed of sufficient means to enable to pay the fee prescribed by law for the plaint in such suit. Thus, the benefit of order 33 CPC is conferred on the persons without possession of sufficient realisable property. The Hon’ble Apex court held in Mathai M. Paikeday v C.K. Anthony (2011) 13 SCC 174 that expression sufficient means contemplates the ability or capacity of a person in the ordinary course to raise money by available lawful means to pay the court fees.

Where no such fee is prescribed, if he is not entitled to property worth one thousand rupees.

In examination of indigency of a person, the following factors are also to be taken into account-

Both the property exempted under section 60 of the CPC and the subject matter of the suit are not to be taken into account.

Property acquired during pendency of the application for permission to sue as an indigent have to be considered.

When a suit is filed in the representative character, the question of indigency shall be determined with reference to the means possessed by him in such capacity.

Rejection of application:- As per order 33 – rule 5 of the CPC an application to sue as an indigent may be rejected on the following grounds-

  1. Where it is not framed and presented in the manner prescribed by order 33 – rules 2 and 3 of the CPC.
  2. where the applicant is not an indigent person.
  3. where he has, within two months next before the presentation of the application, disposed of any property fraudulently or in order to be able to apply for permission to use as an indigent person, if taking into account such property, the applicant would be disentitled to sue as an indigent person.
  4. where his allegations do not show a cause of action.
  5. where he has entered into any agreement with reference to the subject-matter of the proposed suit under which any other person has obtained an interest in such subject-matter.
  6. where the allegations, made by the applicant in the application show that the suit would be barred by any law for the time being in force.
  7. where any other person has entered into an agreement with him to finance the litigation.

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