CPC301 | Civil Procedure Code I

Course Information

  • 2021-22
  • CPC301
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.)
  • III
  • Jul 2021
  • Core Course

This is a mandatory course as per Bar Council of India Regulations and this course has been designed as follows.

We start the course by exploring several of the conceptual themes arising within civil procedure such as the following:

(a)  The difference between substantive law and procedural law.

(b)  The difference between questions of law and questions of fact.

(c)  The goals of procedural systems.

(d)  The factors that influence procedural systems.

(e)  How procedural systems can be categorised.

(f)   The adversarial – inquisitorial dichotomy.

(g)  Comparative civil procedure and its benefits.

(h)  What does procedure have to do with Justice?

(i)   The importance of Procedure.

(j)   The history of Indian Civil Procedure.

(k)  Peculiar problems with Indian Civil Procedure and the Indian Civil Justice System.

Students are welcome to explore these themes further in their projects which will offer both practical and theoretical topics. Throughout the course, we will be re-visiting these conceptual themes. The initial theoretical classes are more in the nature of “brainstorming” sessions – the idea is to throw up and play around with all the interesting abstract premises that lie hidden (most of the time) in black-letter civil procedure rules. Initial classes will be devised to draw the student out so that she interacts with the class and the professor- to break the ice as it were. Thought-provoking articles and exercises (contained in the handouts) will form the basis for discussion and debate.
After the initial theoretical classes, we will encounter the Code itself and start studying it. In CPC 1, we cover Sections 1 to 35 B and Orders 1 to 20A –the entire trial court procedure from the stage of filing of the plaint, as the suit proceeds from stage to stage, until the judgment is pronounced by the trial court and the decree is written.  Different kinds of suits and interlocutory applications are also considered. The materials we rely upon are primarily the statutes concerned namely the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and related statutes such as the Limitation Act, 1963. We also rely extensively on cases decided by the Supreme Court and some cases of the High Courts.

Students will be furnished copies of handouts specially designed for this course at the start of the course which will outline in detail the topics covered, the relevant statutory provisions, the cases to be discussed and the readings for each topic. Given the enormous complexity of procedural rules, these handouts make the rules more manageable and allow us to easily oscillate from in-depth “micro” study of procedural provisions to broader “macro” understandings of how the system operates. For each class, students will be expected to read the cases mentioned in the handouts and familiarise themselves with the statutory provisions. Additional reading will also sometimes be indicated, usually the relevant chapters from Takwani’s Textbook on Civil Procedure or articles in journals.

In a typical class, the Course Teacher will first outline the broad principles under the topic being studied and then the class will read the statutory provisions. We then move on to case-law that illuminates the principles underlying the statutory rules. For each case to be discussed in class, five students will be identified before-hand and will be required to lead the discussion on that case. The other students will also be expected to have read the case and actively participate in classroom discussion. Students who have worked or are working on a project that involves the topic under consideration might be required to make a presentation in class- this will help the class explore several tangential and intersecting themes. For example, whilst studying Discovery, a student who has made a project on “Discovery in the US” might make a presentation upon the said topic. Socratic discussion is welcomed. There will be mock-tests wherein students will be expected to solve practical-type questions.

Given that procedural law scholarship is generally undernourished in India, we welcome comparative approaches that draw on theory developed in other countries, especially the United States and the United Kingdom.


Nanda Kishore
Dr. Nanda Kishore

Visiting Professor