Home » What is the Civil Procedure Code (CPC)?

What is the Civil Procedure Code (CPC)?

by gaurav gupta

The Civil Procedure Code (CPC) of India, enacted in 1908, is a comprehensive statute that outlines the procedures to be followed in civil litigation. The CPC provides the framework for the adjudication of civil disputes, ensuring that legal proceedings are conducted in an orderly, fair, and efficient manner. This code is pivotal in maintaining consistency, transparency, and justice in the civil judicial process in India.

Historical Background

The CPC was enacted on March 21, 1908, and came into force on January 1, 1909. It replaced the earlier Civil Procedure Code of 1882. The need for a standardized and comprehensive procedural code arose due to the complexities and inconsistencies in the administration of civil justice across different regions during the British colonial period. The CPC was designed to unify and streamline civil procedures, ensuring uniformity and predictability in the civil judicial process.

Structure of the CPC

The CPC is divided into two parts: the body of the Code (Sections 1-158) and the First Schedule (Orders 1-51). The body of the Code contains substantive procedural laws, while the First Schedule provides detailed rules for various procedural aspects. The structure of the CPC can be broadly categorized as follows:

  1. Preliminary (Sections 1-8)
  2. Suits in General (Sections 9-35B)
  3. Execution of Decrees and Orders (Sections 36-74)
  4. Incidental Proceedings (Sections 75-78)
  5. Suits in Particular Cases (Sections 79-88)
  6. Special Proceedings (Sections 89-93)
  7. Appeals (Sections 96-112)
  8. Reference, Review, and Revision (Sections 113-115)
  9. Miscellaneous Provisions (Sections 121-158)
  10. Orders and Rules (First Schedule)

Key Provisions

Jurisdiction (Sections 9-20) The CPC defines the jurisdiction of civil courts, including the subject matter, pecuniary, and territorial jurisdiction. It ensures that suits are filed in the appropriate court, thereby facilitating the efficient administration of justice.

Institution of Suits (Sections 26-35B) These sections outline the procedure for the institution of suits, including the requirements for plaints, written statements, and the framing of issues. They ensure that the parties to a suit clearly state their claims and defenses, providing a structured framework for the trial.

Pleadings (Order VI) The CPC prescribes detailed rules for pleadings, ensuring that parties present their cases concisely and accurately. This includes guidelines for amendments to pleadings and the striking out of irrelevant or scandalous matters.

Summons and Discovery (Orders V-XI) The Code provides rules for the issuance of summons to defendants, the production of documents, and the examination of witnesses. These provisions facilitate the discovery of evidence and ensure that parties have a fair opportunity to present their cases.

Interim Orders (Order XXXIX) The CPC includes provisions for interim orders, such as temporary injunctions and the appointment of receivers, to preserve the status quo and protect the interests of parties during the pendency of a suit.

Execution of Decrees (Sections 36-74 and Order XXI) This part outlines the procedures for the execution of decrees and orders, including the modes of execution, the powers of executing courts, and the remedies available to judgment debtors. It ensures that judgments are effectively enforced.

Appeals (Sections 96-112 and Orders XLI-XLIII) The CPC provides a detailed framework for appeals, including the types of appeals, the grounds for appeal, and the procedures for filing and hearing appeals. This ensures that parties have the opportunity to seek redress against erroneous or unjust decisions.

Alternative Dispute Resolution (Section 89) This section encourages the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, such as arbitration, mediation, and conciliation, to resolve disputes amicably and reduce the burden on the courts.

Importance of the CPC

  1. Uniformity and Consistency The CPC ensures uniformity and consistency in civil procedures across India, providing a predictable and transparent framework for the adjudication of civil disputes.
  2. Efficiency and Fairness By outlining clear procedures and timelines for various stages of a suit, the CPC facilitates the efficient and fair administration of justice. It ensures that parties have a fair opportunity to present their cases and that suits are decided expeditiously.
  3. Protection of Rights The CPC protects the rights of litigants by providing detailed rules for pleadings, evidence, and appeals. It ensures that parties have access to a fair and just legal process.
  4. Enforcement of Judgments The CPC provides effective mechanisms for the execution of decrees and orders, ensuring that judgments are enforced and parties receive the relief awarded by the courts.
  5. Encouragement of ADR By encouraging the use of ADR mechanisms, the CPC promotes the amicable resolution of disputes and reduces the burden on the courts, contributing to a more efficient judicial system.

Challenges and Criticisms

Despite its significance, the CPC faces several challenges:

  1. Delays in Justice Procedural complexities and the high volume of cases often lead to delays in the resolution of civil disputes. This affects the timely delivery of justice.
  2. Complexity and Accessibility The CPC is a complex statute, and its detailed procedural rules can be difficult for laypersons to understand. This can affect access to justice for individuals who are not legally trained.
  3. Implementation Issues There are often discrepancies in the implementation of the CPC across different courts and jurisdictions, leading to inconsistencies and potential injustices.
  4. Need for Modernization With the evolving nature of civil disputes and the increasing use of technology, there is a need to modernize the CPC to address contemporary challenges effectively.


The Civil Procedure Code (CPC) is a fundamental statute in India’s legal framework, providing a comprehensive and uniform procedural system for the adjudication of civil disputes. It ensures the orderly, fair, and efficient administration of civil justice, balancing the rights of litigants with the need for public order and legal certainty. While the CPC has stood the test of time, continuous review and modernization are essential to address emerging challenges and ensure that the CPC remains an effective tool for delivering justice in a rapidly changing society.

Related Posts

Logo businesspara.com

Businesspara is an online webpage that provides business news, tech, telecom, digital marketing, auto news, and website reviews around World.

Contact us: [email protected]

@2022 – Businesspara – Designed by Techager Team