Civil Rights refer to those rights which are very basic in nature and protect individuals from infringement or discrimination of any kind. Civil rights also included an individual’s right of physical and mental well being. In the 1840’s numerous civil right movements stirred up in the United States of Americademanding equal protection before the law and other basic rights. The blacks in the United States who were the victim of racial discrimination & slavery for so long in the past were now demanding their basic civil rights like right to physical and mental well being and right against racial discrimination. Numerous other civil rights movements also took place in different parts of the world during 1950 to 1980. These movements worldwide led to a universal understanding regarding the importance of civil rights of individuals. In the meanwhile, the citizens were also demanding the basic rights that they were entitled to. Taking note of the wants of the citizens certain basic rights known as fundamental rights were provided to the citizens of India in part III of the Indian constitution.
The fundamental rights includes “Right to life” one of the most basic civil right provided under Article 21 of the Constitution. Subsets of right to life include “right to shelter”, “right to good health” and other such basic rights. The citizens are also provide with other basic rights such as “right to education”, “Right to equality”, “Right to freedom of movement”, “ Right to freedom of expressions”, “Right to personal freedom” & “ Right to cultural freedom”. Every citizen of India holds these basic rights in order to make sure that their dignity is preserved. Further, any kind of right is of no value if it can be enforced or if it could be violated without legal repercussions. Therefore, the Indian judicially have an added responsibility of making sure that no one’s rights is violated and in case violated there is a legal remedy for the same.
Keeping this in mind the legislatures passed the Protection of Civil Rights Act, 1955 which specifically dealt with prescribing punishment for the (Preaching and Practice of “Untouchability”) enforcement of any disability arising there from and for matters connected therewith. Several other legislations have also come up in order to ensure basic civil rights to the individuals.
Litigation refers to the process of taking legal actions on violation of certain rights of the individuals. In case of civil litigation it involves taking legal actions on infringement of any rights which involves specific interests of an individual. In case the infringement is against the society as whole it is governed under criminal law and follows criminal litigation. However, civil litigation is governed by the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 which lays down the basic procedures which govern the civil litigation.
Initially before proceeding with a civil suit we need to take into account if any specific right of the individual is violated or not. After, figuring out the violations and issues the aggrieved party may file a civil suit in a court of a competent jurisdiction. Sections 15-21 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 deal with the topic of Place of suing which would govern the fact as to the civil suit would lie before which court. The plaintiff would make a written submission before the court which may contain all the allegations against the defendants and this written submission is called “plaint”. The plaint should also contain the following things:
- (a) Name of the Court
- (b) Name & Addresses of the parties to the suit
- (c) Verification from the plaintiff stating that contents of the Plaint are true.
After the suit has been instituted, the court may issue and service summons under Order V of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908 ordering certain individual or certain document to be made present before the Court. The parties to the suit thereafter may proceed with their written statements, the plaintiff with the plaint and the defendant thereafter with the Written Statement denying the allegation put forth by the plaintiff in his plaint. After the court has had look into the written submissions of both the parties, the parties appear before the court. However, in cases where neither of the parties appears, the court may dismiss the suit under Order IX Rule 3 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. In cases where one of the parties appear before the court, the court may pass an ex-parte decree in favour of the party present under Order IX of the Civil Procedure Code,1908. However, the ex-parte decree may be set aside under Order IX Rule 13 if the absent part gives an application before the court giving genuine reason as to why it wasn’t present in the previous proceeding.
After both the parties appear before the Court they may be examined under Order X of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. In the first hearing of the civil suit the court may ascertain from each party or his pleader whether he admits or denies the allegations made on him. The court would record such admission or denials. The admissions made by any party to a suit or by his pleader on his behalf would be recorded under Order XII of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. After having a look at the written submission of the parties, examination of the parties, and documents the court may determine the issues of law involved and the issues of facts agreed upon under Order XIV of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The court may further order the witnesses in the case to come to the court and Summons may be issued for the same under Order-XVI of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. Thereafter, the witnesses may be examined and evidences must be recorded under Order XIX of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. After recording the statements of the witnesses and evidences from both sides of the parties on the issues at hand the court may using its prudence pass a judgment under Order-XX of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. The judgment should contain a concise statement of the case, the points for determination, the decision thereon, and the reasons for such decisions. The Court should state its decision on each issue involved in the suit. The Court may also pass a decree under Order-XX of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. Decree is the operative part of the judgment, providing the Plaintiff with restoration of his rights which were violated and was the reason of the civil Suit.