Litigation simply means a process of bringing a matter in a court to enforce upon a particular right. The act of bringing in a law suit to resolve any disputes that may arise before a court. When any member in the public begins a civil lawsuit, this person enters into the process of litigation. Litigation is a process of steps which may lead to a court trial and eventually a resolution of the matter at hand.
According to the The plaintiff before reaching to the court for filing a lawsuit, will demand some set of actions from the person(s) believed to have caused alleged injury or damage (the defendant). When the demand is refused or ignored by the defendant; the plaintiff can proceed with the lawsuit by delivering a summon and complaint on the defendant, whilst filing this complaint with a civil trial court. The complaint registered must summarize the state of the alleged injuries. It should be linked to the defendant whilst ultimately requesting relief through money or other services. Now if the complaint does not resolve any of the issues raised in the settlement, the plaintiff will now begin a process called discovery. Here the plaintiff will send interrogatories, that are the written questions, to the defendant that looks for the information regarding the dispute.
The plaintiff has the right to request a copy of the completed documents for later review. Once litigation begins, the defendant is also given the right to learn more regarding the plaintiff’s case. They are permitted to begin a discovery process of their own. this process is something that may be conducted in a matter of weeks or sometimes it may take years, it depends on how complex the case is and also, what is the level of cooperation exists between the parties involved.
After the discovery process is done by the parties, most courts will require both the parties, the plaintiff and the defendant, to attend conference in which they hope to reach for in a settlement before pushing the case onto a court trial. Now depending on the outcome, an agreement will be reached or if the parties cannot reach a settlement, the litigation will then continue onto a trial. At the end in the close to the day of the trial, any party of the involved case may prefer to make a settlement offer in order to avoid court proceedings, something which can be costly, dragging out the process for a number of months. Given a settlement is reached, litigation is ended.
Now, if the parties are still unable to settle their differences among them then a trial will be held. At the resulting trial both sides of the matter are given permission to bring forward evidence that they feel relevant, allowing them to try and prove their case to the courtroom/jury and the truth behind any complaints made against them. If the plaintiff brings forward a convincing case, the defendant can prefer to end the suit action, that is the case, immediately. Or else, if the case of the plaintiff is weak, the defendant may ask the courtroom to dismiss the specific case. Now, since neither is put forward, the trial will proceed to a conclusion and either the judge or the jury will must decide which party prevails over the other party and the judgment is ordered.
If the defendant loses the lawsuit, the party can now ask the courtroom to throw out the verdict if they feel that the evidence did not warrant the decision, or the defendant can alternatively ask that any damages awarded to the plaintiff be lowered. The court is empowered to grant or refuse these kinds of requests made by the defendant.
Finally, a decision is made and once a final decision is made, litigation process will come to an end. The winning party is given the right to collect any outstanding damages from the losing party. After this the losing party gives the agreed relief, the party is then entitled to receive a satisfaction of judgement from the prevailing party. This is then filed with trial court and attest to the happiness of the winning party, thereby signifying the end of the case.
LIST OF SOME AUTHORITIES FOR LITIGATION
1. FAST TRACK COURTS
The Eleventh Finance Commission recommended a scheme for the creation of 1734 Fast Track Courts (FTCs) in the country for disposal of long pending Sessions and other cases. The objective to establish FTCs is to expeditiously dispose of the long pending cases in Sessions Courts and long pending cases of the under trial prisoners.
The term of scheme in the Fast Track Courts which were recommended by the Eleventh Finance Commission ended on 31st march, 2005. The Supreme Court, which is monitoring the functioning of Fast Track Courts through the case of Brij Mohan Lal Vs UOI & Ors observed that the scheme of Fast Track Courts should not be disbanded all of a sudden and thus, Supreme Court in its order dated 31st march, 2005, directed the Union of India to continue the Fast Track Courts to dispose of pending cases.
The Government accorded the approval for continuation of 1562 Fast Track Courts that were operational as on 31.3.2005 for a period of 5 years i.e. up to 31st March, 2010 with a provision of Rs. 509 crores. Also, the Department of Justice is monitoring this scheme.
2. MOBILE COURTS
Mobile courts help taking justice to the door step of the rural is believed to significantly help in fighting the backlog. Mobile courts are also set up with the objective to educate the rural folk about their rights and responsibilities and to provide swift justice and create a feeling of law and judiciary being very close to them and the courts would also help to de-clog the expanding docket of our overburdened courts.
3. LOK ADALATS
The objective enshrined in Article 39 A of the Constitution of India the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 was enacted with the objective to provide free and competent legal service to the weaker sections of the society and to ensure that opportunities for securing justice are not denied to any citizen by the reason of economic or other disabilities. To achieve these objective, Lok Adalats are being arranged and held at various places in the country and a large number of cases are being disposed of with lesser and lesser costs. Mobile Lok Adalats are presently in place in different parts of the State of Bihar and on the lines of steps taken by the High Court of Patna of holding mobile Lok Adalats, and the other High Courts need also work on the same lines so that speedy and affordable justice could be made available to the litigants at the doorsteps.
4. SETTING UP OF GRAM NYAYALAYAS
Gram nyayalayas were formed by the Ministry of Law & Justice by passing a Gram Nyayalayas Bill with an objective to secure justice, both civil and criminal, at the grass-root level to the citizens, which would be the lowest court of subordinate judiciary and shall provide easy access to justice to litigant through friendly procedures, use of local language and mobile courts wherever necessary.